In an attempt to make it easier to monitor content and ads, YouTube has made it harder for content creators to enroll in the YouTube Partner plan. While the changes may finally do something to curb the amount of advertising that ends up next to extremist and other questionable content, it is extremely bad news for content creators who rely on YouTube to bring in some side income and aspire to make their YouTube channel a sustainable business.
Since this is a marketing blog, we’re going to focus on why Google implementing stricter standards for YouTube Partners can potentially be a good thing. Last year, Google changed the YouTube Partner Program requirements to allow any channel with 10,000 views or more to enroll. However, the company found this did give them enough control over pairing content with ads.
With the new requirements, Google hopes that, by making it harder to become a YouTube Partner, the illegitimate channels will struggle to gain followers and won’t be eligible for the partner program. The new requirement, which will start before the end of the month, require a channel to have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time within the past 12 months.
Regardless of the number of views or subscribers a channel has, the three strikes rule still applies. Any user that violates community guidelines three times will be removed. Other security measure Google is taking include the manual vetting of Google Preferred channels and a “suitability system.” The “suitability system” will allow advertisers to specify which types of content their ads can appear on, minimizing the chance that a brand’s advertising campaign will run near content the company wants nothing to do with.
Even though the stricter standards to become a YouTube Partner mean that smaller channels will take a hit, these changes are a step in the right direction for advertisers, who are more concerned with protecting their brand. The frightening reality is that these changes may not be enough.