Some thoughts on YouTube’s new partner program policies

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I’m not a big YouTube star but I have grown a following over the years I’ve been creating video content. I recognized the power of YouTube before most, I started creating video content for my YouTube channel (which is also the BestTechie YouTube channel) back in 2008. So yes, I’ve been creating videos that I’ve published on YouTube for about a decade at this point. Over the past 10 years I’m at almost 400 videos published on the site. I have more than 1.6 million video views and 3,269 subscribers at the moment. Again, not a YouTube star, but YouTube has always been a key part of my online presence so naturally when I heard about the changes YouTube was making to the partner program policies which will take effect starting February 20, 2018 I was worried my account would be on the chopping block.

The new partner program policies state your channel must have at least 1,000 subscribers (check) and have accrued at least 4,000 hours (240,000 minutes) of video views over the course of the past 12 months (which is a checkbox I can’t tick currently (but have in the past) and I’ll explain why).

In 2014, I started a new company called KYA and for the last three years I’ve dedicated myself to building the company. As any startup founder will tell you, you need to give 110% to everything you do, especially if you raise money from outside investors, they would expect absolutely no less. So for the past three years I haven’t been able to create and upload much new video content, which as you would expect meant my YouTube channel has stagnated in terms of growth from all aspects. However, now that I’m no longer pursuing KYA, I’ve been working on creating more content for BestTechie, including video content and growing my YouTube channel again. In the past two-and-half months I’ve uploaded nine new videos, with a few of them receiving more than 1,000 views each.

I was also curious to see if I ever met YouTube’s new partner program policies during my time creating video content. As it turns out in 2013, I did meet the criteria to be part of the new partner program–I had 277,283 Watch Time minutes.  In 2013, I generated approximately $500 in revenues from YouTube. In 2012, I expect that I also met the new partner program requirements as I generated $576 in revenue from YouTube that year. That being said, the “Watch Time” metric that YouTube uses today was only implemented in September 2012, so I only have partial “Watch Time” numbers but in that partial timeframe (9/1/2012 through 12/31/2012) I accrued 102,545 Watch Time minutes so you can extrapolate from there that I probably would have easily met the threshold. If you go back to 2011, I earned $958 that year. In 2010, I earned $1,169 from my YouTube videos.

It was only after I started KYA and was unable to create videos more frequently that my account has not met the threshold. I truly believe I can make my way back to those numbers and then some now that my focus is back on creating content. Which is why when I saw this email in my inbox this morning I was quite upset.


Frustrated and upset, I sent YouTube a message through the partner program contact page. It read as follows:

I recently read about the changes being made to the partner program. As a creator on YT for the past 10 years (and a partner in good standing for a majority of them) I’m reaching out to let you know that if my YT account lost its partner status, that would have a negative affect on my site’s ( ability to generate revenues.

I realize my account hasn’t had much activity over the past few years–but that was for good reason. In 2014, I started an analytics startup for digital media companies which left me with little time to create new video content. I’m no longer working on that company and recently have started creating new video content for YT and my site. I’ve uploaded 9 videos in the past 2 and 1/2 months so far and am working on building up my audience on YT again as you can see from the stats.

I would appreciate it if my channel was able to remain a partner channel so I can continue to monetize my content which I work hard on.

I received an automated message from YouTube via email telling me they would be in touch as soon as possible. Being that my original message to them was limited to 1,000 words I decided to reply to that email and add some additional thoughts.

In addition to my original message that I sent via, I just want to add:

I just saw the email in my inbox that my account is in fact being removed from the partner program and I will lose access to all monetization and partner features in late February. This is deeply upsetting to me as a longtime YouTube creator and someone who prior to 2014 (which as I mentioned in my original note is when I started my analytics company and didn’t have time to dedicate to creating video content) met the new threshold being implemented. I’ve always been in “Good Standing,” I create safe and family friend content about technology, and I’ve always been a believer in YouTube as a platform. And now to have my partner status terminated just as I’m starting to create content again and rebuild my audience for absolutely no reason other than because certain YouTubers have created content that isn’t brand friendly is ridiculous. It’s certainly not my fault. Everything I’ve done on YouTube has been within the guidelines and rules.

My channel currently has 1.6 million views and counting. I realize that’s not a ton in the grand scheme of things. but at a point in the past I made an additional $1k+ in revenues per year from YouTube (that was important revenue for me). I plan to create a lot of new video content and having the ability to monetize it is of critical importance. And to have that ability taken away from me just because I don’t currently meet an arbitrary threshold set by you isn’t (and I hate to use this word) fair. I worked very hard to create almost 400 videos which live on YouTube currently and now I can’t even monetize my work?

Perhaps I’m a unique case here, maybe I’m not, but I’m I asking you to reconsider the partnership termination for my account.

Honestly, it feels like (and certainly looks like) smaller creators are getting tossed aside, especially those that have been part of the community for years, have had accounts in “good standing,” and have followed the YouTube rules. Why are we paying for problems created by larger creators? Why are we paying for YouTube’s inability to properly enforce their own rules? Why are we paying for bad app design that allowed kids to watch inappropriate content?

I want to create content for my YouTube channel. I love YouTube. But I also believe I deserve to be compensated for content I create. Yes, I create it because I enjoy it, but I also spend time preparing for each video, researching, reviewing, etc and the fact that I was able to receive some money from via advertisements displayed in the video helped me justify spending the time to create the content. If YouTube doesn’t reinstate my channel as a partner account, I may have to start looking for other ways to host my videos where I have more control and can monetize them myself. I’d prefer to work with YouTube, but we shall see. I will update this post once I receive a reply. Stay tuned.

The post Some thoughts on YouTube’s new partner program policies appeared first on BestTechie.

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  • 1 year later...

I am a bit stuck with youtube music copyright policy. Now, I guess Music Library and similar sources of royalty-free music is the only option for videomakers to insert suitable tracks in their videos. I even tried writing my own backing tracks using fl studio but turned out that this way is too time-consuming and paying for music is more convenient.

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