Youtube recently changed its Partner program guidelines under which you can only monetize your videos if you meet these two conditions
- You have 1000 subscribers
- You have at least 4000 hrs of viewing time in past 12 months
I find both these rules unfortunate and detrimental to a lot of creators (including myself) .
For larger channels it implies that they now have a bigger pie to share amongst themselves ,assuming the advertisers spend remains same.
For YouTube it implies more lock in on larger channels (their earnings may go up) and less number of channels breaking community guidelines since they have more to lose.
Unfortunately for creators who do not meet one of the above two guidelines , it is a goodbye .
If I were to use my own channel on poetry as an example, I at the moment meet both the guidelines. I have more than 4000 hrs of viewing time in past 12 months and about 7000 subscribers , but
- I no longer actively create videos(at least not at the level I used to)
- Most of my traffic is organic, which is steady but low
- Some of my older poetry videos get picked up once in a while and go semi viral , driving traffic beyond 4000 hours, but that is not very sustainable.
- I record poetry , not the most popular genre.
For a creator like me, YouTube may no longer be a viable option. How do I make sure I have 4000 hours of video plays every year? I need to keep producing videos if I want to keep earning. I cannot kick my feet up and have that passive earing (however low it may be, it feels good ).
I am pretty sure a lot of people will resort to questionable techniques
- Employ third-party to play videos in some click farm.
- Stuff their videos with empty spaces, instead of quality trying to make sure people stick around a little longer.
- Buzzfeed kind of videos– “watch till the end to know ABC”.
- Auto play of your videos.
YouTube probably found these numbers based on analysis of it’s whole universe. I would have loves to see category based limits.
Eg: For Vine stars it could be 1000 hrs , for poetry 2000 hrs…for News it can be 4000 hrs. Every Genre will have a different video length and watch percentage that is considered good.
Because not every video ,every genre is equal. This broad brush stroke may be the end of road for many not so popular genres.