YouTube's New Monetization Policy Hurts Small Creators

Updated on April 1, 2019
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Natalie is a writer who works at her local library. She enjoys writing reviews, watching anime and TV shows, and playing video games.

YouTube Just terminated my Partner Program Because I’m Too Small!!

I got this lovely email from YouTube telling me that on February 20th, 2018 I won’t be able to earn ad revenue through YouTube’s Partner Program anymore!

Under the new eligibility requirements announced today, your YouTube channel, GuardianSoulBlade, 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.

It is a little sad because I got some extra spending money, but now I won’t be able to earn anything from ad revenue, not that I made a lot of money as it is since the ad revenue dropped since 2014.

Still, I did like earning a little bit from YouTube, but now it seems they don’t want to earn ad revenue unless you’re “bigger”, now 1,000 subs might not seem like a big deal, but YouTubers all over the site are fighting for your attention, and it was always a little encouraging seeing ad revenue go into my earnings.

I have contacted my MCN, multi-channel network, FullscreenMedia about it and asked them if they will pay me my ad revenue after they release me on February 20th. I hope they will.

The 1,000 Subs Requirement isn’t Too bad, but the 4,000 Hours Watch Time in a Year is Ridiculous!

views on YouTube, trying to get 4,000 hours of watch time has been a struggle for me because I don’t have the best quality recording equipment, but I know that getting to 1,000 subs will happen eventually, but the watch time requirement is a pain!

I understand people can get to 1,000 subscribers and that the requirement doesn’t seem like a big deal, but the 4,000 hours in a year is 240,000 minutes of watch time!

My own watch time last year was 13,125 minutes, nowhere near the 240,000 minutes in a year that YouTube’s new requirements for being partnered.

The watch time requirement doesn’t really hurt gaming channels as people who watch let’s plays will watch the entire video, but channels that do shorter content will suffer because of the ridiculous watch time requirements!

Small creators like me received this email telling us that we aren't big enough to make them money, it's a good thing I write articles that do make money!
Small creators like me received this email telling us that we aren't big enough to make them money, it's a good thing I write articles that do make money! | Source

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This won’t affect me creatively, but another form of extra revenue has been taken from me!

I’m not affected by it too much; I will still continue to create YouTube content because I’m having so much fun playing games right now. I did enjoy making extra money.

While it’s disappointing to lose a revenue stream, I still have other ways to make money, like writing this article.


It can be Discouraging, But Don’t Worry Too Much About It:

It can be discouraging as a new channel or a longtime user of YouTube, it’s very disheartening, but if you really love doing it, you’ll find other ways to monetize your channel.

For example, I write for a living so I’ll link articles that are related to my videos in my description. I’ve already been making 10 times the money on Hubpages compared to the literal pennies I’ve been making on YouTube, so if you’re a new creator and you want a way to make money using your Adsense Account that you created for YouTube, consider signing up here on Hubpages, since YouTube will put the money into your Adsense Account, you might as well use it to earn ad revenue here. Sure it’s not ad revenue from videos, but you’ll still reach that $100 Adsense payout eventually!

Don’t Give Up Just Because YouTube Made it Harder!

There are all sorts of ways to monetize your videos without ad revenue, I’m monetizing my videos using Hubpages and the Ad Revenue I make off the site to help earn some extra money, and while I’ll miss the money I earned from YouTube, at least I still have multiple sources of income to earn some extra spending money.

People are Going to Use Adblockers out of Spite Now:

Now people use Adblock and other ad blocking programs, but now that YouTube has kicked out all sorts of smaller content creators, people will just use Adblock to just spite the “big shot” channels because YouTube has made it harder for channels to become partnered with these requirements.

I have always left Adblock disabled on YouTube because I wanted to support YouTubers I like, and I still will but I will feel bad not being able to support smaller channels who have Patreon because I can’t afford to pay them a dollar or whatever minimum the creator sets for Patreon.

Unless you’re like me and you can write longer articles and monetize them with ad revenue you’ll have to find another way to monetize your videos, like Amazon’s Affiliate Program or some other affiliate marketing program.

