Google announced new changes to its YouTube partner program which will make it harder for creators and publishers to generate ad revenue but should ensure adherence to its quality standards.
So as per the new guidelines, creators need to have at least 4,000 hours of watch time generated within a years’ time to qualify for the monetization program. Further, they need to have a minimum of 1,000 subscribers to their channel as well. The new rules apply immediately, which means those who fail to meet the new criteria will be crashing out right away.
Google, on its part, said they have come up with the new rules after having engaged extensively with the creators and publishers. The move is also aimed to single out those who ‘contribute positively to the YouTube community’.
Though not explicitly mentioned but the new rules can well be seen as the aftershocks of the Logan Paul incident. Paul, in spite of being a member of the highest ad revenue generating slab, stirred controversy by posting a video of a man hanging in a forest in Aokigahara, Japan.
Another important aspect of the new guidelines and which can well diminish the ongoing push for greater utilization of AI tech is the enhanced role for humans in the evaluation of the videos uploaded by the creators. Google hasn’t stated how many would be employed in accessing the videos but did confirm the videos will have been through a human screening process to ensure strict compliance of its community posting guidelines.
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Google said their new rules should also pay heed to the concerns put forth by advertisers who have often expressed their reservations in getting associated with videos that they don’t endorse. People are seeing the ads on inappropriate videos also pitches them in a bad light, something that again nullifies their whole aim of advertising in the first place.
It remains to be seen though what effect the new rules will have on the quality of videos posted on YouTube. The new 4,000 hour/1,000 subscriber threshold will be imposed on existing channels, by 28th Feb 2018, as well.