YouTube Gets Ready To Kill Off Small & Budding Creators


YouTube is preparing to cut off monetisation opportunities for small and budding video creators. Those who don’t make their new requirements by 20 February 2018, will be removed from their YouTube Partner Program.

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What Is The YouTube Partner Program?

The YouTube Partner Program allows video creators to earn some money off their work, by adding YouTube ads to their uploaded videos. They also earn money when YouTube Red subscribers watch their videos.

Not everyone can join the YouTube Partner Program. You have to meet their minimum requirements before you are allowed to start monetising the videos you upload to YouTube.


What Changed?

Back in April of 2017, YouTube set the eligibility requirement of 10,000 lifetime views. That means the videos in your channel must accumulate at least 10,000 views before you can start monetising them.

On 16 January 2018, they hiked up that eligibility requirement significantly, requiring your channel to have :

  • a minimum of 1,000 subscribers, and
  • at least 4,000 hours / 240,000 minutes watched in the previous 12 months

Those who are already in the YouTube Partner Program were given just 30 days to comply with those requirements, or get kicked off the program.

You can read more about the YouTube Partner Program changes in the next page.


The Problem With This Change

Racking up 4,000 hours or 240,000 minutes watched in the previous 12 months is not difficult. Even small-timers can hit that target, if they make good videos. They don’t have make many videos. They just have to make good videos that resonate with people.

The biggest problem creators will have is racking up 1,000 subscribers. It is arguably easy for those who focus on light, fun material… and difficult for those who choose weightier material. In other words – kitten videos will get more subscribers than videos on social issues and even technology.

The minimum subscriber requirement will likely push new and budding video creators to shift to mass appeal content (fake news, cat videos and pranks), and lower quality but more frequent content.


Why Did YouTube Make These Changes?

In a blog post, they listed out some reasons:

  • 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.

Notwithstanding our opinions on the change, we find those reasons rather ludicrous :

  • We have no idea who YouTube was talking to, since we never received a survey to opine on the matter. They were probably only talking to their top creators.
  • We find their focus on identifying “creators who contribute positively to the community” ironic since they don’t seem to punish those who spread fake news, and some of their biggest stars (like Logan Paul) continue to get rich on YouTube by being assholes.
  • Subscription numbers and watch times are measures of POPULARITY, not QUALITY or VALUE to the community. That’s why Logan Paul has almost 16 million subscribers, while CNN only has just over 2.6 million subscribers.


YouTube : They’re Not Making Much Money Anyway

YouTube pointed out that “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“.

In our opinion, that is a perfectly legit reason. Why should YouTube spend resources serving ads to low traffic channels? Besides, it won’t matter much to them since they earn so little.

That is why we personally have no issues with YouTube’s new requirement of 4,000 watch hours. That’s similar to their previous requirement of 10,000 views, just set to a much higher level.


The Subscriber Requirement Is Unfair & Pointless

The only change we feel is grossly unfair to small and budding creators is the requirement to have 1,000 subscribers. This requirement penalises those who don’t have a prolific output, because people are less likely to subscribe to a channel with low frequency of updates.

Yet it doesn’t mean that these small or budding creators can’t create videos that appeal to many people, and get hundreds of thousands of views. Take, for example, this video on a LEGO Nexo Knights exhibition by The Rojak Pot.

There is no doubt that this video contributes “positively to the community“. It’s certainly not Blade Runner, but we do believe it’s a far more “positive” contribution to the community, than the crap Paul Logan serves to his 15+ million subscribers.

That video alone racked up over 3,100 watch hours and almost 150,000 views. If we posted just two of such videos, we would more than meet the minimum requirement for watch hours.

Yet The Rojak Pot’s YouTube channel has just 307 subscribers. That is nowhere close to meeting the new requirement for monetisation. In other words – all of their videos will cease to generate income, even if they rack up hundreds of thousands of views.


Our Personal Opinion

Personally, we think that a minimum requirement for VIEWS or WATCH HOURS is a good idea. YouTube should not have to spend resources on low-traffic channels.

The minimum requirement for SUBSCRIBERS, on the other hand, is not only unfair, it does not help them identify “creators who contribute positively to the community“.

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It only incentivises the community to focus on fluff and nonsensical but entertaining videos. Remember how Logan Paul has SIX TIMES as many subscribers as CNN?

If YouTube drops the subscriber requirement, they will free small and budding creators to focus on creating better videos. It will also allow them to focus on the community niches that interest them, rather than trying to appeal to as many people as possible.

YouTube should want a diverse range of creators focused on different niches, rather than a more homogenous group of creators making basically the same type of content – all designed for mass appeal.

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Next Page > The YouTube Partner Program Changes & Blog Post


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