YouTube was embroiled in several controversies throughout 2017, with members of the community criticizing the way that they treat creators and how they handle the relation between the company and advertisers. It seems that 2018 is no different. Mere weeks after Logan Paul uploaded a controversial video with graphical content, YouTube changed the requirements to be part of their partnership program.
Channels now need a minimum of 4000 hours of watch time and 1000 subscribers to be eligible for the program. In addition, channels which have previously been past this threshold will not be automatically cleared to join. They must have reached these landmarks in the past 12 months and if not , they will not be eligible. Creators have until February 20th to reach the mark before their channel is removed from the program.
The move has not been very well received by the community at large, as it effectively shuts the door on many of the smaller channels who are looking to make it big on the platform. Many people have taken to Facebook and Twitter to express their frustration with the company for this move. The frequent demonetization of videos is also a recurring problem. Complaints ranged from blaming Logan Paul to YouTube playing favourites. The change was justified by saying that people who weren’t part of the program weren’t making too much to begin with. Their official statement read :
Though these changes will affect a significant number of channels, 99% of those affected were making less than $100 per year in the last year, with 90% earning less than $2.50 in the last month. Any of the channels who no longer meet this threshold will be paid what they’ve already earned based on our AdSense policies. After thoughtful consideration, we believe these are necessary compromises to protect our community.
In a sharp contrast, most of the high profile creators have applauded the steps YouTube is taking. PewDiePie, the most subscribed to channel on the site, said that when he started YouTube, he wasn’t earning any money. A similar account came from KeemStar, another widely recognized personality on the platform. Many other YouTubers have spoken similarly on the move.
The general consensus from these top tier creators is that YouTube is doing the right thing in weeding out those who want to make easy money off their platform. In a response to the backlash, YouTube responded,
Our recent changes to the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) are designed to curb bad actors, stabilize creator revenue and provide greater assurances to advertisers around where their ads are placed. By making these updates to YPP, we aim to help creators of all sizes find more success. We have many free resources in place to help those just starting out build a community around their channel so that they can ramp-up fast and monetize their videos.
Many feel that this change from YouTube is a direct result of the Logan Paul controversy. However, this change is the culmination of the turbulent year that YouTube had in 2017. Advertisers have been clamouring for more family friendly content on the platform. These demands have been particularly common since the incident involving PewDiePie last year, and were increased with the rise of Logan and Jake Paul.
It does not appear that YouTube will make any palpable change to the policy, despite the outcry it has presented. We’ll keep you updated on the news as it develops…