Many content creators were informed that their YouTube channel will no longer be able to make money as of Feb. 20, 2018.
Creators need more subscribers, at least 1,000, that must watch more than 4,000 hours of content in order to be accepted into the YouTube Partner Program. The program allows advertisers to be on their videos so the content creator can get money for what they make.
Ray Reynolds, creator of Vacation: Impossible, has been a part of the YouTube Partner Program for over a year. He has 456 subscribers as of the end of February 2018 and had been paid about $50 monthly for his content but now that changes.
He referred to the recent controversy about Logan Paul. The new program change comes after the celebrity vlogger was scrutinized by advertisers and the general public for uploading a video that showed the corpse of a suicide victim in Japan.
Reynolds said, unlike Paul’s videos, his videos are not controversial, “I earned that monetization.”
He also wasn’t happy with how he was informed about the change.
“The email sent by YouTube was harshly worded. It was a little adversarial and I don’t think it needed to be,” said Reynolds.
Reynolds also administers a Facebook group for small content creators. He stated that many small content creators who were paid before just wanted to give up their channels.
“Youtube has established in the past that they don’t always follow their rules, they are more flexible then they say so I hope this is one of those times,” said Reynolds. Reynolds also believes that this new policy change will harm the future of YouTube by limiting the diversity of the content.
In regards to people like Logan Paul, some people stated that YouTube was not taking sufficient measures to keep disturbing content off of the site. Many advertisers left the platform because of Paul’s video. YouTube has seen advertisers leave in the past due to hate speech videos and adult-oriented cartoons that appeared to be promoted directly to children but did nothing to change the policy in those cases.
In a joint press release by Google, which owns YouTube, the company wrote the policy change will help “better protect” its most valued contributors by preventing “bad actors from harming the inspiring and original creators” on the platform.
YouTube viewer, Micheal Seo believed YouTube didn’t have a choice in this matter.
“The pool of advertisers is limited. It is not a bottomless pit. Demand from new channels with a deluded perception of entitlement is growing exponentially. The number of advertisers willing to pay is not growing as fast,” he said.
According to Marissa Rei Nordahl, the community and social media manager at Google, advertisements no longer appear on the content creators’ videos. However, she added if they meet the new requirements they will still be paid and be a part of the partner program so that ads will run on those videos.
Jay David, creator of Gaming Jay with 867 subscribers as of the end of February 2018, said, “when you’re a small channel it feels like sometimes YouTube doesn’t have our backs.”
However, he has a mixed reaction.
David said that the new change will “reestablish trust with advertisers” and may “keep spammers away” because “there is a higher standard for joining YouTube.”
David said that “people can debate whether they picked the right cut off” but it is important to set the standards for which content creators can make money.
When the content creator reaches 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time, they will be automatically re-evaluated under strict criteria to ensure that they comply with the new policies. New channels will need to apply, and their application will be evaluated when they hit the milestone according to Nordahl.
Google’s press release said, “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.”
Kat Burns, content creator and musician who has 658 subscribers as of the end of February 2018, said, “I’m a little bummed out because I had a channel for a long, long time. I wish YouTube looks into grandfathering certain channels that were in the program for over a certain period of time.”
On its website, YouTube is offering lessons through Creator Academy to learn about growing and keeping subscribers. It also offers a course on how to use “cards” and “end screens” to drive subscriptions. The company introduced new mobile features to help users find channels to subscribe to including a subscribe button in the search results and recommended channels.
“We’ll be working to schedule conversations with our creators in the months ahead so we can hear their thoughts and ideas and what more we can do to tackle that challenge,” according to the press release.