I got an email yesterday that told me that Google / YouTube decided to kick me out of the YouTube Partner program because I don’t have enough watch time.
Now, I’m not the only one who got that email and admittedly I don’t have a lot of traffic on my YouTube channel. It’s not even the channel for this blog, it’s the channel for Unganked, a video gaming channel nobody has ever heard of. It got kicked from the YouTube partner program because it had less than 4000 hours of watch time in the past 12 months and less than 1000 subscribers.
Google also published a blog post about it, which can be found here, which is the source of the quotes in this post.
The reason this news still is important to the world of creators is that this is a trend. If you don’t have a lot of traffic, if you don’t have a lot of followers already, you don’t have the right to make money off of your creations.
This is a signal that also Patreon sent recently, but then backpeddled due to the strong stand of their community.
Googles motivation with this might still be different and another measure in fighting that they monetize videos of fresh accounts that just show people beheaded by terrorists before they catch those.
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.
I don’t think that’s fair for small creators, but strategically, you wouldn’t really want to put ads on your channel before you reach a certain number of subscribers or traffic.
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.
Especially the part about hurting revenue for everyone I think this the most blatant lie. Mainly it hurts Google as a company if other big companies demand more fine grained control over where their ads are placed. They are more likely to find somebody who has a lot of followers and let them promote their product through influencer marketing instead of blowing mindless ad dollars at Google for them to do basically what they want in intransparent ways.
After thoughtful consideration, we believe these are necessary compromises to protect our community.
Read: We do this to cover our own ass and revenue.
Full email quoted below:
Today we are announcing changes to the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). While our goal remains to keep the YPP open to as many channels as possible, we recognize we need more safeguards in place to protect creator revenue across the YouTube ecosystem.
Under the new eligibility requirements announced today, your YouTube channel, Unganked, is no longer eligible for monetization because it doesn’t meet the new threshold of 4,000 hours of watchtime within the past 12 months and 1,000 subscribers. As a result, your channel will lose access to all monetization tools and features associated with the YouTube Partner Program on February 20, 2018 unless you surpass this threshold in the next 30 days. Accordingly, this email serves as 30 days notice that your YouTube Partner Program terms are terminated.
One of YouTube’s core values is to provide anyone the opportunity to earn money from a thriving channel. Creators who haven’t yet reached this new threshold can continue to benefit from our Creator Academy, our Help Center, and all the resources on the Creator Site to grow their channels. Once your channel reaches the new threshold, it will be reviewed to make sure it adheres to our policies and guidelines, and if so, monetization will be re-enabled.