The Polar Report

The Polar Report: Industry Insights #15

March 8, 2023

Welcome to The Polar Report, a curated view of what’s happening in the world of Digital Monetisation, Audience Development and Measurement. This week we dive into YouTube Shorts monetisation results, YouTube hinting at AI tools for the future, TikTok limiting kids screen time, and FAST taking over the UK AVoD market.


YouTube Shorts Creators Report on New Monetisation Program Results

YouTube stars have started sharing their results from the new monetisation program of the platform, which was launched a month ago. Zach King, a popular creator, generated 196.4 million views through Shorts clips on the app in the initial 30 days. However, King only took home $2,900 in terms of revenue share, which translates to $0.02 RPM. Though creators are talking about $0.04, it is still not an impressive figure. Nevertheless, creators find it much better than TikTok's creator fund and Instagram's current offerings linked to Reels.

Shorts makers receive exposure and great brand-creating opportunities. Although exposure is witnessed, expenses linked to such views are still low. Building the brand is the primary goal for creators. They hope that the gap is covered to favour creators in the future. YouTube's regular partner program already gives payments to its biggest stars in billions. Shorts is an addition to that, garnering more interest in the main platform.

YouTube has been criticised for enhancing monetisation models. Nonetheless, the platform's ability to make money is greater than any other app's offerings. Without such enhancements, the chances for monetisation on the forum become much more. It would take massive changes for other tech giants to compete with YouTube directly. For now, there is no direct way to generate millions through such clips.

Full Article on Digital Information World

Audience Development

New YouTube leader hints at AI tools for virtual outfit and location swapss

Neal Mohan, YouTube's new head, has revealed his key priorities and upcoming features for the media platform in his first address to the community since taking up the role last month. In a letter addressed to creators, Mohan expressed his commitment to putting creators first and highlighted some of the recent features that have been added to the platform. He also teased an interesting new feature in development: generative AI tools for content creators.

According to Mohan, these AI tools will allow creators to expand their storytelling and raise their production value, from virtually swapping outfits to creating fantastical film settings through AI's generative capabilities. However, YouTube has not provided any specific details regarding how these generative AI tools will work. Mohan said we can expect them to roll out to creators "in the coming months," alongside undisclosed protections to ensure the technology is being used responsibly.

With AI tools rising in popularity over recent months, this appears to be a smart move for YouTube. These tools have been proven to save time, and allow their users to be more efficient in what they do. Based on what Mohan has said, if these AI tools can manage to improve the production quality of creators, then it could have a hugely beneficial impact on audience growth for creators.

Ultimately, investing time and money into a YouTube channel can yield better results, but if these results can also be achieved from free AI tools then we could see large growth all around. While the details regarding these generative AI tools are unclear and undisclosed, the message is clear: YouTube is committed to remaining at the forefront of the media platform industry.

Full Article on The Verge

Is TikTok really limiting kids’ time on its app?

On Wednesday, TikTok announced that it would set a 60-minute screen time limit for users under 18, as well as introduce new parental controls. However, these limits are more like suggestions and young users can still continue to use the app even after the limits have passed. The move comes amidst growing concerns over social media's impact on younger people, as well as increased scrutiny of TikTok's ties to China. While the updates show that TikTok is taking steps to mitigate these concerns, they are unlikely to alleviate national security concerns or concerns about social media harm to children.

Users under 13 will have a default screen time limit applied, and a parent or guardian will have to enter a passcode every 30 minutes to give additional screen time. For users aged 13 to 17, they can enter their own passcode and opt out of the 60-minute limit, but if they spend more than 100 minutes on TikTok a day, they will be forced to set their own limits. TikTok believes these measures will make teens more aware of the time they spend on the app.

Although these restrictions will act more as guidance, one does have to consider the impact this could have on creators. At the moment kids are spending 75 mins a day on average on TikTok. If the guidance that TikTok is setting is deemed not enough, and they do start enforcing strict limits, then it may be creators who are hit the most. 

Ultimately, TikTok is a congested market for creators, and they only have a limited amount of time for their content to appear on users' pages. If this time gets shorter and shorter it may result in less viewership numbers and stunted growth. It does appear, however, that as of right now there is no reason for creators to be concerned. Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see what the level of viewership numbers TikTok has in a few months. 

Full article on Vox


FAST Takes Over: Expected to Grab 20% of UK AVoD Market by 2027

According to recent findings by Global Distributor Blue Ant International at London Screenings, the UK's emerging FAST (Free Ad-Supported Streaming TV) arena is expected to see significant growth over the next four years.

Technology research firm Omdia conducted a study that focused on the UK, which reveals that FAST is projected to account for nearly 20% of the UK's premium online ad-supported video market, worth $3 billion by 2027, with $500 million attributed to FAST. This points to a quadrupling of FAST channel revenue in the UK from the current earnings of $128 million in the next four years.

The updated data highlights the opportunity for content creators to maximise the value of their intellectual property in the UK via windowing strategies that extend the life and revenue of their productions. The report signals the exponential audience adoption of FAST platforms, highlighting a growing need for producers and content owners worldwide to navigate and access this emerging market.

Additionally, the report shows that UK FAST channel revenue has already increased 180 times between 2019 and 2022. Blue Ant International's Global Head of Acquisitions & Partnerships, Lilla Hurst, said that the company's goal with these new findings is to help demystify how FAST will perform outside of North America and provide support to content creators as they navigate through this journey.

Full Article on Advanced Television