YouTube has been in the spotlight repeatedly over the past several months, but rarely for anything encouraging. Most recently, the video sharing platform was lambasted for allowing YouTube star Logan Paul to upload a vlog prominently featuring the body of someone who had allegedly committed suicide. The Google-owned property then refrained from laying down the law on Paul until an uproar from users forced its hand days later.
But as worrisome as the Logan Paul episode was for frequent visitors of YouTube, the actual reason that Google has to address the root of the problem is because of advertisers. They understandably don’t want to have their wares and services attached to inappropriate or controversial content. So YouTube is making some major changes.
In a post on the Inside AdWords blog this week, Google VP of engineering Paul Muret discussed three ways that YouTube is going to address its biggest issues in 2018. First off, while channels previously needed just 10,000 views in order to apply to the YouTube Partner Program, they’ll now need 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time within the last 12 months to be eligible to make money from ads. This will go into effect on February 20th, 2018.
Secondly, videos included in the Google Preferred program will not only be the most popular content from the site, but also content that has been thoroughly vetted. Channels included in Google Preferred will now be manually reviewed by YouTube staff, and ads will only run on videos that have been verified to meet the guidelines.
Finally, in order to increase transparency, YouTube “will introduce a three-tier suitability system that allows advertisers to reflect their view of appropriate placements for their brand, while understanding potential reach trade offs.” Google wants advertisers to know more about where their ads are running, and have more control over them.
For the most part, these appear to be steps in the right direction for a company that has rightly come under fire for allowing its community to run amok. Unfortunately, by raising the barrier to entry for its partner program, it will make it harder than ever for hobbyists to make money from their channels without a huge subscriber base.