YouTube rolled out a new change in its partner program’s policies today. The change was announced January 16, 2018, and here is the full text released by YouTube explaining the change:
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
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.
Back in April of 2017, we set a YPP eligibility requirement of 10,000 lifetime views. While that threshold provided more information to determine whether a channel followed our community guidelines and policies, it’s been clear over the last few months that we need a higher standard.
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. We’ve arrived at these new thresholds after thorough analysis and conversations with creators like you. 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). These higher standards will also help us prevent potentially inappropriate videos from monetizing which can hurt revenue for everyone.
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.
Though these changes will affect a significant number of channels, 99% of those affected were making less than $100 per year in the last year, with 90% earning less than $2.50 in the last month. Any of the channels who no longer meet this threshold will be paid what they’ve already earned based on our AdSense policies. After thoughtful consideration, we believe these are necessary compromises to protect our community.
Of course, size alone is not enough to determine whether a channel is suitable for monetization, so we’ll continue to use signals like community strikes, spam, and other abuse flags to ensure we’re protecting our creator community from bad actors. As we continue to protect our platform from abuse, we want to remind all of you to follow YouTube’s Community Guidelines, Monetization Basics & Policies, Terms of Service, and Google AdSense program policies, as violating any of these may lead to removal from the YouTube Partner Program.
While this change will tackle the potential abuse of a large but disparate group of smaller channels, we also know that the bad action of a single, large channel can also have an impact on the community and how advertisers view YouTube. We’ll be working to schedule conversations with our creators in the months ahead so we can hear your thoughts and ideas and what more we can do to tackle that challenge.
One of YouTube’s core values is to provide anyone the opportunity to earn money from a thriving channel, and while our policies will evolve over time, our commitment to that value remains. Those of you who want more details around this change, or haven’t yet reached this new 4,000 hour/1,000 subscriber threshold can continue to benefit from our Creator Academy, our Help Center, and all the resources on the Creator Site to grow your channels.
Even though 2017 was a challenging year, thanks to creators like you, it was full of the moments that make YouTube such a special place. Creators large and small, established and emerging, transformed their talent and originality into videos that captivated over a billion people around the world. They made us laugh, taught us about our world and warmed our hearts. We’re confident the steps we’re taking today will help protect and grow our inspiring community well into the future.
Neal Mohan, Chief Product Officer and Robert Kyncl, Chief Business Officer
Hi Brian Penny,
As you probably heard, we recently announced updates to the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). We made these changes to address a spike in abuse on YouTube by bad actors like spammers, impersonators, and re-uploaders. Our goal is to ensure a healthy ecosystem where original creators can grow and thrive.
As of today, your channel, Brian Penny will no longer have access to monetization tools associated with YPP because it doesn’t meet the new threshold of 4,000 hours of watch time within the past 12 months and 1,000 subscribers. If you meet the new threshold at some point in the future, you’ll be automatically re-evaluated for YPP. The reviews typically take 1-2 weeks.
We understand that you may have lots of questions right now, so we’ve put together some FAQs that can help.
So basically YouTube is making it harder for someone to create 100 fake accounts and monetize videos for short periods of time. It all runs into AdSense, so I’m not sure what it has to do with anything. AdSense already filters through that noise.
But now I’m creating a few more YouTube videos to try and get my subscriber count up to 1000.
Monetization of web properties is a subject I discuss throughout my blog and YouTube channel.
I make the bulk of my income from writing web content and know the writing game inside and out. I’m also familiar with freelancing in general and content creation.
So monetization is a big motivating factor in determining whether or not to spend time, money, and resources on a project. YouTube has better returns for the traffic than my blog. That is to say video advertising pays better than print or text.
YouTube and a podcast are among my next career steps. I hate video and audio editing. It’s not that I’m incapable (there’s actually a few hours of edits on these videos, believe it or not). I just don’t have the time to spend on that while also researching, writing, and editing.
Audio and video have to be in and out for me until I can afford to hire a videographer. The only thing driving me was knowing I pushed $10 a month on that channel without even trying. I know if I can manage to post content on YouTube and my blog every day (or at least 5 days a week), I’ll have a sustainable business on my hands.
So I’m still creating YouTube content until I reach 4000 watch hours and 1000 subscribers. Then I’m going to keep going and going, trusting it’ll pay off in the long run.