“We’re seeing creators selling their videos and memes as NFTs,” Wojcicki told live streamer Ludwig Ahgren during a recent podcast episode of The courtyard. “If creators sell their videos as NFTs, this is an important form of monetization. I don’t think it would be good if it all happened on another platform.”
Wojcicki said allowing creators to sell NFTs on the platform can help small influencers who are just starting to create their accounts, pointing to musicians who have started using NFTs as a way to raise funds.
“Ultimately what YouTube does is we’re a platform that distributes content and monetization,” she said. “If NFTs are a big part of that equation, then we think we should be there.”
Wojcicki, who owns “a few” NFTs herself, didn’t provide too many details about YouTube’s Web3 plans. But she said YouTube was in the “best position” to verify creator-owned virtual assets through its Content Identification Tool, which allows creators to track and manage their content. “It would be a problem for you if another third-party site sold your videos without knowing that they belonged to you,” Wojcicki added.
Ahgren pushed back against NFTs, saying they are a “scourge” on the gaming world and will only help already big influencers in the long run. Gaming companies that have introduced these tools have had their fair share of backlash, both for environmental reasons and because some consider cryptography in games to be unnecessary. Wojcicki acknowledged that YouTube’s decision to work on NFTs was “polarizing,” but that the platform’s goal behind NFTs is to protect creators. “We are going to be very careful. I think you’re going to be okay with what we’re doing with NFTs,” she said.
YouTube’s $100 million Fund of the shorts also polarized creators. Wojcicki told Ahgren that the program money is just a temporary form of income. ” I do not think so [Shorts funds are] permanent,” Wojcicki said. She added that YouTube was working to make the Shorts program “more scalable” in the future and that the platform was working on a new program for creators to earn money. “But I can’t say anything else,” she said.
Ahgren pointed to a video posted by YouTuber Hank Green, who said creator funds are unsustainable because the pool of dedicated money is static even though the number of creators eligible for the fund increases. But Wojcicki said the Shorts Fund is just an early form of monetization for short-form creators, and the platform is looking to run more ads on short-form content so people can earn. money. as they would on longer YouTube videos. “YouTube has a great monetization program for long-form creators, and we want to expand that to shorts,” Wojcicki said.
YouTube’s decision to stop displaying the dislike count may not have been popular, but Wojcicki said while the decision received its fair share of backlash, it was made in the best interest of people. creators.
“I understand there were a lot of people – and yes, we heard loud and clear – why people weren’t happy with this decision,” she told Ahgren. “But then we also saw the impact it had on a lot of new creators, and that’s bad. We have to have and continue to support small creators and their growth. It’s really important for the long term the health of our ecosystem.”
Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled Ludwig Ahgren’s name. This story was updated on April 11, 2022.