Soon, you will begin to notice that smaller channels will have ads playing on them. This is because YouTube plans to run ads on brand-safe channels, even if they’re not part of its Partner Program.
However, these channels and creators won’t be receiving a cut for the ads that are run on their channels. The way ad monetization works on YouTube is a channel needs to have at least 1,000 subscribers and over 4,000 hours of watch time within the year prior to their application. This new strategy won’t change that.
“We’ll begin slowly rolling out ads on a limited number of videos from channels not in YPP,” reads YouTube’s updated Terms of Service, which was spotted first by Variety. YouTube goes on to note that these channels will not receive any amount of ad revenue.
Why is YouTube doing this?
According to YouTube, its decision to run ads on non-partnered channels is “part of our ongoing investment in new solutions, like Home Feed ads, that help advertisers responsibly tap into the full scale of YouTube to connect with their audiences and grow their businesses.” So, essentially, the platform is looking to help advertisers increase their exposure and grow business on its platform.
What does the creator community think?
The change hasn’t been received well in the creator community. Creators’ relationship with YouTube regarding advertising revenue was already on the rocks before this update. Over the past few years, Adpocalypse and policy changes to regulate harmful content has made it harder for the community to make money on the platform. Also, let’s not forget YouTube’s hit or miss monetization system that’s been notorious for demonetizing videos that shouldn’t be. Now, YouTube will be able to run more ads on its platform, make a larger profit, without having to pay its creators for essentially using their channels to make a larger profit.
YouTube hasn’t said how many channels will have ads running on them without getting paid. However, YouTube did say that it will run ads on these channels regardless of their size. It’s unclear how this decision will affect these small creators. Smaller creators are trying to build their communities, so every view counts. It’s unclear if an influx of unskippable ads will result in a few viewers deciding not to stick around. While that might be a small percentage of people, every viewer is important when trying to build your channel from the ground up. Also, it’s possible these small creators might not want ads played on their videos. They no longer have a choice. YouTube did say that it will monitor how its decision will impact creators.
YouTube made another change; it will now give royalties, not payments
YouTube made another TOS change. All payments from YouTube to U.S. creators, including from partnered payments, channel memberships, and Super Chats, will now be classified as royalties. This is for U.S. tax purposes starting Nov. 18, 2020. Ultimately, this means that some creators may have to submit tax information in Google’s AdSense. They also may be subject to U.S. withholding taxes if required to by law. According to YouTube, “U.S. creators will be generally unaffected by these withholding taxes as long as they provide valid documentation.”
Also, YouTube said it’ll provide more information to creators outside the U.S. when the change becomes available in 2021.