2018 has begun with some big YouTube monetization updates, with changes to its eligibility criteria and ad revenue platform. After numerous monetization issues for creators in 2017, YouTube is focused on creating a more stable and transparent ecosystem in the new year. These new updates center around changes to the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) and changes to Google Preferred.
This first of the YouTube monetization updates will increase the requirements for monetization eligibility on YouTube. Channels are now required to have at least 4,000 hours of watchtime within the past 12 months, channels must have at least 1,000 subscribers, and no active community guideline strikes to be eligible to monetize their videos. These requirements go into effect now, and on Feb 20th, 2018, YouTube will implement this requirement across existing channels. If a channel falls under these requirements, it will not be able to earn money on YouTube until these thresholds are met. Once the requirements are met, the channel will need to apply to be re-evaluated under strict criteria.
This update will demonetize a lot of channels on YouTube, but YouTube has stated that 99% of the channels affected were making less than $100 per year, with 90% of those channels earning less than $2.50 in the last month.
The next update will be more noticeable by top creators, and it revolves around changes to Google Preferred (which is the top-tier advertisement group between Google and a select group of creators). Channels that are Google Preferred-eligible will now have a stricter screening process from YouTube. Every video submitted for Google Preferred will now be watched by a human moderator and approved as family-friendly content. This will ensure videos don’t slip through the automated review system that YouTube previously had in place. YouTube is expecting to complete the manual reviews of Google Preferred channels and videos by mid-February in the US and by the end of March in other markets.
These updates won’t affect your channel if you are above these thresholds or aren’t Google Preferred-eligible, but don’t forget to read our blog on updates to limited monetization on YouTube, and feel free to reach out to us if you have any further questions.