Thursday, January 18, 2018

YouTube Requirements Change Again!

Last year (Apr. 2017) YouTube "upped the ante" for those wanting to monetize their channels - the requirement changed from a "free-for-all" type approvals system to one that required publishers to have 10,000 lifetime views on the channel before ads would be shown in their videos.

That created a "hue and cry" for many new publishers trying to get approved, but in January 2018, YouTube upped the ante even further. The requirements now include having to have a minimum of 1,000 subscribers, and 4,000 watched hours within the last 12 month period, not just views, and not lifetime hours, but hours within the last 12 months.

Hundreds of thousands of views may not add up to the required watch hours, particularly if the views are a second or two long (or are bot views).
On January 16, 2018, we announced new eligibility requirements for the YouTube Partner Program. Once a channel reaches 4,000 watch hours in the previous 12 months and 1,000 subscribers it will be reviewed to join the program.

While this makes it more difficult for publishers to get activated with a YouTube Partnership, it isn't the only thing that will decide whether you get approved or not. If you take time to read the overall policy change on the YouTube Creator Blog  you'll discover that content quality is also going to be taken into account, as well as things like community guidelines and copyright issues.

Although the triggering factor will be the watch hours and subscriber numbers, it's also going to become much more important that the content is quality-based, and not the multitude of spam-type videos seen on YouTube of late. Channels with spammy videos, or videos created for the sole purpose of monetizing are probably not going to be monetized ... the videos must have a purpose other than making money from ads (so, don't waste your time videoing yourself signing up for some site, like AdSense) - and can't contain fake/false information, copyright infringements, or illegal information. Anything that can be considered as spam or unwanted content is likely to be rejected, or not receive ads. Channel owners also can't impersonate someone else ... if you own the channel, you represent yourself, and not some celebrity or another person, so don't try to make it seem like an official channel for that "other" person.

How you acquire those subscribers and watched hours is also going to be important. Anybody can get the required number of subscribers and hours if you simply buy into some sort of scheme to acquire them, but that's not the type of traffic YouTube is looking for, nor is it the type of traffic AdWords advertisers are looking to monetize. Organic traffic will count for much more quality than cheesy traffic-selling sites can give you ... regardless of what most of those sites say, that traffic isn't going to be considered as valid. Be careful how you promote yourself, and how you acquire traffic.

Also note that this sort of thing is probably not the type of traffic and subscribers they are referring to either, so trying to up your subscribers by spamming the YouTube Creator blog ... not such a good idea.

Also note that for those whose channels will no longer meet the requirements (the last date to qualify with an existing channel would be Feb. 20th, 2018), YouTube will pay those channel owners for whatever is due to them once earnings are finalized. To quote the creator's blog:
Any of the channels who no longer meet this threshold will be paid what they’ve already earned based on our AdSense policies.
Whether they stick with the normal time-frame for processing those earnings, or whether they transfer them over to AdSense at the time the channel monetization is removed, I don't know. That's a question you'll need to ask at the YouTube forum - AdSense doesn't initiate the transfers, YouTube does that.

Beyond the information I can garner by reading the YouTube guidelines and policies, I can't answer a lot of direct questions related to YouTube, but the YouTube help forums (<--- use that link as  YouTube Support has answered many questions in the first 2 posts) and the TCs in those forums will be able offer more details than me ... and a good resource for all things YouTube is PeggyK's blog "PeggyK's Tips and Tricks".

posted by J.Gracey Stinson

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