Rework your YouTube monetisation strategy and make the right moves

YouTube. Photo: Reuters
YouTube video creators have a new problem. With Google changing its YouTube Partner Programme, they need to have many more subscribers and viewership to earn money. Earlier, a YouTube video creator required only to have 10,000 views to become eligible for monetising his content on YouTube. With the revised policy, the eligibility criteria for monetisation have turned much more stringent. Now, a video creator becomes eligible only if he garners 4,000 hours of watch time within the past 12 months and has at least 1,000 subscribers. These new policies that restrict monetisation of the channel were introduced because the company faced significant pressure from advertisers and users for extremist content, misinformation and conspiracy selling. But new video creators trying to earn money through their endeavours have become the unwitting victims. 

 Google, which owns YouTube, believes that the new policies will cleanse the platform. "In 2017, the entry of a lot of bad actors had affected our community. These new requirements for monetisation will weed out most spammers, impersonators, and other bad actors," says a spokesperson of Google India. About 99 per cent of the affected channels were those that made less than $100 per year.

Seasoned YouTubers, who have a large number of subscribers, remain unscathed. Says Praval Sharma, a tech YouTuber: "With data becoming so affordable, thousands of new creators had entered YouTube. People were making money through videos that did not add any value to advertisers." Sharma's primary YouTube channel, Sharmaji Technical, has 1.1 million subscribers while his second channel, Sharmaji Infinity, has 84,000 subscribers. Sharma adds that while this move may appear disheartening for new creators, they should use it as a motivating factor to raise their bar. 

YouTube runs ads on user-generated content and shares a portion of the revenue with the creators once they have got monetised. It keeps 45 per cent while the creator receives the balance 55 per cent. 

Adopting a focused strategy: Many popular YouTubers, who ran multiple channels, all of which may not have crossed the threshold limit, have also become a casualty of the new policy. Many of them have abandoned some of their channels to devote their time and energies to the one channel that they think has the best prospects of crossing the monetisation threshold. Aditi Malhotra is a lifestyle YouTuber whose primary channel, Navigenes, has 735 subscribers. Previously she had multiple channels, but she has put them all on the backburner for the moment to focus on her primary channel and make it eligible for Google's new monetisation criteria. 

Turn to other options: New creators who are looking at YouTube as a career option should bear remember that the platform offers multiple other sources of income besides AdSense, the primary source. Some of these include affiliate marketing, sponsorships, and merchandising. 

Affiliated marketing requires the video creator to put a link to the product or service she is reviewing in the description box. If viewers click on that link and go to the site, the creator receives a commission.

Make the right moves  
  • Build your reach to get noticed by brands
  • Making advertiser-friendly content can lead to more advertisement offers
  • Other social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, can also get you brand sponsorship if you have a good reach

To get brand sponsorships, new creators need to build their reach first. Only then do they catch the attention of brands. "Due to the penetration that YouTube and other social media platforms enjoy, and the popularity they have gained, brands readily sponsor bloggers and You Tubers who have good reach," says Ashwin Ganesh, tech YouTuber. Ganesh's YouTube channel name C4ETech has one million subscribers. Successful creators say that brands don't care how a video is done, they only look at how many views and subscribers it has got. These brands then pay the creator to review their products. 

As for YouTube ads, they are served only on advertiser-friendly content. Hence, those producing advertiser-friendly content get more advertisement offers. “Clickbait or a once in a while trendy video can get you instant views, but won't get you, consistent subscribers. There is also a chance of your channel getting negatively affected,” adds Ganesh. Clickbait describes web content aimed at generating online advertising revenues. 

If you fail to make it big on YouTube, you can always try your luck on other social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and work to enhance your reach on them. But Facebook, Instagram or Twitter do not give any sponsorships themselves. Only the concerned brands whose products are being reviewed can do so.

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