Alphabet (GOOGL) has set aside $100 million in a fund intended to draw more creative minds to YouTube Shorts, a new service that hosts short-form videos.
YouTube Shorts is still in the early stages of rollout and has launched in the U.S. and India. There is currently no way for Shorts creators to monetize their content on the platform. The Shorts fund is the first step in bringing monetization opportunities to the service.
The fund will pay those who share the most popular content, as measured by engagement and views. It will begin distribution in the coming months and run through 2022. Alphabet targets to reward thousands of Shorts creators every month during the fund’s lifespan.
“We’re excited to start rewarding creators for their contributions through the Shorts Fund,” said Amy Singer, Director of Global Partnership Enablement for YouTube Shorts.
Alphabet will also use the fund as a learning opportunity. For example, it will ask popular creators to share their feedback to home in on best practices. Also, since the fund is temporary, Alphabet is seeking a long-term Shorts monetization model. Among its plans is testing Shorts ads to see how they perform. Alphabet primarily makes money from ad sales. (See Alphabet stock analysis on TipRanks)
China Renaissance analyst Ella Ji upgraded Alphabet’s stock rating to Buy from Hold and raised the price target to $3,000 from $1,477. Ji’s new price target implies 34.18% upside potential to the current price. The analyst grew more optimistic about Alphabet after its strong Q1 earnings.
“On solid 1Q21 results, we turn more bullish on the growth momentum and long-term growth outlook for Alphabet’s advertising business,” commented Ji.
The consensus among analysts on Wall Street is a Strong Buy based on 28 Buy and 2 Hold ratings. The average analyst price target of $2,769.59 indicates 23.87% upside to current levels.
GOOGL scores a 7 out of 10 on TipRanks’ Smart Score rating system, implying the stock’s return will likely align with market performance.