YouTube updated the monetization policy in a way that has the creative base up in arms over the future of the platform. The overall changes to their policy will cut out any monetization opportunities for the smaller creators of YouTube, which make up a large percentage of YouTube’s community.
The new policy enacted by YouTube requires any users seeking monetization to accrue 4,000 hours of views over the course of a year, as well as a minimum of 1,000 subscribers to their channel. These changes replace the previous policy that allowed any user with 10,000 views to apply for the YouTube Partner Program. The Partner Program allows users to seek monetization by tacking advertisements into their content, as well as gaining subscribers from YouTube Red, which is the platform’s relatively new exclusive subscription service. This cuts out much of the smaller creators because many of them come under that mark significantly.
Obviously, those smaller creators are not happy with the changes these rules enforce. While the new policy gives smaller creators a 30-day window to accrue 4,000 views and 1,000 subscribers, those numbers are super hard to hit in such a short amount of time, especially if your video output is relatively small. Many are calling for bigger YouTube celebrities to speak out against YouTube’s new policy, but this change is not necessarily a surprising turn of events. Recently, YouTube’s been trending this direction with an increased focus on major stars and other non-YouTube celebrities and brands. All in all, it points to a huge disinterest in the overall community of YouTube, especially with how much it hurts the smaller creators.
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On top of all that, YouTube’s faced a string of controversial happenings lately with the bigger stars making some pretty significant missteps in their video content. Earlier this year, one of the bigger YouTubers PewDiePie used of some Nazi imagery and anti-Semitic jokes in one of his videos that was then picked up by The Wall Street Journal, making it a huge story. While PewDiePie maintained that those comments were taken out of context by The Journal, many people were calling for a suspension of his profile.
More recently, user Logan Paul, a YouTuber known for obnoxious content aimed at millenials, shared a video that showed a dead body. Later, it was confirmed that the deceased person in question committed suicide, which in turn made even more call for YouTube to cut ties with Paul entirely. Nothing changed in either of these situations, and arguably, each user received little more than a slap on the wrist. On top of the “allowed” behavior of YouTube celebrities, these new policy changes are a stinging blow to the smaller creators and community of the platform.
So what’s next? Well, nothing yet. Many bigger YouTubers are pleased with the new policy, with even PewDiePie saying that the new policy is a good business practice on Twitter, “Just to be clear, I didn’t earn anything off YouTube, not a single dollar until I hit 25k subs. If all you’re earning is $1 then YouTube probably is losing more money just to pay that to you. As much as I typically hate their business practice, this one makes sense to me.” Until a new platform emerges, many users will either continue to create videos without monetization, or give up entirely. But, if nothing else, these new changes should create a steadfast resolve to create something different and pioneer into new platforms.
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