2017 was a controversial year for YouTube and a few of its most well-known creators. Some of that controversy spilled over into the 2018, prompting the video sharing site to take action. In a joint post on the company's Creator blog, YouTube's Chief Product Officer and Chief Business Officer announced changes affecting the YouTube Partner Program.
What is changing
Changes to Partner Program
The terms for receiving ad revenue from the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) have been increased. Creators now need 4,000 hours of watchtime in the last 12 months and 1,000 subscribers to be eligible.
The threshold goes into full effect on all channels starting February 20th. After that date, channels that no longer meet the new requirements will stop earning money through YouTube.
Changes to Preferred Program
YouTube has told advertisers it will tighten the process for videos included in the Google Preferred program. Going forward, all videos in the program will be screened and approved by a team of humans working with robots.
What it means
The new YPP changes mean smaller creators will be kicked out of the Partner Program. However, as the company notes in its post, 99% of creators affected by the change made less than $100 per year.
The changes being proposed for the Google Preferred program mean advertisers can relax a little more about what content their ads will be attached to.
Regular YouTube users will not see any changes and can search for content as usual.