People will just use Adblock to spite big channels who say this isn’t a big deal, it means they get more money and new channel creators feel less motivated.

These Requirements will lead not just to more Sub-botting, but watch time-botting as well!

Small YouTubers who are panicking will resort to shady websites that say you can pay for views, likes, and subscribers. These sites will only push smaller YouTubers to pay for things because of the new monetization rules.

People pay for YouTube subs, views, likes and now they’ll start service that will pay for “watch time”. People cheat to look like they’re famous on YouTube and now the new rules for the Partner Program make these deceitful services look even more appealing! Way to go, YouTube!

It’s not just About the Ad Revenue; small creators feel that YouTube Doesn’t Care about Small Channels:

The way the YouTube worded their blog release was to appeal to advertisers, but utterly deflated new channels that are just starting out. Sure it wasn’t a lot of money, but many of us used the extra cash to buy new equipment to improve our channels.

It’s very hard not to be discouraged as a creator, but you can always find new ways to make money, and not just through ads on YouTube!

I’d be sadder about this if I couldn’t earn ad revenue from Hubpages using my Adsense account. I’m so glad I decided to put a priority on my writing alongside YouTube videos!

YouTube’s Confusing Tweets don’t help:

YouTube Tweeted that channels currently monetized in the Partner Program are not affected, they’re lying, I’ve gotten the “Your Channel will be Demonized on February 28th” and yet on Twitter, they said I won’t be affected, and then they backtrack and said that it’s until February 28th, stop making me so confused and speak clearly!

YouTube has Demotivated Small Creators and Screwed Them Over, Now we all Have to Work More and Hope We Get Noticed:

While we small creators didn’t earn a lot of money, we still used that money to help grow our channel, whether it was buying newer, better equipment or buying products to review for our channel or unboxing videos, what little income we made helped us do that.

Now I’ll be okay, because I know how to make ad revenue off my writing, but not everyone is good at writing to sign up for writing sites, and not every affiliate program will accept you, but using YouTube as a way to supplement your income just became harder for smaller channels like myself, and I’ve done everything I know to grow my channel over almost eight years.

I won’t give up and quit making videos just because I won’t get ad revenue, but I’m sure my audience will become annoyed with me promoting my writing whenever I can in my videos like I did in my YouTube video about this subject,

It can be very disheartening, and not just about ad revenue, small creators like myself don’t feel like YouTube really wants us here, no matter how hard we work on our videos, no matter how good our video quality is, it’s nearly impossible to get noticed unless your video really stands out to viewers, and a lot of good creators will get buried by big YouTubers because that is all YouTube will promote now because only larger channels will receive monetization and even if I do manage to become monetized again I’ll have to constantly deal with the ad friendly robots.

Don’t quit creating content, just have fun and you’ll eventually get partnered with YouTube again, it might take me a long time.

© 2018 ReViewMeMedia


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    • profile image

      Ceri Cat 

      10 months ago

      It also prevents you from having cards to your patreon page or any other external page so small creators have no revenue options after getting kicked off the YPP.

    • ReViewMeMedia profile imageAUTHOR


      12 months ago

      YouTube used to partner channels even if they had a low subscriber count, now you have to have 1,500 subs to even get eligible to partner with them.

    • wpcooper profile image


      12 months ago from Barstow

      Some interesting concerns about Youtube. I have a question I asked you above. Always wondered what people were talking about when they mentioned monetization and subscription requirements.

    • ReViewMeMedia profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago

      Your channel itself will be fine, you just won't be able to earn money after February 20th if you were partnered.

    • profile image

      Nine's Catudio 

      2 years ago

      Very well said. We are bidding farewell to the unique home videos... Sigh... We also made a video, one of the first of small channels to react. "YouTube is killing cats but cats have nine lives". We kind of challenged ourselves to see what can an honest YouTube's do in 30 days. But, I think our channel will go off on February 20... Another "sigh"...


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