Revenue Punishment for Small YouTubers
On January 16th, I received a notification from YouTube that my Sparkle by Monica channel is one of the small channels affected by recent policy changes. In order to earn monetization privileges, the new rules have changed from 10,000-lifetime views to a new annual watch time of 4,000 hours (240,000 minutes) with a minimum subscriber count of 1,000. I currently have 647,503 lifetime views & 2, 730 subscribers since I began in 2013.
YouTube is Demonetizing Small Channels from the Partner Program
In the new YouTube Partner Program post-“adpocalypse” this means that smaller channels like mine are yet again being penalized due to the disrespectful content of some larger high-profile channels, in addition to bad apples with small channels. Larger content creators are not suffering adequate consequences for their behavior on channels that thrive on shock-value and “jack-ass” MTV style videos. Unfortunately, the audience that currently subscribes to that content is, in fact, elevating the status of those that are causing the issues. By taking away benefits to the small revenue earning channels that promote positive, educational and respectfully entertaining content, this is turning YouTube into a place for the immature or as I refer to it…Idiot TV.
Who’s Mainly to Blame? Idiot TV & Channel Pirates
There are many problems that need to be addressed within YouTube, such as people pirating popular content from large channels in order to disguise it & confuse clicks away from the authentic channel. There are also tons of spammy “clickbait” channels that offer nothing of value and some even contain harmful links to hacker sites. The most talked about and resented issues, however, stem from large channel personalities that promote idiotic content with harsh sarcasm, racist and sexist speech, and even violence. The recent changes are not going to take away anything from the larger offending creators, but will alternatively create a larger ad revenue for the hosts of “Idiot TV”.
I believe the more ethical answer is to increase existing enforcement capabilities rather than rewarding those that create shameless shock value videos under the guise of irreverent humor or sarcasm (something that society seems to be addicted to if you have ever been unfortunate enough to have landed on an episode of the Kardashians). YouTube’s existing algorithms and newly hired “human” review staff could be laser focused like “spiders” to “crawl” content and remove what is in violation much the same as they have for copyright issues. Channels of all sizes that post demeaning and disgusting content would be weeded out by this tighter “review status” requirement rather than making a blanket regulation pertaining to watch time and subscribers. The new policies are in fact protecting larger creators that have an audience with an appetite for negativity and degradation. Is that where YouTube is going? Smut TV? I sincerely hope not.
I Need your Sparkly Support to Help Build Up my Watch Time
What does this all mean? According to my most recent stats in analytics at YouTube, I’m closer to the target than most small channels (thank you all for that!), however, I only average about 12,000-16,000 watch minutes (about 267 hours) per month across my 65 videos. I have until February 20, 2018 to gain another 49,611 watch time minutes (about 827 hours) before the small revenue earning opportunities that I had previously enjoyed are removed. While this revenue is minimal compared to most, it serves as one of many supportive streams that I employ to assist my lifestyle as a freelance professional and teaching artist.
Those that are close to this threshold will apparently still be given another 30-day grace period for automatic re-evaluation if our views increase to the magical 240,000 minutes. Even with my monthly stats mentioned above, I currently can’t qualify without your help.
Call to Action for all my Sparkle Squad Supporters
If 80 family/ friends/ Sparkle Squad supporters were to watch all 65 videos (all the way through) in my catalog over the course of the next month…along with the usual viewer activity in my stats…my channel should still remain monetized. Realistically though, you will not all do this or be able to. So, if you would please share my videos with your social media and/ or email list peeps that might like a certain topic on my channel, that will certainly still support my situation.
If you’re a blogger with a like-minded audience to my channel, please feel free to link and even better…embed my videos in your posts. If you are a beader or crafter, select one of my topic specific playlists and let them run automatically on your e-Reader or iPhone while you are within ear/eyeshot while multi-tasking. I realize how valuable everyone’s time is, so anything you do is helpful and much appreciated! Thank you sparkly bunches!
Some of my videos are candy creations, holiday craft tutorials, handmade jewelry tutorials, craft organization, art marketing tips, and craft fair display ideas. Not all videos are great, I’ll admit. I’ve learned a lot since beginning my channel, but I’m still very organic in my approach. I feel that is the way YouTube should still be considered- not to be a high-paid talent that you’d expect to see on television or in film. Keeping that in mind, there are many channels that succeed because they earn large revenues to make it their full-time income and are able to invest in filming training techniques, support staff and equipment.
What am I Going to Do to Help Myself?
In the effort to “get better, not bitter” the following is my Sparkly Strategy:
- post content more frequently
- branch out into unexpected categories that still tie into crafting
- mix longer videos in with the standard “clip” style short videos
- collaborate with fellow YouTubers in complementary categories
- sponsorships with jewelry suppliers and tool makers for demos
- publish my work for added authority in my areas of expertise
- promote marketing tips for handmade artists
- create a special support playlist to showcase small channels of fellow beaders and crafters
- Launch my Patreon page on Valentine’s Day 2-14-18 (view my preview page here & comment to let me know what you think)
- Explore other video platforms such as Vimeo and Twitch
Wish me luck! I appreciate everyone’s sparkly support in whatever way you can help. I realize your time is valuable, which is why I am so grateful to my existing viewers, subscribers and visitors.
Have a sparkle-riffic day, everyone!