YouTube has announced a new set of policies that seek to cater for users with a large number of subscribers, in a major policy shift that would affect channels for specific audiences on its platform.
Revenue from advertisements will be stopped on channels with a low number of subscribers, while those with large numbers will continue to benefit.
The new policies aim to prevent advertisers from appearing alongside controversial or inappropriate content, which has been a major problem for YouTube over the past year.
The changes come two weeks after the latest controversy, in which Logan Paul—one of YouTube’s most popular creators—published a video featuring a suicide victim’s body hanging from a tree.
‘The new guidelines are now saying, in effect, “Okay, you only matter to us if you’re already big.”‘
YouTube executives said in two blog posts, (one aimed at content creators and the other at advertisers) that channels would only be permitted to run advertisements if they have accumulated a total of 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 “watch hours” over the last 12 months. Previously, the marker had been 10,000 total lifetime views.
The change effectively means You Tubers must now reach a higher popularity threshold before they can start seeing revenue. The platform said it needed to amend its policies in order to prevent abuse from “bad actors.”
According to wired, YouTube also announced that humans would soon begin screening every video from creators who participate in Google Preferred, a special premium advertising program that guarantees revenue for the top five percent or so of creators. YouTube removed Paul (who has over 15 million subscribers) from the program in the aftermath of the suicide video.
Taken together, the two new policies represent a shift toward larger creators. YouTube is now excluding extremely small channels from advertising altogether and instead focusing both its monetization and its moderation efforts on larger, more valuable channels.
“The platform was once seen as a way for anyone to find a big audience,” says Wagner. The new guidelines are now saying, in effect, ‘Okay, you only matter to us if you’re already big.’”
As a result of this new law on monetization of channels, owners of channels with low subscribers have been campaigning vigorously for audiences to subscribe to their channels for them to continue to enjoy the benefit of the platform.