In a bid to better satisfy advertisers, Google-owned YouTube is changing the requirements for YouTube channels seeking monetization and will soon strip now-unqualified channels of their partner status.
While developers affected by this change likely won’t be losing a major source of income from the loss of partner status, they will be losing access to a number of partner-exclusive tools that may have previously extended their reach on YouTube.
The new criteria for partnership and monetization require channels to have at least 1,000 subscribers and a total of 4,000 hours of watch time during the past 12 months. Previously, channels had to only have over 10,000 lifetime views to be eligible for the YouTube Partners Program.
While the new requirements are already in place for new channels, existing partners have until February 20 to meet the new, stricter criteria or risk being stripped of their membership in the YouTube Partners Program and all the benefits previously associated with that status.
“It’s been clear over the last few months that we need the right requirements and better signals to identify the channels that have earned the right to run ads,” explains the Google blog post detailing the change. “Instead of basing acceptance purely on views, we want to take channel size, audience engagement, and creator behavior into consideration to determine eligibility for ads.”
Google says the change is intended to weed out the bad actors and spammers that have previously gamed the system, but it notes that a “significant number of channels eligible to run ads” will be affected by the policy change.