OK, Maybe Not All of You
Once upon a time in 2007, YouTube launched its Partner Program. This program was open to the creators who were gaining traction at the time with lots of views. Based on several different points, you could join and monetize your videos. These were being checked by real people who evaluated the videos. As time went on, only the most popular channels could become a partner. Fast forward to 2012, due to the high demand for the perks of the program, YouTube decided to open it to all channels. That meant anyone could monetize a video and make money from their videos. Great, right? Well here we are another six years down the road and YouTube has decided to cancel that. Now in order to make money and monetize your videos, you need to be popular – once again squashing the little guy.
The New Rules
“On February 20th, 2018, we’ll also implement this threshold across existing channels on the platform, to allow for a 30 day grace period. On that date, channels with fewer than 1,000 subs or 4,000 watch hours will no longer be able to earn money on YouTube. When they reach 1,000 subs and 4,000 watch hours they will be automatically re-evaluated under strict criteria to ensure they comply with our policies. New channels will need to apply, and their application will be evaluated when they hit these milestones.”
The full text can be read here.
YouTube vs. The Smaller Creator
While the program changes are claimed to be for the “creators”:
“In 2018, a major focus for everyone at YouTube is protecting our creator ecosystem and ensuring your revenue is more stable.”
All the changes do is make it harder for the little guys to get seen and make money. Being a partner and being monetized was a good way to earn money. It also helped with the ever-changing algorithm for being seen. Now taking channels out of the program if they don’t meet the criteria will ruin the chances of a lot of smaller channels at ever being able to grow. YouTube has its main staples, and it’s clear they care about them the most. They drive the site traffic. But just as Hollywood grows stale with regurgitating the same material time and time again, YouTube is doing this too.
The Little Guys
Being one of the smaller creators of my personal channel (not DHTG), I find it difficult to get views. I have never actually earned via YouTube monetization, but I fear now I will never be able to. I don’t vlog, I do scripted video. Like others who do scripted videos, it takes a long time to write, produce, shoot, and edit these videos. It’s especially so if you also have to work a full-time job because you haven’t been able to make any money yet. There are many creators out there striving to make it big on YouTube, but it seems like now they may never be able to get there.
YouTube wants to protect its current “ecosystem” – the same ecosystem that created Jake and Logan Paul. This is the system that makes “prank” videos a thing. This is the system that slowly destroys the opportunities of the little guys while launching spaces only available to their select elite. I understand that as the site grows, so does its platform. However, what made it big, to begin with, was the little guys. Those former little guys are now the elite and it seems that YouTube only cares about them – for now.
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Do you think Youtube cares about the smaller creator? Let us know in the comments!