YouTube just made it harder for small video producers to make money

YouTube's Chief Business Officer has refused to rule out the possibility of the company working with Logan Paul again in the future
Credit AFP

YouTube's Chief Business Officer has refused to rule out the possibility of the company working with Logan Paul again in the future Credit AFP

YouTube content creators are mad at the video sharing company for making some changes to its content monetization requirement, rendering numerous starting and budding YouTubers incapable of earning from their published videos.

The company sent a platform-wide email on Tuesday night to give users 30-days' notice about the site's new eligibility requirements requiring users to reach a threshold of at least 4,000 hours of watchtime within the past 12 months and a minimum of 1,000 subscribers. As such, YouTube will also closely monitor signals such community strikes, spam, and other abuse flags to ensure channels comply with its policies.

In an open letter posted to Twitter last week, YouTube wrote, "We expect more of the creators who build their community on @YouTube, as we're sure you do too".

The company also announced that it will begin to manually curate Google Preferred, which lists its most popular content.

The platform says that 99% of the channels that are affected by this change are earning less than $100 per year.

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YouTube initially defended itself to unhappy advertisers by citing the number of creators who made a living through the platform, with some of them reporting an 80% drop-off in ad sales after the streaming service first changed its requirements a year ago, Bloomberg reported. YouTube even put on hold an upcoming YouTube original film, "The Thinning: New World Order", because Logan was set to appear in it.

The changes to YouTube's advertising rules are the biggest since the site was established. Nevertheless, channels who are no longer eligible as of February 20 will still be compensated for any AdSense revenues they are already due.

It may also seem like a decision more targeted towards convincing advertisers who are anxious about inappropriate content, rather than helping small channels, although certainly it is the case that more advertisers is better for these channels. "After thoughtful consideration, we believe these are necessary compromises to protect our community", it said. This will also help vetted creators see more stability around their revenue. Under the new plan, previously reported by Bloomberg, Google Preferred ads will now only run on videos that have been human verified as brand safe. Human vetting for Google Preferred would start by mid-February in the United States and will expand globally by the end of March.

Following a call for simpler and more transparent controls, YouTube will introduce a three-tier suitability system in upcoming months.

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