Last week, YouTube changed the rules about which YouTube creators are allowed to run advertising on videos. And it mostly affects small creators. Although most of my clients don’t rely on advertising dollars as part of their revenue stream, lots of folks are screaming, “they sky is falling!” so I wanted to give you my thoughts.
What’s changing? YouTube is only allowing advertising on channels that have a higher level of engagement, views and subscribers. You need to have at least 1000 subscribers, AND you need at least 4,000 hours of watch time in the past year. And, of course, you need to respect YouTube’s rules and produce “advertiser friendly” content. The old rules required 10,000 views of videos on your channel, to turn on ads. But YouTube found it too easy to game the system under those rules.
Why? YouTube has had a rough year with advertisers. Many pulled their ads from the platform because their ads were being shown before inappropriate content. In order to convince advertisers to return, YouTube has been changing things to crack down on bad content.
What does this mean for me? If you’re like most of my clients, you’re using YouTube to position yourself as a Subject Matter Expert – and driving viewers to purchase your services, classes etc. So you probably shouldn’t be running ads anyway (what if your ideal client finds your video, clicks on your competitor’s ad and spends thousands of dollars with them instead of you – and you make a few cents from the ad click?) So this change shouldn’t affect you.
Also, if you are running ads, and YouTube is turning them off, you probably aren’t getting much revenue from your ads. My back-of-the-napkin calculation shows that if you are making more than $200 annually off advertising, then you are probably not affected by this change.
And if you are still eligible to run ads, I think this is a good change. This will make advertisers more confident in YouTube – which should lead to more advertising dollars coming to the platform.