YouTube is officially taking steps to tighten the rules for channels monetized through its video platform -- a move it announced earlier this week.
First, the Google-owned video site confirmed that human moderators would review every upload from creators in its Preferred program. Once the videos have been reviewed and approved, monetization will be turned on.
YouTube also tightened the rules for which channels are eligible for monetization through its basic Partner program.
Currently, channels need 10,000 views to be eligible for monetization. Going forward, new channels will need at least 1,000 subscribers, and 4,000 hours of watch time in the previous 12 months.
“[The new guidelines] 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 bad actors),” wrote YouTube chief content officer Neil Mohan and YouTube chief business officer Robert Kyncl in a blog post. “These higher standards will also help us prevent potentially inappropriate videos from monetizing, which can hurt revenue for everyone.”
Google Preferred includes the top 5% of YouTube creators, and is viewed by advertisers as a safer place to spend their ad dollars, with many brands paying significantly higher CPMs for Preferred videos compared to standard YouTube partner channels.
Preferred’s status as a safe space for brands was put in question, however, after Logan Paul -- one of YouTube’s most popular creators with more than 15 million subscribers -- posted an inappropriate video that included footage of a dead body. Paul took down the video and apologized, but the blowback was swift, and YouTube initially took more than a week to respond, much to the consternation of advertisers and other creators on the platform.Kyncl and Mohan did not mention Paul by name in their post, but his presence was still felt.
“While this change will tackle the potential abuse of a large but disparate group of smaller channels, we also know that the bad action of a single, large channel can also have an impact on the community and how advertisers view YouTube,” they wrote, adding that they are planning meetings with creators and advertisers to discuss these changes, and their other concerns.