Meta’s latest payment notifications for its Music Revenue Sharing program, which enables video creators to earn a share of in-stream ad revenue from their Reels on Facebook that contain licensed music, informed creators of huge pending payout amounts, in error. As a result, creators are fuming and Meta has naturally been forced to correct the problem. 

Some Facebook creators were notified that they’d be receiving tens of thousands of dollars from the program, which was based on a glitch in Meta’s system. Meta has since sent out a notification clarifying the mistake, reducing those payouts significantly and disappointing creators. Meta says that the issue only impacted a small number of creators, and that all have now been notified of the mistake.

Meta launched its initial Music Revenue Share program in July last year, but only recently expanded the program to Reels as well. As such, many creators had no precedent for what they might be able to earn via Reels clips, which has led to broader confusion around the initial payment notifications.

As social platforms battle to offer the best incentives for top creators, the monetization of short form content is not as straightforward as longer content. With most short clips being only 30 seconds in length, you can’t just chuck in pre- and mid-roll ads, which complicates performance attribution. With longer videos, you can definitively say that the number of viewers that saw the ad is attributable to that creator, but short form has forced a re-think of video monetization processes, in order to facilitate equitable and reliable income.

No platform has yet perfected this difficulty. Meta’s payments errors are a separate problem yet they highlight the challenges that apps are facing in monetizing shorter video content. That’s especially problematic given the huge engagement increases that short-form content has driven on virtually every app, and as such, they all want more exclusive short clips.

Meta will now have to work to win back their trust, and with various other options out there, that could be a more significant blow than it might initially seem.

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