YouTube Is Making It Harder To Make Money On Their Platform


Hey there guys! Jeremy here and today we will be talking about how YouTube wants to make it harder for people to make money!

Just kidding...they really aren’t doing that at all…

Just yesterday, YouTube announced that channels under 10,000 lifetime views will no longer be eligible for partnership and monetization. This is in contrast to their previous practice of letting anyone and everyone activate monetization with minimal requirements and as long as the channel was currently in good standing when it comes to Copyright Strikes and Community Guidelines.

I have seen opinions on this matter ranging from the enraged to the apathetic, and I want to try to bring a somewhat sober analysis to the mix.

First of all, let’s take a look at some of what was actually said by YouTube in their announcement.

Today, more creators are making a living on YouTube than ever before. However, with this growth we’ve started seeing cases of abuse where great, original content is re-uploaded by others who try to earn revenue from it.

I’ll get more into my thoughts on this quote in a bit, but I do just want to say that this is nothing new. Original content has been getting ripped off for years. They haven’t “started” seeing cases. They have been a constant and obvious flaw in the system for a while now.

Starting today, we will no longer serve ads on YPP videos until the channel reaches 10k lifetime views. This new threshold gives us enough information to determine the validity of a channel.
In a few weeks, we’ll also be adding a review process for new creators who apply to be in the YouTube Partner Program. After a creator hits 10k lifetime views on their channel, we’ll review their activity against our policies.

Now, when it comes to the responses I have seen, many people are understanding of the change. They see it as a necessary barrier that prevents those looking to make a quick buck from abusing a system that should be primarily benefiting serious Creators.

On the other hand, there are some that think YouTube is knocking down the smaller creators, that they are killing the livelihood of millions of YouTubers, and there are of course those who always say, “This is the END of YouTube!”

Whew…ok…let’s sift through some of the nonsense and get back to reality here.

YouTube has set a minimum of 10,000 lifetimes views for a channel to apply for monetization. To all these people complaining that this is killing livelihoods and is knocking down the small time creators, that many views will equate to roughly TEN DOLLARS! Probably not even that much. Regardless though, that’s not even enough to hit Google’s minimum AdSense payout, which is $100. How can we be talking about destroying livelihoods and killing small channels, when we are talking about $10 and on top of that, we’re talk about Creators who have not even started getting paid by Google? Nothing’s actually getting cut off that they were previously receiving!

Another major question surrounding this new change has been from Creators who are still under 10k lifetime views, but already have monetization enabled and have been earning small amounts. Will anything happen to that revenue? Will their previously enable monetization be shut off or does this only apply to channels made after the change?

Well, I can answer one of those questions with absolute certainty, because YouTube covered it clearly in their post when they said:

And, of course, any revenue earned on channels with under 10k views up until today will not be impacted.

As for whether or not channels under 10k lifetime views will have their monetization shut off, I can’t say definitively, but according to YouTube’s language in the quote I shared earlier, that does seem to be the case.

Starting today, we will no longer serve ads on YPP videos until the channel reaches 10k lifetime views.

That seems to say that this will affect channels already registered in the YouTube Partnership Program, based on their use of “YPP” in the quote.

Anyway, I don’t think people should be freaked out about this. Even if it does shut off monetization for existing channels under 10k views, there isn’t much to lose for these channels other than literally a few bucks. As a social media consultant myself, I actually advise my clients to forgo turning on their monetization until they hit a certain number of subscribers and/or monthly views. And that number far exceeds 10k lifetime views.

I advise them this way because it removes a barrier to people finding out about their new channel. They have to come at their small channel with the attitude that they are a nobody and they want to snatch up every opportunity to remove barriers to people watching their content. Even removing those five seconds that people have to wait to skip an ad can have a noticeable impact on their growth rate when executed alongside other best practices. And seeing that growth is far more valuable than the few dollars they might see come in from their views.

Personally, I believe YouTube should have set the bar higher. My gut says it should be 100k lifetime views, but I think 50k would be reasonable. That’s a good solid amount of views and it takes some work to get there. It would be enough time for a creator to prove that they are there to contribute to the community with quality and engaging content, rather than just trying to make a few bucks.

I remember when I first applied for Partnership on one of my old channels back around 2012. This was when you still had to apply and they would accept or deny you based on their “secret requirements.” The popular belief was that you would probably be accepted if you had at least 600-700 subscribers. I believe I was at 450 subscribers the first time I applied, and I was denied partnership. I applied once again when I hit just above 600 and was accepted.

I explain this short bit of history to make the point that the bar used to be much higher. I was pretty frustrated back when YouTube announced that they would be opening up Partnership to everyone. I had worked myself to death trying to build my channel into what it was and I was so excited when I got the message telling me I had been accepted into the program. For a long time, channels have been able to take advantage of perks that a lot of us had to work hard to acquire. So I don’t believe it is much to ask for a channel to make a small show of commitment to the community before being allowed to monetize.

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