YouTube on a smartphone
STRF / STAR MAX / IPx
YouTube just changed its rules for monetizing videos, and YouTube creators aren’t happy. Essentially, Google is now showing ads for all videos even if the creators don’t want ads.
And creators won’t get a penny.
“Starting today, we will slowly start running ads for a limited number of videos from channels that are not part of the YouTube affiliate program,” the company said says. “This means that as a creator who is not in YPP, you may see ads on some of your videos. Since you are not currently with YPP, you will not receive any share of sales with these ads. “
YPP is the YouTube affiliate program that video artists and influencers can belong to if they have 1,000+ subscribers and 4,000 hours of content viewed in the last 12 months.
By becoming a member of YPP, you are entitled to YouTube royalties based on ads on your videos, but many don’t qualify.
“That’s crazy” says A great YouTube creator with over 3.5 million subscribers. “If you’re a small channel, struggling to grow and haven’t gotten monetized, YouTube will now run ads and get 100% of the profits from your work.”
Others, like Forbes Senior Contributor Ethan Siegel They just don’t want their videos to be advertised so they are ad free to users. This option is no longer available in the new YouTube Terms of Service.
This latest move follows what YouTube developers call a mistake that cost them weeks of revenue but that Google doesn’t acknowledge: a sudden and one-sided declaration that 100% of their video views came from “bad traffic” overnight. before returning to standard levels of monetization a few weeks later – at least for some.
“When you’re monetizing ads on our little channels, you should at least give us a cut for our tough efforts,” says the creator of The Boob Tube (which is about television, not part of the human anatomy). “As simple as that.”
For smaller YouTube creators, being ad-free can be a competitive advantage as they climb the long road to a monetizable YouTube channel with decent revenues. For the most part, viewers can enjoy their videos without the distraction, and developers can focus on growing.
Now that option is gone.
From a YouTube perspective, videos are of course hosted and streamed for free. There are significant costs associated with running YouTube. Think how long it took for YouTube to become profitable. The bandwidth is not free. That is understandable. But the obvious question is, if you want to monetize smaller channels, why not just change the affiliate program to allow smaller developers to cut sales?
One YouTuber has a solution, but YouTube won’t like it:
“YouTubers need some kind of association,” says Brax. “I’m not sure how that would work or anything, but you can’t just get away with killing little creators like this.”
It’s a worthwhile thought. Larger developers with millions of followers have an impact on sharing platforms like YouTube and Instagram, but smaller developers lack any meaningful amount of power. Yet it could be an idea whose time has come when millions are now making some income by creating digital content – and relying on that income.
The main challenge for the developers: They are essentially modern sharecroppers that are completely delivered to the large platforms. Striking an association in power – and potentially removing a significant amount of new content from YouTube, TikTok, or Instagram – could restore the balance of power.
The constant challenge: to actually create one among such a diverse and widespread population.
Full disclosure: I have a small channel on YouTube. It’s part of the affiliate program and I theoretically make a small amount of money with it (less than $ 100 / month) even though I haven’t collected any payments as I was way too lazy to enter my financial details.