YouTube has yet again raised the threshold that a creators and musicians must meet to make any money on the videos they post. YouTube says that the changes are designed to "prevent bad actors from harming the inspiring and original creators around the world who make their living on YouTube." But the result is that it will take musicians and creators a lot longer to make a dime on the video service.
Starting today, YouTube is changing its eligibility requirement for monetization to 4,000 hours of watch time within the past 12 months and 1,000 subscribers per channel.
You Tube says that, while 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. But to musicians and creators just starting out, every dime matters.
"Previously, it was possible to earn at least enough to cover the cost of your own DIY video projects over time," says Anurag Shanker, who runs several YouTube channels. "The gap between YouTube’s earlier requirements and the new ones is massive. Garnering 4,000 hours of watch time is a whole different ball game than trying to build an audience organically without specializing in video production and publishing. For myself and my colleagues, that means shelving some upcoming projects, because we’ll now need to find other ways to fund them."
On February 20th, YouTube will 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. 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.