YouTube 2018 Monetization Rules And How They Destroy Creators

In a nutshell, if you’re a small fish then you’re died, fried, and laid to the side.  If your account pays less than $10/month, then this February it’ll start to pay $0/month.  A channel is worthless unless you can gain 1,000 subscribers and maintain 4,000 hours of watch-time per year.  This is all in an effort to weed out “bad actors” as stated by YouTube.

Letter received by YouTube:

spi360,
Today we are announcing changes to the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). While our goal remains to keep the YPP open to as many channels as possible, we recognize we need more safeguards in place to protect creator revenue across the YouTube ecosystem.
Under the new eligibility requirements announced today, your YouTube channel, spi360, is no longer eligible for monetization because it doesn’t meet the new threshold of 4,000 hours of watchtime within the past 12 months and 1,000 subscribers. As a result, your channel will lose access to all monetization tools and features associated with the YouTube Partner Program on February 20, 2018 unless you surpass this threshold in the next 30 days. Accordingly, this email serves as 30 days notice that your YouTube Partner Program terms are terminated.
One of YouTube’s core values is to provide anyone the opportunity to earn money from a thriving channel. Creators who haven’t yet reached this new threshold can continue to benefit from our Creator Academy, our Help Center, and all the resources on the Creator Site to grow their channels. Once your channel reaches the new threshold, it will be reviewed to make sure it adheres to our policies and guidelines, and if so, monetization will be re-enabled.

As you may already know, YouTube came under pressure by advertisers who had received complaints that their ads were on videos with questionable, violent, copyright violation, and/or extremist material.  These “bad actors” were already violating YouTube terms and conditions.  So YouTube decided on a “fix” that is intended to deny these few bad actors a monetized platform, however they throw out all of the little fish in one fell swoop.

The following are clips from YouTube’s email to creators, with my snarky response added.
In an effort to rid the arena of “bad actors”, YouTube raised the subscriber requirements.
-Gee, that makes crap sense.   As if hiring troll armies to subscribe is not a workaround?  Also, spam comments asking to subscribe to a YouTube channel popped up on my blog the day after this decision was made public.   It is a “fix” that can be worked around and guess who is going to do this?  That’s right, the “bad actor” and not the humble creator.

This “fix” is also only going to favor channels that appeal to the younger YouTube base and/or the type that actually subscribes to channels.  Many users don’t subscribe, they just search for a video that has the subject they’d like to see.  Videos and ads can be seen by anyone watching, whether they have a YouTube account or not, and often-times viewers find videos based on a search query, watching the “recommended for you” feature, or by finding it embedded in a blog and shared on social media.

YouTube might as well hide the video completely from a viewer that does not have an account, like a random viewer that finds it from a google search or via social media, or even emailed to them by a friend.  Even if that viewer really enjoys the video, it is not going to result in a subscription or even a “like” because that viewer doesn’t have a YouTube account.

Maybe channels should be able to force a subscription before being allowed to watch a certain number of videos from the same channel.  If forcing the creator out because of lack of subscribers is the avenue YouTube is taking, then forcing people with YouTube accounts to use the subscription feature seems only fair.  Will YouTube at least send out information to it’s members telling them they are collectively empowered with making the decision of whether a creator can run ads?  Channel subscriptions are not a good way to judge content, it’s only a good way to judge the viewer.

YouTube also says they are hiring more people to manually keep an eye on things.
-Okay, that’s great and makes sense.

Last, a channel has to maintain at least 4,000 viewing hours per year.
-This is doable for us small fish, and many actually surpass this threshold.   We might only have one or a few videos that get a lot of attention, but it can maintain that threshold of 4,000+ viewing hours.  Sure, it only pays a few dollars a month, but last time I checked a penny earned is a penny earned!  For many folks, it simply helps out.  Not all of us want to be a YouTube star.  Some of us are happy enough to be found by search engines and scrape some change together by giving the viewer what they were looking for.

So, thanks a lot YouTube.  You crushed someone’s saving account or one of the few streams of income that people can utilize.  I understand you need to combat bad actors, but I think you’re really just telling a lot of folks their videos are crap and worthless.   Fair enough, we don’t create what rakes in millions of views.   We should just make a fart video in the kitchen instead and act like an ugly American.  That’ll get a million or so subscriptions.  Hello 2018.

2 thoughts on “YouTube 2018 Monetization Rules And How They Destroy Creators”

  1. I left a comment before but it was lost in space. I am sad to see these rules changing. The little guy gets kicked out! I truly enjoyed the videos. They have opened my eyes to things I could not experience. A simple video on u-tube that I could relate to will not be there to see anymore. I guess this will effect all the educational videos that are shown too. Life experiences are educational for others.

    1. No, it went through..sorry I have the blog set to hold comments for review, because of spam. You’ve been cleared and can comment now without hold. 🙂 I’ll keep you updated on how it plays out. Hopefully YouTube will reconsider the subscription rule.

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