Many freelance content creators have been using and earning from the YouTube Partnership Program, however, YouTube is firming up the rules and it could spell the end for many money-making channels. Effective immediately, a channel/creator must meet a new (higher) view and subscriber count in order to be able to earn advertising revenue from their videos.

To apply for monetization, YouTubers must have hit a minimum of 4,000 hours of watch time on their channel within the past year and have at least 1,000 subscribers to their name.

If you've been making money from YouTube's partnership program in this way and you don't meet the new criteria, YouTube will pull the plug on your ad earnings on February 20th. It's a pretty big shift as previously, content creators were able to join the YouTube partnership program with accounts that had 10,000 public views or more without any requirements related to annual views or subscribers.

YouTube partnership program

What does it all mean for freelance content creators? 

Most obviously, it is going to reduce the number of new YouTube earners joining the partnership program. Freelance videographers, content creators, and filmmakers will still be able to promote their work but may struggle to hit the necessary criteria to avail of the advertising benefits. It may also bump up revenue of those who do meet the new YouTube criteria as ads will have to go somewhere and those still in the ring may very well see a spike in earnings. 

The move according to YouTube is another step to safeguard the quality of content on its site. 

According to a company blog post, “We’ve arrived at these new thresholds after thorough analysis and conversations with creators like you. They will allow us to significantly improve our ability to identify creators who contribute positively to the community and help drive more ad revenue to them (and away from bad actors).”

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