SAN FRANCISCO, CA (CelebrityAccess) — After a number of high-profile content creators on YouTube have become enmeshed in personal controversies, the video streaming service announced a slew of new policies intended to make its platform more comfortable for its advertisers.
The Google-owned Youtube announced on Tuesday that it was substantially tightening the process that allows content creators on the platform to join the YouTube Partner Program and monetize their videos through advertising.
Starting Tuesday, new YouTube Partners will need to have at least 4,000 hours of watch time on their channel and to have at least 1,000 subscribers. Existing partner channels will become subject to the new Partner Program requirements on Feb. 20.
Previously, content creators were eligible to become partners if they had a channel that had reached 10,000 views, meaning that many current partners may lose their ability to monetize content on the platform in February.
In a blog post for content creators on Tuesday, Neal Mohan, Chief Product Officer and Robert Kyncl, Chief Business Officer wrote:
"2017 marked a tough year for many of you, with several issues affecting our community and the revenue earned from advertising through the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). Despite those issues more creators than ever are earning a living on YouTube, with the number of channels making over six figures up over 40% year-over-year. In 2018, a major focus for everyone at YouTube is protecting our creator ecosystem and ensuring your revenue is more stable.
"As Susan mentioned in December, we’re making changes to address the issues that affected our community in 2017 so we can prevent bad actors from harming the inspiring and original creators around the world who make their living on YouTube. A big part of that effort will be strengthening our requirements for monetization so spammers, impersonators, and other bad actors can’t hurt our ecosystem or take advantage of you, while continuing to reward those who make our platform great."
As well, YouTube is also changing how their top-tier ads are delivered and what videos those ads would be associated with. According to a report by Bloomberg, YouTube's new system will see Google Preferred ads only run on videos that have been reviewed by a human and confirmed to be safe for advertiser brands. YouTube says the new verification system will be rolled out in North America in February and will land for the rest of the world by March.
The changes come after several high profile incidents where YouTube Partner content creators sparked controversy for the company and its advertisers. In September 2017, hugely popular YouTube creator Felix "PewdDiePie" Kjellberg aroused advertiser ire when he used a racist slur during a live stream. He has since been dropped from Maker Studios, his content network and is currently engaged in a legal dispute over his contract.
More recently, YouTube partner Logan Paul visited Japan's Aokigahara forest, also known as "suicide forest," and posed next to the corpse of an apparent suicide victim in a video. Paul was dropped from the Preferred Partner program and YouTube pulled out of content creation deals with Paul for its YouTube Red network.
"It's taken us a long time to respond, but we've been listening to everything you've been saying," the company said in a series of tweets following the Paul controversy, hinting at the new changes to its Partner programs. "We know that the actions of one creator can affect the entire community, so we'll have more to share soon on steps we're taking to ensure a video like this is never circulated again."