If you're active on Youtube, you probably heard that suddenly, out of the blue, they've just made some pretty big changes.
This is going to have a profound effect on a lot of Youtube creators and their ability to make money from their videos.
Basically, they've decided that if you have less than a thousand subscribers, and below a certain threshold of combined watch time, you will no longer be permitted to monetize your channel.
If you've already got a decent subscriber base, you're probably fine.
But a lot of people may end up taking a hit — especially those who are new to Youtube and haven't had time yet to build up a following.
This could be kind of disheartening.
Just when you thought you could start seeing some revenue from your hard work and creativity, Youtube revoked your ability to do so.
These changes, along with other recent developments regarding Youtube's content policies, have made it increasingly harder for anyone new to gain a foothold on the platform.
In a recent blog post, Hubspot explains the details of what exactly is changing, and how marketers and entrepreneurs can adapt.
Changes to the YouTube Partner Program
Beginning February 20 of this year — 30 days from now — Creators must have accrued 4,000 hours of watch time over the past year, in addition to 1,000 channel subscribers, the official statement explained.
Compare that to previous eligibility requirements of only 10,000 lifetime views, as of last April.
Creators who do not currently meet those requirements have the next 30 days to reach those numbers. Otherwise, YouTube says, they will no longer be eligible for monetization, effective February 20.
However, even if Creators do meet that deadline, there doesn't appear to be any guarantee that they will be eligible for YPP — rather, YouTube says, the only promise is that they'll be “re-evaluated under strict criteria” to determine acceptance into the program.
What Marketers Can Do Now
YouTube, for its part, is downplaying the impact that these changes will have on Creators, at least when it comes to the loss of revenue.
According to the statement, 99% of Creators who do not meet the new requirements have, on average, earned less than $100 annually (over the past year).
And what income they have accrued prior to the February 20th deadline, YouTube says, they will still receive — based on Google's AdSensepolicies.
YouTube has not made it clear, however, if Creators who reach these numbers after February 20th will still be eligible to apply for its partner program, though we will be keeping an eye on more specific information in its guidelines over the next few weeks.
So while accruing thousands of hours of views and subscribers within a 30-day period is no easy task, the same rule applies here as it would tobuild an audience on any social media channel: Create high-quality, personalized content that's relevant to the audience you're trying to reach.
You can get the full story about Youtube's recent changes, and what that might mean for your own revenue, over at Hubspot.