I’m so excited! I just got accepted into the YouTube Partner Program, which means my videos are now monetized. Assuming you’re here, you’d like to do the same with your channel, or you’re a business looking to disable ads, which is also reserved for channels in the Partner Program. I’m Brighton West, and in this post, I’ll discuss YouTube monetization. YouTube monetization is only available to those in the YouTube Partner Program, which used to be open to everyone but was recently restricted to those with channels above a certain size. There are four requirements – the main ones are to have 1000+ subscribers and 4000 hours watched in the previous 24 months. If your channel has a big burst and then slows down, you may lose access to the Partner Program and must re-establish your numbers to re-enter. It’s an exciting time when your channel is almost ready to start earning money from your videos, so I’ll walk you through the process for once you hit those benchmarks because I was in this position just a few days ago.
1. Apply & Review the Terms
Go to your channel in YouTube Studio and scroll down to monetization on the left. Click it to see your numbers. YouTube ticks off the requirements as you go: number of watch hours, two-step verification, no strikes, and 1000 subscribers. Once you’ve done that, click the Apply Now button. Then accept the terms by reviewing them first and then scrolling down to check the appropriate boxes.
2. Set Up An AdSense Account
You also need to create an AdSense account to collect money. If you don’t already have one, go to adsense.google.com and sign up. If you already have one for other channels, you can accept the link and return to YouTube.
3. Get Reviewed
The next step is to have your account reviewed. When it says AdSense is finished, step three will change to ‘in progress.’ Because they changed several things with the two-step authentication, getting reviewed could take up to a month or longer. Sit back and wait for the review process to be completed, and then you will be able to monetize your videos and gain access to support.
What to Do Next
As soon as you gain monetization access, a new monetization column will appear. Everything is turned off by default, but you can play with it. If you go down to monetization on the lower left, where you applied for the program, you’ll notice that the options have changed as well. You can monetize your videos in a variety of ways beyond ads, such as with super chats and stickers. I’m not going to go over those because I’m not convinced they’re a good deal unless you have a devoted following or a large channel. Smaller channels appear to benefit more from video advertising.
When you go to the content section, you’ll notice arrows next to each video in the monetization column. Click on these arrows to enable monetization via all forms of advertising. You can also go through and check off the first 30 videos by clicking on the video box, or go to the edit tab and click monetization to turn them all on. You can change the types of ads that appear by going to Ad Settings. To monetize all of your videos at once, go to the blue bar across the top of the page and click on the ‘monetize’ button. You can do this at any time, just remember to apply your preferences.
To set the monetization on an individual video, click on the dollar sign next to it and it’ll take you into the details of that video. When you turn monetization on, you’ll see several options. Some are checked by default.
- Display ads show up automatically – these are not video ads and the box for them will always remain checked.
- Overlay ads are ads that show up on the bottom of the screen. I usually don’t check those because I’ve found that they’re not that valuable and they just annoy me as a user.
- Sponsored cards are also something that I don’t see advertisers use very often. They can be a little bit annoying, so I turn those off and go for the skippable video ads and the non-skippable video ads. Those seem to be where the money is to be made, so I leave those on.
You can also change the location of the advertisements. This is somewhat new – YouTube used to only show ads before videos, but now they show them during them as well. I believe the rule is that if your video is eight minutes or longer, you can interrupt it with ads, or place them at the end. If I have a video that is longer than 10 minutes, I might allow one of these mid-roll ads, but as a viewer, I find them irritating. I believe it may cause someone to leave my channel, and I’d rather lose half a penny than annoy someone and lose them in the middle of a video.
Go to manage mid-rolls to choose where advertisements will appear during your video. If you’re going to use mid-roll ads, make sure you pick the right spots. If your video has some interesting things happening on the screen, this could be a point where people are willing to sit through a short ad and you won’t lose them, as opposed to during a dip in your video where people are ready to click away. You don’t want to put an advertisement there because they’ll click away.
Another topic I’d like to discuss is the video certification process. When you first enable monetization, you are not permitted to certify the content of your videos; YouTube will do so. When you go to turn on monetization for a video that has monetization turned off, you’ll see a rating system where you can go through and say whether there’s inappropriate language, adult content, or violence. Each of these categories includes a detailed description of what qualifies for such a rating.
It’s complicated, but a friend of mine conducted a survey and discovered that even adding one piece of profanity to your video will limit the number of advertisers willing to advertise on it. So, if you want to make money from your channel, remove the profanity and keep inappropriate content out of your videos.
If you didn’t set up the defaults before, do this in YouTube studio. Click Settings, Defaults, and then Monetization. You’ll see the ad types that get turned on automatically when you upload a video. Check or uncheck them based on your preferences so that ads that you don’t want don’t pop up accidentally.
Disable Ads on Your YouTube Videos
If you’re looking to stop ads from running on your videos, being in the Partner Program and turning off each of the ads is not a guarantee that YouTube won’t run ads on your videos anyway. Generally, they don’t, but according to the terms and conditions, they could. I think it’s a pretty good bet that if you just get into the Partner Program and never turn on monetization, you will have ad-free videos. That has been my experience so far.