On January 17th, I received an e-mail from YouTube. It stated that my channel is no longer eligible for monetization because it doesn’t meet their new threshold of 4,000 hours of watch-time within the past 12 months AND 1,000 subscribers. As a result, my channel will lose access to all monetization tools and features associated with the YouTube Partner Program on February 20th, unless I surpass this threshold in the next 30 days.
YouTube states in their blog post* that they’ve arrived at these new thresholds after thorough analysis that will allow them to significantly improve their ability to identify creators who contribute positively to the community and help drive more ad revenue to legitimate creators and away from spammers, impersonators, and bad actors. These higher standards will also help them prevent potentially inappropriate videos from monetizing, which can hurt revenue for everyone. So, by strengthening their requirements for monetization, they’re preventing these bad actors from both harming YouTube’s ecosystem and taking advantage of the inspiring and original creators around the world who make their living on YouTube.
Here’s the way I look at it: it’s basically a layoff of sorts. YouTube is a business. And in the course of business, it may become necessary to make changes that have a discouraging impact on its subsidiaries, but they seem to be trying to do what they think is best for everyone. I am disappointed, but I choose to handle it in a positive way – to challenge myself to improve my channel so that I can meet those new requirements. I am probably going to fail miserably and end up getting de-monetized anyway, but I am not going to allow myself to give up after all of the time and effort I’ve put into this channel.
I started my channel in the spring of 2015 as a way to motivate myself and hold myself accountable to being a more efficient homemaker. I greatly benefited from this newfound hobby. In the first year, I was able to replace chaos with structure by establishing routines, because people were encouraging and inspiring me by watching my videos. I didn’t monetize my channel until the fall of 2016. Doing so motivated me to take my channel to the next level with more consistent posts.
Fifteen months post-monetization, and my channel is growing slowly but steadily. I have YouTube and my viewers and subscribers to thank for that – YouTube for providing this amazing, creative platform where I can express myself and be inspired by others, and my subscribers and viewers for being so encouraging and supportive as I share my progress of becoming a more efficient home and life manager.
In order to improve my channel, I am learning from the tools that YouTube provides to help with channel success and will apply those concepts to my channel. Plus, I’d like to take the 30 Days to a Better YouTube Channel course by Tim Schmoyer of Video Creators. Changes I already know that I want to make, to start with, include: my channel name, an update for my channel description, and to create a channel trailer for newcomers. I also intend to privatize any of my videos with less than 200 views (under performing), with a few exceptions – I’ll hold those to review later for possible deletion.
And after I fail that deadline to meet the new threshold – let’s face it, with only 346 subscribers and about 1,200 hours of watch-time over the past 12 months so far, it’s a long shot on a 30-day deadline – I do have the opportunity to be re-monetized after it does meet the new threshold. Whenever that happens, they’ll review my channel and I am hopeful that they’ll approve and re-monetize it.
I absolutely love everything about being a “YouTuber.” It’s such an incredibly fun hobby that I take as seriously as a part-time job, though I haven’t had a payment issued to me yet since I’ve been monetized because I still haven’t met the payment threshold of $100. But, I’m over halfway there in my Ad Sense account.
Even though I never expected much from this hobby/side-hustle anyway, I am hopeful that I will eventually be able to help contribute at least a little financially to our single-income family of five. And I hope to continue to motivate and inspire and be motivated and inspired. With your help, I know that I can accomplish the goals I have for my channel!