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Case Study: YouTube Partnership Program Debacle

YouTube has implemented new thresholds for current and new Content Creators (CC) to be eligible for their YouTube Partnership Program (YPP). With these new threshold a number of CC will be losing their ability to claim monetization and other tools from the YPP.

YouTube Partnership Program
Content Creators
ATV Network
AwesomenessTV Network


The issue at hand is that the YPP has recently changed the way they accept new and current CC within their program.

With the new policy as a CC you will need to have the following thresholds in order to claim monetization on your videos and use other tools from the YPP (YouTube Creators, 2018);(Appendix A). These requirements are:

  • 4, 000 watch hours in the past 12 months (YouTube Creators, 2018)
  • and 1, 000 subscribers (YouTube Creators, 2018)

Not only is there new thresholds for the YPP; but a number of YouTube Networks such as ATV Network, Fullscreen, Scale Lab, Maker Studios, Freedom, and a number of others; are following suite and implementing the same thresholds and releasing those who haven’t reached the thresholds (Appendix B).


The YYP is a program that YouTubers or CC can use to claim monetization on their video and make some money on the hard work that they’ve put into their work. With the further addition of using external links in Cards and End Cards; additionally Super Chat and Sponsorships (Google, 2018). YouTube has implement a variety of different thresholds and requirements in the past. The most recent requirement before this was a lifetime view count of 10, 000 views across all your videos (YouTube Creators, 2018). Which isn’t all that hard to achieve! However, with this new threshold being put in place, it’s going to make it hard for the smaller YouTubers to achieve.

The Scope

Current CC have until the 20th of February 2018 to reach these thresholds until they will be released and removed from the YPP (YouTube Creators, 2018);(Appendix A) and the potential of their network that they’re currently partnered under (Appendix B). Where as, new CC as of January 16th, 2018 will need to reach the new requirements in order to be eligible for the YPP (Palladino, 2018).


Primary: Small YouTubers

The primary group that is being affected by this change in thresholds is the small YouTubers whom aren’t at these thresholds.

As it was stated in The Star, CC like Ray Reynolds (a travel vlogger) can attract more than 200, 000 views on his travel videos however, that wouldn’t equate to the watch hours threshold and thus, will be released from the YPP (Friend, 2018). Moreover, Jennie Chiong (kiss.jennie) is pulling in the correct amount of watch hours, however, she doesn’t reach the the subscriber threshold and thus, she’s further being released from the YPP (Friend, 2018).

As it was said by Reynolds, “I’ve never been in it for the money …[; however] I felt like something I had earned was being taken away and somehow, that made me want to hold on to it all the more” (Friend, 2018). As Michael Rizzi prophesied “just seeing $10 a month was very motivating, …[; if] there’s no incentive for [new YouTubers] to start … down the line, it could really hurt the platform” (Friend, 2018).

Yes, to be successful you need to be ready to work hard and push out content. However, with the way that YouTube has implemented their algorithms they favour more towards to the popular content verses the smaller content. Thus, making the process for smaller CC to attract more views and subscribers hard.

Secondary: Viewers

As a secondary stockholder, the viewers of smaller YouTubers are being affected. The smaller YouTubers are trying to get people to subscribe and thus, asking for further subscribers and or asking people to share the video which is adding some additional time on to the videos. With the further addition, of the smaller YouTubers being less motivated to create video; it will create less interesting videos and will make it so that YouTubers won’t be posting as much. Which for the viewers they lose out on the content that they grow to like and subscribe to.

Third: Big YouTubers

‘Big’ YouTubers or YouTubers that have surpassed the threshold are being affected by the change in a completely different way. With the count of YouTubers being monetization and reviewed going down; it will allow the bigger YouTubers to have top priority when it comes to being reviewed. It will boost their ranking within the algorithms.

Fourth: Advertisers

With the change in the YPP it may anger advertisers to the point where they’ll want to back out and pull their advertisements from YouTube. Thus affecting Big YouTubers, YouTube Networks, and YouTube itself.

Fifth: YouTube Networkers

As stated in the “Issue” section YouTube Networks are releasing channels from their networks. This may cause issues with the reputation of the network and bigger YouTubers in turn may ask to leave the network to stand up and stand by the smaller YouTubers.

Sixth: YouTube

YouTube thinks that with this new set of requirements it:

Will allow us to significantly improve our ability to identify creators who contribute positively to the community and help drive more ad revenue to them [and away from creators whom are bringing negativity to the community]. These higher standards will also help us prevent potentially inappropriate videos from monetizing which can hurt revenue for everyone (YouTube Creators, 2018).

In other words, YouTube is thinking that this will minimize the amount of bad content. However, in reality a number of smaller YouTubers do make great content but due to the lack of tools they can’t get their content out there and advertise themselves. In addition, YouTube has stated that:

Though these changes will affect a significant number of channels, 99 percent of those affected were making less than $100 per year in the last year, with 90 percent earning less than $2.50 in the last month. Any of the channels who no longer meet this threshold will be paid what they’ve already earned based on our AdSense policies (YouTube Creators, 2018).

With that being said, YouTube is admitting that they will be affecting a number of the community, however, it’s okay because they weren’t making much money anyhow. However, not are the CC losing out on the money but their also losing the ability to use a number of other helpful tools that are in place to help a channel grow like the ability to signup with YouTube Networks, fight a Content ID claim that maybe falsely issued (which is a major issue with in it’s self; more information Appendix C).


The outcome of this new change is that smaller YouTubers are being punished for not having the ability to advertising themselves and to grow an audience. The media as in YouTube in this instance; is saying that all smaller YouTubers are bad content creators.

Work Cited

Friend, D. (2018). YouTube’s new rules for money-making video channels leave creators feeling sting | Toronto Star. Retrieved 24 January 2018, from

Google. (2018). YouTube Partner Program overview – YouTube Help. YouTube Help. Retrieved 28 January 2018, from

Palladino, V. (2018). YouTube raises subscriber, view threshold for Partner Program monetization. Ars Technica. Retrieved 24 January 2018, from

YouTube Creators. (2018). Additional Changes to the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) to Better Protect Creators. YouTube Creator Blog. Retrieved 16 January 2018, from


(Email: YouTube Creators <>)

(AwesomenessTV Network Support Form; Redacted Information)

Read more about the algorithms of YouTube on my (Donald Louch) blog:

“The Algorithms of YouTube and Their Creators” by Donald Louch

Download the PDF version


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