No more earning money with videos? The YouTube change and my tips!

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Earning money with YouTube videos has never been easy, and a recent change appears to make it even more difficult for small channels.

You can find out what changes YouTube will introduce on February 20, 2018 and what that means for many YouTubers.

I also describe my opinion and give practical tips on how you can still generate income.

New minimum requirements for YouTube partners

If you want to make money from advertising in your YouTube videos, you have had to meet certain requirements in the past.

Some time ago, YouTube tightened these up and requested at least 10,000 video views before you could become a YouTube partner .

But apparently that was not enough, although one can only speculate about the reasons. There were many small channels that tried to make money with just one viral video or many stolen videos. Advertisers are also said to have been less satisfied with the placement of advertisements on many small channels.

That’s why YouTube is introducing 2 new criteria on February 20th. For one thing, you need to have at least 1,000 subscribers in your channel to become a partner. On the other hand, you must have achieved a playback time of at least 4,000 hours in the last 12 months.

Where can I find the playback time?

1,000 subscribers is not a little, but it can be done if you actively promote the channel. On the other hand, I find the 4,000 hours of playback time a bit more demanding, at least if you are not a full-time YouTuber who publishes videos every day.

You can find the playback time in your own YouTube Analytics . You can find the playback time in the YouTube admin under “ANALYTICS> Playback time”. Here you select “Last 365 days” as the period at the top right and then see how many minutes your videos have been viewed in the past 12 months. There must be a value here that is longer than 240,000 minutes, which is exactly 4,000 hours.

If the watch time value of your own channel is lower or if you have fewer than 1,000 subscribers, the monetization through advertising will be 20.2. deactivated. As soon as the two values ​​increase above the minimum requirements, the advertisements are automatically activated again.

How can you increase the playback time?

I already explained in detail how to get more subscribers here in the blog. But how can you further increase the playback time?

Here are a few tips:

  • Interesting topicsTo ensure that viewers watch their own videos for as long as possible, you should choose topics that are as interesting as possible. Just like in a blog, you have to get to know your own target group and find out what interests them. In any case, it is worthwhile to evaluate the YouTube statistics and to see which videos were particularly well received in the past.
  • Exciting startMost viewers jump off in the first 10 seconds of the video, as can be seen, for example, from this YouTube statistic on “audience retention”: 

    It is therefore important that the beginning of your video is as exciting as possible and that it is clear to you why the viewer should stick to it.

  • More videosThere is a fairly clear relationship between the number of videos and the playback time. The more videos you publish on your channel, the more time viewers spend on it. Therefore you should try to record and publish new videos regularly.
  • Longer videosIt is also quite obvious that longer videos are watched for longer on average. Although the proportionate playback time in percent is usually higher for short videos, the pure minutes watched are usually higher with a 30-minute video than with a 5-minute video.Therefore, one should counter the general trend for shorter videos (at least some of the videos) and publish longer videos.

No more earning money with YouTube?

Do the new minimum requirements mean that small channels have big losses and no longer earn money? I don’t see it that way for two reasons.

For one thing, it’s hard to make good money with YouTube anyway. It takes well over 1,000 subscribers and 330 hours of video playback time per month to get a decent income from your videos .

It is estimated that around 500,000 to 1 million video views are necessary to earn 1,000 euros. If you calculate on average with only 2 minutes of playback time per video call, that would be 16,000 – 32,000 hours of playback time. So far more than the minimum requirement.

On the other hand, YouTube is really only worthwhile for making money if you generate additional income from other sources of income . Very few will come to a green branch with YouTube advertising alone.

Does YouTube harm niche channels?

The displeasure with the new requirements is partly understandable and it simply shows again that YouTube is only interested in the masses. Niche channels have fewer views and subscribers, but are they less or less valuable because of this?

Certainly not. There are simply topics that do not interest so many people, but are nevertheless interesting, important and lucrative. Similar to niche websites, it is legitimate to address these people and make money. But whether video makes so much sense in niche topics remains the question. So far, you could hardly make any money from YouTube videos in a niche alone. That is why videos were particularly interesting as a supplement. Many niche website operators have integrated videos into their websites and thus added value.

That’s why I think that the new requirements won’t really hurt small YouTube channels, since they hardly have earned anything with advertising anyway. Instead, this development shows that you should rely even more on other sources of income and YouTube often only makes economic sense in combination with other platforms, such as your own website.

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