Superproducer Ted Hope on...

April 15, 2012

You Too Can Make Money on YouTube - New Policy Opens Partner Program to Everyone*

Does your video have a million views?  Do you consistently draw large audiences?  This past Thursday, YouTube announced it would throw out old criteria and let anyone with eligible content join the YouTube Partner Program, if they so wished (and are in the list of 20 approved countries).  How does this make it more likely that you can make a few bucks off your short? And how does this announcement play into YouTube's larger strategy?  Read on:

This announcement comes in the midst of a larger shift in YouTube's focus -- rely less on this,

more on this:

The idea is that by emphasizing higher quality content, viewers will be more likely to hang around -- interacting, creating communities, exploring other videos -- not just watching one video and leaving.  The longer a visitor stays on YouTube, the more ads they can sell.  So how does this announcement play into that strategy?

I think they are hoping this will encourage everyone to A) work harder to create better videos, and B) work harder to get other people to watch their videos (and the associated ads).  The effect of thousands of creators pushing their content will give YouTube a nice bump in viewership that will probably offset any lost income from the ad-revenue sharing.

Beyond what Google/YouTube stands to gain, more content creators will get to see some upside.  Till now, the Partner program has favored channel-oriented content -- vlogs, long running web series, instructional series, etc.  You had to prove that you could draw consistent viewerships and that you could maintain a steady stream of content.  Now, instead of having to prove your viability as an audience draw beforehand, you can sign up, upload your video and roll the die.  Whether it's a web series that ends at 10 episodes, or that short film you made, or (of course) that video of your cat barfing on the couch -- you can now opt in for monetization with a click of the button.

Having said all that -- it remains to be seen just how much upside there is.  Most folks who sign up probably won't see more than a few dollars for their effort (1,000 views still won't make you much money).  Will it be worth inconveniencing your viewers with annoying ads if all you get is $15 and change?  Or would you rather build an audience and make your money through other revenue streams?  Content creators will continue figuring this out, and with this new policy I guess we'll see a lot more folks experimenting and trying schemes out.

Now, can you make money off your cat barfing on your couch? Yes.  Can you make money off your cat barfing on your couch to Frank Sinatra's sweet crooning? No (unless you have his express permission).  There are guidelines on content eligible for monetization (as detailed in this FAQ), so make sure you read through them before rushing out to sign up:

Here are some tips on how to be successful at making money on YouTube:

  • Create yourself: YouTube is a place where everyone has a voice and where everyone, whether a newbie videographer or a professional, can be successful. We encourage you to use your imagination to create something completely original. Examples of videos that have been successful on YouTube include daily vlogs and home videos, Do- it-Yourself videos and tutorials, original music videos and short films.
  • Commercial Use rights: Before opting such content into monetization, ensure that you have all the necessary rights to commercially use the content. It’s not uncommon for content creators to clear rights to use third party content on YouTube. Often, this clearance takes the form of explicit written permission from the rights holders.
  • Follow YouTube guidelines: To support your growth and success on YouTube, we expect you to follow YouTube’s Community Guidelines when you create content for YouTube. Following them is a requirement on the site, and will increase the visibility of your content on YouTube which could mean more views, more user engagement and ultimately more revenue.

For the announcement's full details, along with the list of 20 eligible countries, check out the YouTube Creator blog post.

Do you think you'll join?  Is there money to be made here?  Do you think annoyance with ads will impact viewership?  Lots to ponder.

[via The Verge]

Your Comment

27 Comments

Just an FYI (I work for a media company that has been an official partner for some time): you won't be making much from this. My guess is the payout rates will be even less than before, now that it has been democratized even further.

It's better than nothing, of course, but basically Youtube/Google is the real winner here.

April 15, 2012

0
Reply
Hummer

I think there is tons of money to be made....for Google.

April 15, 2012

1
Reply

There's tons of money to be made all around, believe me! I am very thankful for what I've been able to bring in all thanks to YouTube and no it's not just chump change-- it's been life changing to say the least. Success on YouTube is possible for anyone, don't sell yourself short.

April 20, 2012

0
Reply
AM

I'm not so sure the situation is so grim. If you had one viral hit that got 2 million hits overnight, it would make you zero dollars in the old system, because you are an unproven channel. Now, those 2 million hits are monetized.

In fact, there are multiple layers of analysis happening of video traffic and "virility" from the ad tech companies, so it's likely your successful viral hit could now be algorithmically real-time alerted to an advertiser and they could make a high-CPM buyout real-time within a few hours of your video gaining traction. I think it is THIS layer of the system that was missing for YouTube, to deal with the volume an open system would have to deal with in order to catch these viral hits and match-make them to advertisers, it's something that would only be possible perhaps now in 2012.

I've been following the web video advertising field for 10 years. I think the announcement itself isn't significant, what it represents about the backend of YouTube is now significant. Google has continually stated it was building out a method of properly monetizing viral hits, which is a large problem to solve and rollout once you consider the volume YouTube would be dealing with. This means preempting the sales team, essentially, and if possible, making the entire process automated based on preset maximum bids and keywords. It means turning advertising and media into a reliable quantitative system of analysis. It also means creating an existing userbase of advertisers who can function within this system, that's what the Partner Program was.

April 15, 2012

-1
Reply

The viral video not being monetized will still be a problem because unless you are on automatic monetization then you will wait several days/weeks for that video to be approved for monetization. Any new partner will not have auto approval, many many full and "old" partners don't even have auto approval. Most viral videos happen pretty quickly after they are uploaded, although some can sit dormant for weeks/months and then all of a sudden go viral. But for the majority, they still will not be monetized when they get most of their views until YouTube speeds up the approval process.

