Wednesday, 17 January 2018

YouTube Partner Program Changes? What Do I Think?

I'm sure we're all well aware by now (unless you're somehow living under a rock), but yesterday YouTube made the announcement that there will soon be changes to their requirements for channels to benefit from their monetisation within the YouTube Partner Program. This simply means the requirements to make money from YouTube have risen - the standards have been seriously (and I mean seriously) amped up.

Whilst I still have a relatively small channel, I am fortunate in the sense that these changes will not affect me when they're set into place on the 20th of February this year, however I certainly understand why so many creators are upset at this drastic change. For the last couple of years the requirements have been that you must have 10,000 views on your channel to be eligible for monetisation - I remember exactly what it was like just trying to get my first 1000, 5000, 10,000 views (although I believe I could benefit from monetisation at an earlier point when I began YouTube in 2015), but I can see why there's great frustration that creators will now need 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours of watch time (within the last 12 months) on top of that on their channel. It can be incredibly difficult to reach that when you're first starting out; I certainly know!

Can you actually make much money from YouTube anyway?
I'm going to be honest, I didn't get paid from YouTube until over 1 and a half years after starting my channel - prior to this I had over 1000 subscribers, but my videos just weren't drawing in the views. It wasn't until I began uploading my Disney World vlogs that my views really skyrocketed and I started making a little more money here and there. With the £60 payment threshold here in the UK my first payment didn't enter my account until November 2016; almost 22 months after I began creating videos I was paid the grand total of £62.34.

The fact of the matter is when you're first starting out, it is pretty unlikely that you'll be making significant sums of money anyway. There's just so much competition nowadays with so many areas within YouTube becoming oversaturated - I believe that's exactly why my videos prior to my Disney vlogs weren't as well received. 
I did make dribbles every now and then, however it was incredibly exciting and in a strange way, motivating to see my videos generate a couple of pence each day.

I didn't continue YouTube for the money, I continued because I enjoyed it.

Do you enjoy creating videos? Is monetisation important?
I've seen a few people on social media mentioning that they may potentially stop uploading videos, or that they've been put off of creating a channel due to these monetisation changes. My question to you is why? 

I definitely have different views to some online content creators; whilst many mention that money shouldn't be a motivating factor to beginning a channel, I disagree. With that said, make sure that you're creating content about something that your truly passionate about; do that and it will certainly reflect in your videos, but use monetisation as a motivation to better your channel, boost your views and boost your subscribers. There's absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to make a bit of money here and there doing something that you truly enjoy, and I think sometimes some people unintentionally can make those of us who are excited to make small amounts of money (and watch that number grow) feel a little guilty for getting excited about these little things.

Who will this change disadvantage?
Well evidently anyone under the threshold, but I can see the advantages and disadvantages of this change for those smaller accounts.

I'm upset for those who truly enjoy creating videos. Whilst the income you can generate to begin with can be very minor, it's exciting to see the money in your account rise. There's many people who are extremely passionate and put incredible amounts of effort into every video they make, who will simply see their monetisation taken away. Maybe some people have the views, yet their subscriber numbers don't match YouTube's newest threshold, or they've been at it for years and having been monetising slowly and steadily - why should these people be disadvantaged? In my opinion, so many smaller creators put much more time and effort into creating a video that'll stand out from the crowd than the big guys and yet they're being punished for doing so. I don't understand it!

On the other hand though, it may be a great thing too. There's so many people who think they can come onto YouTube and simply get rich quick. It doesn't happen that way. With the new requirements it's hopefully going to fish out those people who aren't in it for the right reasons, who aren't passionate about their content, who think YouTube is an easy way to make some income and those few who buy subscribers and views. Whilst a little revenue is great, it's not all that coming on YouTube has to offer.

So, what do I really think?
As I said previously, I didn't see any money until 22 months after creating my channel. If creating videos is something you love doing, continue it and you'll eventually see the benefits, not only monetary wise, but YouTube is a great source to communicate with and make friends from all over the world. Plus you can also gain an array of skills that can easily make their way onto your CV.

If you're creating videos solely to generate some extra income, you may want to rethink your strategy - if you're not passionate about YouTube it'll show, and generating any sort of income will become incredibly difficult for you now.

And with that said, since becoming a Disney vlogger this past year and a half, I've begun watching significantly more videos from smaller channels of a similar ilk (the majority with between 0 and 10,000 subscribers). I find their content to be more "fresh" and the people to be more "real" - those who I watched religiously a couple of years ago now rarely make it onto my laptop. And especially with this new change, I'll continue to support these channels even further. Make it a mission to find some great smaller YouTubers; watch their videos, leave a comment and subscribe - it can honestly make someones day.
I'd also love to highlight some of my favourite channels monthly on my blog - would this be something you're interested in reading?

What are your thoughts on the changes to the YouTube Partner Program monetisation requirements?

Lots of Love

Disclaimer: These views are all my own. I understand that this is quite a sensitive topic at the moment and that evidently many people will also disagree with my views.

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