On Wednesday 17 January 2018, Google revealed that it is making major changes to its YouTube monetisation structure – which will now make it more difficult for smaller contributors to make money off their content.
Google will now only open advertising to YouTube channels with more than 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 viewing hours racked up over a year. The move comes after YouTube raised the cap for splitting revenue with video creators, requiring these sites to have at least 10,000 views in April 2017. The changes will take effect on 20 February 2018.
Google says the move is an attempt to clean up its content and eliminate complaints from advertisers which included a series of controversies in 2017 as ads were found next to violent and racist videos, leading several advertisers to pull their business.
As the complaints flew in from advertisers, YouTube quickly pointed out that many creators rely on the service for their livelihood. Some of those video creators reported as much as an 80 percent drop in sales following YouTube’s tighter restrictions. In YouTube’s blog post, the company said that 99 percent of the creators affected by the new changes earn less than $100 a year from YouTube ads.
“While that threshold provided more information to determine whether a channel followed our community guidelines and policies, it’s been clear over the last few months that we need a higher standard,” Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s chief business officer, and Neal Mohan, its product lead, said in a joint blog post.
In addition to the new restrictions, YouTube also revealed that the company will now also screen every single video in Google Preferred, the company’s premium offering for marketers, in order to avoid another Paul Logan fiasco. Google said that the manual review process will be set up by the middle of February in the U.S. and by the end of March in other countries.