YouTube Shorts Takes Aim at TikTok & Reels

19th January 2023

TikTok, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts are changing how we consume content. With the introduction of monetisation on YouTube Shorts from February 1st the battle for popularity will be shaken up to the max in 2023.

Designed to compete with TikTok, YouTube shorts has not entirely caught on yet compared to rival platforms but that is set to change with the monetisation of videos. For those of you who do not know, YouTube pays creators by sharing a portion of the advertiser’s money called AdSense. Popular YouTube creators and influencers can earn millions from AdSense but Shorts are not currently included in this program.

TikTok’s version of AdSense, named ‘The Creator Fund’ payout system is not as lucrative, leading to content creators to pursue other platforms to help generate revenue. 

Yes, it’s true YouTube Shorts right now are not as popular as TikTok but over the next few months, HDY predicts that TikTokers will start to focus their creative energy more on YouTube Shorts due to the updates coming on Feb 1st.

Google has shared a hypothetical breakdown of the shared revenue on their website.

Hypothetical example

As a monetising creator, let’s say you upload a Short that uses one music track. Here’s how we’d calculate what your Short earns in Country A this month.

  • There are 100 million total Shorts views in Country A, and all views are on Shorts uploaded by monetizing creators.
  • $100,000 is earned from ads that play between Shorts in the Shorts Feed.
  • 20% of these Shorts use one music track, so the Creator Pool is $90,000 and $10,000 is used to cover the costs of music licensing.
  • Your Short is viewed one million times, so you are allocated 1% of the Creator Pool, or $900. Your allocation from the Creator Pool is not affected by your use of a music track.
  • The 45% revenue share is then applied to your allocation, and you earn $405 for your Shorts views in Country A.

Back in May 2022, YouTube megastar, energy drink entrepreneur and professional boxer, KSI shared insight into his TikTok earnings. In the video, he mentions that with over 100m+ views he has earnt around £3,000. While this may seem like a lot, if we take into consideration the updates to YouTube Shorts coming soon, a popular creator will see more money from YouTube Shorts, which could change the tide and see TikTokers move platforms. 

Expect to see more dedicated YouTube Shorts content over the coming months as the monetisation is rolled out, we often see TikToks being reshared to YouTube Shorts but now with money backing creators this is set to change, big time.


In our experience, TikTok is still the better platform to use as a creator compared to Shorts. TikTok’s editing tools, filters and wide range of music allow creators to constantly push the boundaries of what’s possible with vertical videos. YouTube Shorts still has a long way to go. Vertical video creation across all platforms will be stirred up by YouTube monetisation changes coming in the next few weeks, we are eager to see which platform rises to the top.

If your business is still not taking advantage of social media platforms such a TikTok and YouTube Shorts, now is the time. Here at HDY Agency, we focus on sharing industry insights, helpful camera tricks and agency life insight on our social channels as well as having a lot of fun along the way. 

Be sure to follow us on TikTok or YouTube shorts to stay up to date on all the industry news and if you have a project to discuss you can contact us here.