YouTube no longer allows creators to add external links unless they are part of its official YouTube Partner program. The change, apparently made to curb outward linking abuse, is a blow to musicians just starting to build their channel following. It also affects creators who prefer to have no ads on their channel, or who monetize using Patreon and other off-YouTube platforms. But for some creators, there is still a workaround.
External linking in YouTube videos has been a boon to music marketers, as well as, young bands just building a following. A new shift by YouTube as to who is allowed to link out, has left some creators confused and angry.
Confirmed. This is bullshit. http://pic.twitter.com/Kh428fWiWO— Ian Danskin (@InnuendoStudios) September 28, 2017
But there is a work around. Qualifying creators can join YouTube's partner program, but not enable monetization. For now at least, that's working, according to multiple creators who tried it.
You can sign up for YouTube’s Partner Program here