Over the last several days, YouTube, and social media in general has gone into meltdown regarding YouTube’s announcement that they are updating the eligibility requirements to enter the YouTube Partner Program. For those not in the know, the YouTube Partner Program is what a channel needs to become a member of to be able to monetise their videos via Google Adsense.
Sine April 2017, the requirement to be considered for the Partner Program (which we’ll call “YPP” going forward) was 10,000 lifetime views. This was certainly a very achievable goal, with many channels starting up and achieving it relatively quickly. After a quick review process, those channels could start to earn a modest amount of money each month. The problem with that scenario was that channels could effectively come in, gain monetisation and gain viral video status with inappropriate content, make a bunch of $$$ and either leave, get banned, or go back to hiding under a rock until their next try. There were plenty of other goings on in the meantime,
In September 2017, YouTube started publicly disclosing the monetisation status to video creators, and the term “not suitable for advertisers” became a common term that sat next to videos that were deemed to not be eligible for monetisation. This new level of transparency was an extension of what YouTube had been doing behind the scenes since April and the first “Adpocalpyse” – where advertisers were pulling back and pulling out of YouTube due to their ads allegedly being shown on inappropriate videos. The September changes were the first real vocal outcry from creators once they realised they could not monetise some or all of their videos. This was coined as Adpocalypse 2.0″
In addition, YouTube started talking about the AI put in place to police and review videos, looking for any indicators the video would not be suitable for most advertisers. This AI, which YouTube clearly said was “learning”, flagged thousands of videos as “not suitable for all advertisers”, and in some cases, not suitable for any advertisers. Because of the “greenness” of the AI, creators could request a manual human review, and in many cases, videos were corrected to being suitable and thus gained their monetisation once more. Creators were quite vocal over many aspects of this process, including the loss of monetisation over initial views whilst waiting for a human review, and the AI just getting it plain wrong.
In November 2017, YouTube subtly put a hold on the approval process for the reviewing of channels for the YPP, those that had reached the 10,000 view threshold set in April. Nothing was said publicly except that they were “backlogged”.
In early December 2017, Susan Wojcicki, the CEO of YouTube released a Blog Post outlining what YouTube was doing about “bad actors” on the platform and what she called “platform abuse” by some creators. The sort of things targeted were excessive violence, inappropriate use of children’s content (to lure or groom children and also using children’s characters for adult content), and terrorism, just to name a few. In this Blog Post, Susan alluded that some changes were in the works to tighten-up processes in regards to platform abuse and the famously coined “bad actors”.
This brings us to current events. On Tuesday, YouTube’s Neal Mohan, Chief Product Officer and Robert Kyncl, Chief Business Officer made public a blog post that shook social media. The blog post titled “Additional Changes to the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) to Better Protect Creators” outlined YouTube’s new eligibility requirements to enter the YPP. These would apply to all new channels effective immediately, and will retroactively apply to existing channels from February 20th 2018. To qualify they have to have:
- 4000 hours of watch time in the last 12 months;
- and 1000 subscribers.
They explained that, for most creators that do not currently meet that criteria, it was only a loss of less than $2.50 a month for the majority of those creators.
I go through the main points of the Blog Post in this video:
On Wednesday, YouTube updated their FAQ page regarding the YPP. It answers the main questions creators were asking in regards to the YPP changes. I released a video going through the main points:
The link to the FAQ is HERE.
This blog post was written to only outline the facts and information regarding the situation. I didn’t not want to editorialise it – but those thoughts are outlined in my two above-mentioned videos.