It’s no easy feat to keep YouTube respectable enough for big advertisers when it relies entirely on user-created content from legions of video makers. Advertisers have complained to Google with increasing regularity when their ads show up alongside content that’s inappropriate or just plain creepy. Google’s solution is a change to the YouTube Partners Program (YPP) that will make it harder for small channels to monetize videos.
Currently, all a channel needs to join the YPP and run ads on videos is 10,000 lifetime views. Even a single moderately successful video could get you there. Starting February 20th, the YPP will require 4,000 watch hours in the last 12 months and 1,000 subscribers. New applications are subject to this threshold immediately.
Channels that are in the YouTube Partner Program already but don’t meet the requirements will have a 30-day grace period to hit the necessary numbers. After that, channels will be dropped from the program and no longer be able to monetize. Google says 99% of channels below the new threshold were making less than $100 per year in ad revenue, so it’s not taking away someone’s livelihood with this move.
Raising the bar for ads should help Google filter out objectionable content, which will keep advertisers happy. YPP applications may be processed faster as well.