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YouTube Just Made Some Big Updates To Its Creator Program Policy

Tech

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In an effort to boost brand safety, YouTube is raising the bar when it comes to which creators are able to earn revenue on their content.

YouTube recently made a major announcement that stipulated it will no longer run ads unless channels have accumulated a total of 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of viewing time over the last 12 months. Previously, the requirement was 10,000 total lifetime views.

Per YouTube, the new standards will impact existing channels in the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) beginning Feb. 20. Channels that are removed from the YPP at this time will be paid out for what they’ve already earned according to the company’s AdSense policies and will have the opportunity to re-apply to the program once they hit the new threshold.

New channels will need to go through an application process and be subject to evaluation.

After facing a plethora of challenges in 2017, YouTube explains that the new policy stems from a pressing and necessary need for the “right requirements and better signals to identify the channels that have earned the right to run ads.” The new threshold takes into account engagement (not just total views) and signals like community strokes, spam, and other abuse flags.

By eliminating the number of creators that are monetized, YouTube’s moderation process becomes significantly more manageable, allowing them to focus on “rewarding the creators who make engaging content” and eliminating the “bad actors and spammers” looking to cheat the system.

At the same time, advertisers are also protected from having their brands appear alongside controversial videos. Although, as is evidenced by the recent controversy circling Logan Paul, one of the most viewed creators on the platform, brand safety can be an elusive aim.

For marketers, this move reflects YouTube’s commitment to addressing growing brand safety concerns without sacrificing reach. In its announcement, YouTube alluded to the efficacy of the move, claiming, “the creators who will remain part of YPP represent more than 95 percent of YouTube’s reach for advertisers.”

The move will most directly impact niche creators who have relatively smaller followings on the platform. These creators, unless they reach the new thresholds, will not be able to earn revenue on the content they produce and share on YouTube. As a result, these smaller creators might seek out other platforms for building their audiences and earning money.

Outside of the YPP, in a separate blog post YouTube says two additional monetization-focused criteria adjustments will be implemented. First, channels marked as Google Preferred will be manually reviewed moving forward, beginning in mid-February in the U.S. and March worldwide.

Second, YouTube is developing a three-tier suitability system that will be introduced in the coming months. The new approach “allows advertisers to reflect their view of appropriate placements for their brand while understanding potential reach trade-offs.”

For those looking for ways to boost their channels in the weeks leading up to Feb. 20, YouTube points to its Creator Academy and Help Center pages in addition to its Creator Site. Further, the company is encouraging all creators, no matter their channel size, to refresh themselves on the Community Guidelines, Monetization Basics and Policies, Terms of Service, and the Google AdSense program policies.

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