YouTube has paid out more than $30 billion to content creators over the past three years

YouTube has paid out more than $30 billion to creators, artists, and media organizations over the last three years, according to a new letter published by CEO Susan Wojcicki.

In 2019 alone, YouTube contributed an estimated $16 billion to the US gross domestic product (GDP). According to Oxford Economics, that’s roughly equivalent to 345,000 full-time jobs.

Creators are diversifying their revenue streams as well. Wojcicki in a community letter said that last year, the number of channels making the majority of their revenue from Super Stickers, Super Chats and memberships tripled. The number of new channels that joined YouTube’s Partner Program, meanwhile, more than doubled in 2020.

The letter also focuses on the work YouTube’s team still has in front of them. Mainly, transparency, especially where content strikes and advertising dollars are concerned. Wojcicki noted that at the “scale we operate, it’s hard for creators to keep up with changing Community Guidelines.”

Wojcicki’s letter states that YouTube wants to be better about communicating changes to avoid channel strikes. After three strikes within a 90-day period, a channel is terminated.

YouTube executives have also faced mounting pressure to do a better job of moderating the site and preventing misinformation from spreading. YouTube is now shifting its focus to vaccination misinformation. “We’re always working to strike the right balance between openness and responsibility as we meet the guidelines set by governments around the world,” Wojcicki wrote.

One other interesting part of Wojcicki’s letter was a focus on regulation. A recent hot topic in tech policy circles is reform of Section 230, which effectively allows social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter to operate without being liable for content people post. Wojcicki referred to Section 230 as an act that “enables us to both keep YouTube open and allow a large amount of content on the internet as well as take the actions necessary to protect our platform.” Although Wojcicki didn’t issue a stronger sentiment, she did bring up that the debate over Section 230 happening in Congress has caught the attention of creators like Hila and Ethan Klein.

Wojcicki’s full letter, which includes more details about creator revenue and an update on YouTube Shorts, the company’s answer to TikTok.

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