Scandal after scandal, and YouTube is forced to take extreme measures to protect its platform – by actively snuffing out smaller channels and keeping the bigger ones around. Those who have too much to lose to dish out controversial content will be the only ones allowed to make money off YouTube. Their new Partner Program is getting an overhaul, raising thresholds for views and subscriber count before ads could start getting displayed.
In posts to its Advertiser and Creator blogs, YouTube details how it’s changing the threshold for monetization through its YouTube Partner Program (YPP), from 10,000 lifetime views to 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time within the past 12 months. That means that small creators who already passed the previous 10,000 lifetime view milestone, but not the new goals, will be removed from the YouTube Partner Program starting February 20 and will be unable to monetize their videos.
This is the second time in less than a year that the platform has made such a change. In April of 2017, as a response to advertiser complaints, the company announced that only channels with at least 10,000 lifetime views could do so. Members grumbled, but for anyone serious about posting video to the platform and sharing it on social media, it was a relatively easy number to reach.
Now the Google-owned biggest video hosting and sharing website in the world has raised the bar with numbers that can only be described as drastic.
In the last year there have been cartoon images aimed at children that veer into violent and scary territory. There have been videos that drew hundreds of comments from pedophiles and disturbing scenes of child abuse. There have been videos promoting violence, racism, and hatred. Then concern over YouTube hit a fever pitch this year when superstar Logan Paul posted video of an apparent suicide victim in Japan’s Aokigahara Forest. Like San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, the “suicide forest” is a popular destination for those who seek to end their lives.
But Logan Paul’s case actually proved that even big channels (especially big channels chasing money through outrage, like Daddy O’ Five) can and will do inhumane things to get their precious view count.
The new requirements, especially the watch time rule, will be challenging for many of the platforms smaller channels to achieve. While YouTube is still an open door for all budding creators, the website’s prime goal is to make money off of advertisements. Meaning – there is no YouTube “community”, there’s just money now.