Wednesday, April 27, 2016

YouTube Payments with AdSense

For many new YouTube partners monetizing their channels with AdSense, the payment system can be a little confusing. Even if you've been earning with a website or blog, you may be confused by how the payments work from YouTube because to many's surprise, the way you track estimated earnings is markedly different than when using a website or blog. And the timing for finalized (or verified as payable) earnings is different too, making the process a little more difficult to understand.

Included in the confusion is the fact that YouTube will allow you to monetize your videos, even before you have an approved Adsense account (and before you apply!).  At least they used to and I'm not sure if it's still the same. For some unlucky publishers, this fact only becomes clear when they appear in the AdSense help forum wondering how to get their money from YouTube.

What isn't clear is that you need to link to an approved AdSense account in order to collect payments, but even worse ... AdSense will NOT pay you for any of the monetization that occurred before you linked your channel to an approved AdSense account. Once you do link your channel, AdSense only picks up the earnings from that point forward, and those would be the earnings that eventually get transferred to AdSense.

NOTE: At one time, the help center on YouTube used to offer this bonus information, but it no longer does, so I'll be honest and say that as of now, I don't know if they still do offer the bonus or not.
"After associating an AdSense account with your YouTube account, YouTube may deposit a bonus in your AdSense account to thank you for your video monetization contribution before you associated an AdSense account."
Overall, the process usually works smoothly after the first month or two, but it is definitely something that confuses a lot of people.

NOTE: If you are with an MCN, you get paid through them, and NOT through Adsense.

Timeline from YouTube to AdSense

To show an example of how it works, we'll pick a month - April. Let's assume you enable monetization for your videos, and apply for Adsense at the same time. Approvals for YouTube applications often occur very quickly, so in a day or two you may receive a notice that your Adsense account was approved.

Your estimated earnings will start at that point, but you will not see these in your AdSense account. A few years ago (2013?) AdSense stopped showing estimated earnings from YouTube.

To find your estimated earnings from any channel you have monetized, you need to look at the YouTube Analytics page for your channel. Note that if you just began monetizing/linking to Adsense, it may take a week or so for estimated earnings to begin showing on the Analytics page, but they are being recorded there, even if they aren't showing right away.

The other thing causing confusion is that some statistics will show on the Performance Reports page in your AdSense account, but things like impressions or RPM without earnings trouble most newbies.

To find further clarification on the Payments reports in YouTube, there are several help center articles on YouTube that can help you. It's wise to read these if you haven't had the chance to do so:

Also note that several things in your AdSense account will depend on the finalized earnings transferred from YouTube to AdSense. Things like the PIN (issued when verified earnings on your AdSense payments page reach the threshold) and being able to choose/update your payment method will not be active until after your first earnings have been finalized and transferred to your AdSense account (shown as "Payable Earnings" on the AdSense Payment page), and that finalization and transfer process usually occurs between the 10th and 15th of the following month.

So, using our example of someone monetizing their earnings beginning in April, that publisher won't see Payable Earnings in AdSense until around the 15th of May. Once the earnings are posted, that publisher would be able to set up their payment method and should soon see the notice for their PIN.

The monthly payment cycle usually sees payments that have reached the payment threshold issued between the 21st of the month and the 16th of the month. If a publisher hasn't yet received their PIN, it's unlikely they'd get it in time for that month's payment cycle. Once you receive and enter your PIN, your payment would be issued in the next payment cycle.

For more information on the AdSense payment cycle and requirements to receive payments you can find several pages in the both the AdSense help center, and the YouTube Help Center. See these pages:

I also suggest you read Peggy's YouTube Blog for more in-depth help on YouTube issues.

posted by J. Gracey Stinson

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