If you don’t know what Youtube announced yesterday, you need to settle down and pay attention because YT isn’t playing around anymore.
Yesterday, creators with less than 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watchtime woke up to an email saying that by Feb 20th, we would be kicked out of the Youtube Partner Program and won’t be able to monetize our videos. This means we would not be able to place ads on our videos to make money. For us to be eligible for monetization, we would need 1,000 subscribers AND 4,000 hours of watchtime on our channels within the last 12 months.
[bctt tweet=”What you need to know about Youtube’s New Channel Policies ” username=””]
On its Creators blog, YouTube explains that the new required milestones “will allow us to significantly improve our ability to identify creators who contribute positively to the community and help drive more ad revenue to them (and away from bad actors). These higher standards will also help us prevent potentially inappropriate videos from monetizing which can hurt revenue for everyone.”
It’s already very hard to make it on Youtube – the YT algorithm favours channels that upload more frequently (3x/4x a week opposed to 1x/2x a week) and gives priority to bigger creators who have already ‘made it’.
I had a lot of thoughts about this when I saw the email and immediately tweeted about the issue on my Twitter account; asking for people to please subscribe and watch my channel. The outpour of love and support was overwhelming and from 865 subscribers, my channel rose to 1,700+. I calculated my watchtime yesterday and found I have 2,037 hours left to hit the 4,000 mark. I feel with a new and aggressive strategy, I could hit 4,000 hours before the Feb 20th deadline.
From a business point of view, I understand what Youtube is doing. They are simply telling us that they can’t pay everyone and they created this criteria that allows them to pay the creators that in their opinion ‘who contribute positively to the community’ aka, who deserves to get paid. In 2017, Youtube had a lot of revenue issues with companies pulling their ad budget due to several controversies. Youtube doesn’t have enough money to pay us small and big creators anymore and they have decided to go with the bigger creators and make the smaller creators jump through hoops.
So what does this mean for newer creators who want to make a living on Youtube?
It means you have to work harder – much, much harder to make a living. If you’re coming to Youtube with the mindset of ‘I see all these Youtubers making MAD money, I can do it too’, I hate to break it to you but you’re not going to make a lot of money for a whileeeeee. Even before they introduced the new policies, growing your channel and gaining subscribers and watchtime was already a hassle (see above where I spoke about the crappy YT algorithm).
If you’re a Nigerian creator that is struggling to get subscribers and increase your watchtime, you’re going to have to switch it up and find what works for you and your audience to increase subscribers and watchtime. Maybe it means uploading more videos with clickbaity titles to attract watchers. Or maybe it means talking about controversial topics to make a ‘viral video’. Maybe it means sitting down and creating a plan which has you uploading more than once a week. For different creators, it means different things.
For me, it means I’m going to have to upload 3 times a week (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) and upload more vlogs and how to videos because I have seen that that is the content that works. I am determined to make as a content creator and influencer and Youtube is one of my main platforms. In my vision board video, I spoke about how I wanted to create more video content that mattered and these new ad policies are making me work harder at the goals I have set up for myself.
Don’t let money be the only reason you start anything (eg a Youtube channel or a blog). Let your passion and love drive you to succeed at what you do and money will come after. I know it seems like Youtube is punishing us smaller creators but at the same time, I feel they are pushing us to work harder.
What do you think of the new Youtube policies? Have you been affected? Do let me know in the comment section below! Also, add your Youtube link so I can subscribe and help you out!