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YouTube Changes to Monetization Policy Mean You’re Not Going to Make Money on YouTube

YouTube Policy ChangesNeal Mohan, Chief Product Officer and Robert Kyncl, Chief Business Officer at YouTube have handed down some bad news to people who are trying to make money on YouTube with their videos. And of course, they framed it in a way that makes it sounds like it’s going to be good for everyone, but basically it’s just frustrating.


From the YouTube Creator Blog:

2017 marked a tough year for many of you, with several issues affecting our community and the revenue earned from advertising through the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). Despite those issues more creators than ever are earning a living on YouTube, with the number of channels making over six figures up over 40% year-over-year. In 2018, a major focus for everyone at YouTube is protecting our creator ecosystem and ensuring your revenue is more stable.

As Susan mentioned in December, we’re making changes to address the issues that affected our community in 2017 so we can prevent bad actors from harming the inspiring and original creators around the world who make their living on YouTube. A big part of that effort will be strengthening our requirements for monetization so spammers, impersonators, and other bad actors can’t hurt our ecosystem or take advantage of you, while continuing to reward those who make our platform great.

Okay, so more manual filtering of content, right?


Nope. That would make too much sense. Here’s the “solution” that YouTube came up with:

Starting today we’re changing the eligibility requirement for monetization to 4,000 hours of watchtime within the past 12 months and 1,000 subscribers.

Wait…what? How will that help?

We’ve arrived at these new thresholds after thorough analysis and conversations with creators like you.

Name two. I’ll wait.

They will allow us to significantly improve our ability to identify creators who contribute positively to the community and help drive more ad revenue to them (and away from bad actors).

I want to see the definitions being used for “positively” and “bad actors” because I’m pretty sure that we’ll still see stuff from Will Farrell on there… (Yes, I know that’s not what it means, but it was an opportune time for a lame joke.)

These higher standards will also help us prevent potentially inappropriate videos from monetizing which can hurt revenue for everyone.

Last time I checked, inappropriate videos got people banned from YouTube and AdSense anyway. So I don’t understand the logic here.

On February 20th, 2018, we’ll also implement this threshold across existing channels on the platform, to allow for a 30 day grace period. On that date, channels with fewer than 1,000 subs or 4,000 watch hours will no longer be able to earn money on YouTube. When they reach 1,000 subs and 4,000 watch hours they will be automatically re-evaluated under strict criteria to ensure they comply with our policies. New channels will need to apply, and their application will be evaluated when they hit these milestones.


Is this going to stop anything? Definitely…it means the smaller channels won’t get paid. Some of us have worked for years on content, but unless you’re willing to buy subscribers on YouTube, you’ll probably come up short (unless you have absolutely awesome content…and even then it’ll take a while to reach these goals.

It might be time to brush up on YouTube SEO tips. I think we’re all going to need them.


Author: Wess

Blogger. Affiliate marketer. IT dude. Singer. Guitar player. Grouchy. Snarky. Easily amused. Join me as I attempt to share my knowledge with the world.

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