YouTube is making some major changes to their Partner Program which boosts advertising money for posts after they allowed vlogger Logan Paul's video of a dead body in Japan's suicide forest to go live without a warning as well as his apology post which he monetized to the tune of an estimated $100,000.
The Google platform was already in trouble for predatory videos in children's content and was in the process of hiring humans to screen posts before they went live when the latest infraction occurred. The response is again to hire more humans, but this time to review the vlogs before they are allowed to get quality advertiser support.
“We expect to complete manual reviews of Google Preferred channels and videos by mid-February in the US and by the end of March in all other markets where Google Preferred is offered,” the company said.
Let's run this down, if you have a lot of subscribers you get access to better money - seems fair? You're doing the work, right?
The issue small vloggers now face is that YouTube is changing it's metric on popularity. YouTube Partner Program (YPP) has increased not only how many views you need, but set a subscriber minimum as well. Before, a vlogger was able to enter the program - which again, makes them more money - if they had 10,000 views in the lifetime of their channel. With the changes, that number has changed to 4,000 views every 12 months with a minimum of 1,000 subscribers.
So not only do you have to be liked by a lot of people you have to get them to watch your videos. Again, probably seems reasonable.
Except not everyone does stupid stuff like eating Tide Pods to get views. Some YouTubers who relied on the monies they earned from this program speak to niche groups, have had to take breaks because of health issues or have had videos block from monetization for way less than what Logan showed.
Zoe, a blogger and YouTuber loves books. She is only 23 and has Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome and YouTube gets her a bit of extra cash every month. Her disease is similar to what Solange Knowles was diagnosed with.
She shared on her channel what her reality of these changes are and shares her thoughts on why the changes are being made:
"What frustrates me the most about this situation is why it's happened. We all know why this has happened, a certain YouTuber posted a video of a dead body and YouTube didn't take it down. YouTube were quite happy to monetize it, it reached something like 6 million views before this YouTuber had to delete it himself. So essentially, YouTube is saying we are putting these guidelines into place so we can monetize bigger videos, they are thoroughly monitored and we don't let anything like that happen again, which I call bullshit on ... They managed to demonetize all of my videos, a YouTuber with 700 subscribers in the past few months, but there was no one there to watch this YouTuber's video before it got to 6 million views."
Zoe garnered the support of 700 additional subscribers putting her over that 1K mark to which she says "Thank you."
Riley Kyle Dignan is a small vlogger who hasn't actually ever been paid by YouTube. Because a break due to health issues, the odds of making the view minimum is daunting. Riley cites Logan's video as well saying, "YouTube is willing to put a video that had a hanging body and witness suicide and put that on the trending page, yet all their small creators they're just saying F-- You, you don't get to monetize your videos anymore."
PewDiePie gave his two cents, along with an apology for his part in YouTube's changes, "Logan Paul filmed a dead body and smaller channels have to suffer. It sounds similar to the ad-pocolipse...Big creator messes up small channels suffer." He apologized again for his part in the 10,000 view bar YouTube set for making money.
The outrage and outreach didn't stop with vlogging. YouTubers took to Twitter sharing their thoughts and support to each other so much #YouTubePartnerProgram became a trending hashtag.
YouTube forgot that it was the creators who made the platform, not the other way around. I was once a small creator too. Looks like YT forgot their roots, and value profit over people. #YouTubePartnerProgram //t.co/ilFdTnhWMP
— ˗ˏˋ ☉ ˎˊ˗ (@MichellePhan) January 17, 2018
If you're a booktuber affected by the #youtubepartnerprogram, leave a link to your channel down below so we can all support you! It's hard enough getting started on youtube without the added stress, so let's do what booktube does best and support each other!
— Kellys Bookspill (@kellysbookspill) January 17, 2018
So Logan Paul is that random guy that sits at your table at a club, causes trouble and gets you kicked out by security but he can stay because he knows the owners. Way to encourage small channels @YouTube 👌 #YouTubePartnerProgram
— Bish 🌐 (@Bish_TTF) January 17, 2018
After being accepted literally 3 days ago, after waiting almost three years to become eligible, I'm now being told I've been sacked from Youtube Monetisation.
Way to treat smaller struggling youtubers with niche markets#YouTubePartnerProgram
— Xeins (@XeinsGaming) January 17, 2018
The final question YouTube hasn't answered is whether or not those who have been kicked out will get the money they have earned - checks aren't cut until you make $100 in revenue. Riley is in fact 6 cents away from that first check.
What to do you think of YouTube's changes to their Partner Program? Is YouTube making changes for the wrong reasons? Will you look to support small vloggers as they get started?