June 13, 2023: YouTube is changing its rules to allow more creators to monetize their content on the platform, even if they have a smaller following.
Today, the company announced that it is lowering the eligibility requirements for the YouTube Partner Program, which allows creators to make Money from their videos. This means creators can earn revenue through monetization methods such as paid chat, tipping, channel memberships, and shopping features.
Under the new policy, creators will be eligible for the YouTube Partner Program once they reach 500 subscribers, which is half the previous requirement. The benchmarks for watch hours and Shorts views are also being adjusted. Creators will need 3,000 valid watch hours or 3 million Shorts views instead of the previous thresholds of 4,000 and 10 million. Initially, these changes will apply in the US, UK, Canada, Taiwan, and South Korea.
However, smaller creators still need to grow their audience to earn ad revenue. The existing requirements for revenue sharing will remain in place. YouTube clarifies that once creators meet the higher standards, they won’t have to reapply to the program. Ad revenue sharing has been a way for YouTube to incentivize creators to make Money, primarily through short-form content like Shorts.
Other platforms, such as TikTok, have also made it easier for creators to access monetization features. TikTok recently announced that its video paywall feature called Series would be available to creators with more than 10,000 followers, while those with 1,000 followers who meet other requirements can also apply. This allows creators to offer premium content that fans can pay to access.
In both cases, smaller creators are allowed to earn Money from their fans and followers willing to pay for additional content or interactions. Monetization features like tipping and paywalls are standard across various creator platforms and require an audience ready to support the creators financially.
YouTube is also expanding other monetization options. Previously available by invitation only, the shopping affiliate program is now open to YouTube Partner Program participants in the US with at least 20,000 subscribers. This allows creators to earn from affiliate links to products in their videos.