YouTube Monetization Changes

While this isn’t really about technology, it’s something I’d like to talk about.

How It Started

I started doing technology videos on YT, back when I worked at eHarmony (like in 2010 or something.)  Initially, I started as a means to give back to others… and by talking about things I was learning, that in itself, helped me learn.

Ad Rev

I never amassed thousands of subs.  It took me several years to get the 400+ subs I have today.  At some point along the way, I found I could put ads on the videos and I got some ad revenue coming in.  It wasn’t much.  The first few years it was like $120 a year… which was like $10 a month… and that actually paid for part of the hosting costs for this site.

The ad revenue on the site (and other sites I own) is abysmal. It hardly pays anything.  Overall the revenue sucked, but it was a reward.  Like a Gold star.

You know when you’re a kid and you do a good job and your teacher gives you a gold or silver star? It has no real value, but it makes you feel great.  That’s how it was with the ad revenue.  Even though it was small, it felt great.

2018 Changes

Over the past few years YT has tried to exclude smaller channels from making any ad revenue.  They added a requirement to have 10,000 views before you could run ads. Then they asked that you have 300 subs….

Today, I was notified that YT will no longer allow me to make ad revenue until I reach 1,000 subs and have 4,000 hours of watched video.

How I Feel

I feel like this is a kick in the gut.  I put a lot of work, effort, energy, time and costs into these videos. I don’t make much with the website ad revenue.  So I relied on YT to cover costs for hosting, or software upgrades or to pay for training here or there.

That’s gone.

“But you never made much.”  I keep hearing this from people defending YT.  Sure, I didn’t make thousands.  But what I made was a reward that made me feel like what I produced had value.

Every week I have to deal with haters – people who rob me of my time, to tell me how they think a video sucks; I need a better mic; they can code better than me… that’s hard enough.

EVERY question asked me on YT, I answer.  I’ve written code for people, reviewed their QA work, or code problems and I’ve given advice on various matters. For me, I really thought I was giving back and providing a value for others.

YouTube, however, is saying to me: “You don’t have value.”

That’s the hidden message in their decision to remove any reward for channels like mine.

Who it Hurts

The channels most affected are those who are based on the arts, teaching/training, and crafts. Educational channels will find it very challenging to hit over 4,000 hours watched.

Programmers will find it very hard to get 1000 subs and 4k hours watched in a year.

While I didn’t do it for the money, I did feel that the pittance I got was a reward for my effort.  Even though it wasn’t much, it made me feel something positive.

What Will Change

Because of this change… and the lack of support from the community, I’ll probably stop posting as much, and will definitely have to cut back on the YT content.  I just can’t afford to eat all these costs, deal with the public haters, deal with people’s problems and also not even get the pittance of recognition I was given prior.

I’m not doing this because of ego… I’m giving up because of discouragement.  It’s a rare gem to have someone say, “man you really helped me, thank you.”  Now, even YT is telling me where I stand and it’s rather bleak and discouraging to ponder it.