April 20, 2012

-1
Reply
AM

That's all great but, several concert videos I've uploaded to Youtube, almost a year ago, DO NOT show up in a search of the artist's name. Dozens of questions as to why this happens go UNANSWERED on Youtube's problem forums so, who will guarantee that, if I go to the trouble to make a video and upload it, it will even show up? Evidently NOT Youtube/Google... seems they do not give a rat's ass.

April 15, 2012

0
Reply

Might just be lousy SEO on your part.

April 15, 2012

0
Reply
Hummer

I've done everything suggested on the YouTube forums and elsewhere on the web concerning this issue.
Still, after almost a year, my vids don't show up unless I include my name with the artist's name. If you, actually, know of SEO for YouTube, please let me (us) know about it.

April 15, 2012

0
Reply
dixter

SEO for Youtube is simply using relevant titles, a solid description, and meta tags. I'm not sure how many algorithms go into SEO goes for Youtube but hit count will play a big role as well as age and probably comments. I'm just guessing, I've never really looked too much into it.

April 15, 2012

0
Reply

How could there be a hit count or comments when they don't even show up?

April 15, 2012

-1
Reply
dixter

Showing your work in relevant forums, sharing the link with friends, and finding other online ways of distribution will boost your play count and probably your ranking in the search results. Just because it doesn't show up in a YouTube search doesn't mean you can't broadcast your work.

April 17, 2012

0
Reply

Yea, that sounds like either a problem with SEO or conflicting SEO. (if their band name is "cute kitties" I doubt they will ever be relevant on a search result)

April 15, 2012

0
Reply

Also, you say concert videos. If this is copyrighted material, it might be considered a bootleg copy by the record company and therefore blocked in full. Have you gotten some kind of copyright warning? Can you share lnks to the videos? That way we can help, nowm it's just a guessing game...

April 16, 2012

0
Reply

It's all in the metadata!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZElz5HlnsmM

Also, required reading for anyone trying to make a few bucks off of YouTube.

http://www.youtube.com/yt/creators/playbook.html

My experience with YouTube over the past year didn't make me significantly richer, but netted me about 2k (after splitting the revenues with a friend). About half of that comes from merchandising, which YouTube is also building this feature into their system- http://www.engadget.com/2011/10/17/youtube-merch-store-makes-your-artist...

April 16, 2012

0
Reply
Austin Mace

One of the joys of YouTube is that it offers low brow, no brow and complete crap genres as an entertainment platform. I think one of its affectionally enduring qualities are among others, cat videos; looking at the site as a containment library, its the biggest collection of home movie and amateur film making in the world which from an historical perspective is an invaluable asset to the field, a time capsule of all spectrums of the moving image. I would hate to see a corporatised, 'professional' rebranding of YouTube replacing amateur hour, which goes against everything that it established when the site first began. We all know that if you want quality films, go to Vimeo, but Youtube is in many ways a special entity in itself, a refuge for the talentless, the kitsch and the ridiculous. Lets hope it stays that way, those kitten videos are far more important than you might think...

April 15, 2012

0
Reply
shaun.wilson

It's a interesting change. There is more encourage.

April 16, 2012

0
Reply

Not a real shocker as many accounts have had the option to monetize videos for a while now. Youtube has just decided to call these accounts "partners" while there's not really any new features. The real partners have branding and customization options that these new partners don't have.

April 16, 2012

0
Reply

@VanWeddings - can you explain that a bit more? I don't really get it... on my channel, I've been able to monetize content for a while now, even though I don't have a lot of views (monetization was turned on at around 20K or so).

I've chosen not to monetize, since I'd rather people enjoy the video as clearly as possible than see ad overlays... but it's good to know the options. And maybe if some video goes viral I'll turn it on for a while... it's nice that it's a simple checkbox.

Does this new partnership offer *anything* new for situations like mine?

(what I'd really like is the ability to really customize the channel page- i.e. banner to drive people to the website, etc.)

April 16, 2012

0
Reply
David Komer

@David Komer - The real partners can do things like custom thumbnails, custom banners on channel pages, etc. These are the people who were accepted into the partner program, not just people who are able to monetize videos. Youtube has just decided to call this new batch of people partners as well, but really there are two tiers with different abilities.

April 17, 2012

0
Reply

Where can I find that list of 20 approved countries?

April 16, 2012

0
Reply
Laurel

Towards the bottom of the post you'll see "For the announcement’s full details, along with the list of 20 eligible countries, check out the YouTube Creator blog post." it has a link.

April 16, 2012

0
Reply

Thanks.

April 18, 2012

0
Reply
Laurel

I really feel unlucky when I read you tube partner terms. My country is always left out of everything... an island is difficult to get recognized!

April 19, 2012

0
Reply
Stephan

How do you apply for the real partner program now? all i see on youtube are ways to monitize your account under this new "Faux Partner" program.

April 21, 2012

0
Reply
Peter

Excellent stuff!

November 9, 2012

0
Reply

My mom always said, "keep your nose clean" when it comes to anything blackhat related in the Internet Marekting world

November 8, 2013

0
Reply

I would like to make short film on various informative topics from sex to education. Through You tube I would like to start. I am from India. S what should be done. to whom should I approach, what is the real procedure. please tell me. I am totally new into this media.

June 22, 2014

0
Reply
rahul