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YouTube defends new monetisation rules

YouTube has defended the new monetisation rules in brought in earlier this year, claiming that it has strengthened advertiser confidence.

In a blog post targeted at YouTube creators titled ‘an update on our 2018 priorities’, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said that the YouTube community “continues to grow at a healthy, responsible rate,” but admitted there is still more work to do.

Addressing a number of issues, including supporting the growth and success of content creators, Wojcicki said that setting new eligibility criteria for monetising YouTube videos will have a net benefit for people who are making money from the site.

“While we know some creators found this change frustrating, it strengthened advertiser confidence, making monetisation and the broader community on YouTube stronger for creators building their business on the platform.”

She added that over the last year, channels earning five figures annually grew more than 35%, while channels earning six figures annually grew more than 40%.

The comments come after YouTube announced plans in January to introduce stricter criteria for which channels can run ads as part of its ongoing clampdown on inappropriate content on the service.

Before the changes came in, channels on YouTube simply had to reach 10,000 total views to be eligible for the YouTube Partner Program. Under the new rules channels need to have 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time within the past 12 months to be eligible for ads.

While the move sparked complaints from many smaller YouTubers on social sites like Reddit, earlier this month a gun attack at YouTube’s Californian headquarters in San Bruno was also linked to YouTube demonetisation, with reports claiming that shooter Nasim Aghdam was angry over the treatment of her videos on the site.

“As you can imagine, the last two weeks have been incredibly difficult for the people who work at YouTube, myself included,” said Wojcicki in an apparent reference to the incident. “As challenging as the experience has been for our YouTube family, the outpouring of support and kindness from creators has bolstered our spirits and reminded us why this work is so important.”

Addressing other priorities for the year, the YouTube boss said that the service has committed to communicating more with users via social media and has already increased its replies by 600% and its reply rate to Tweets addressed to its official @TeamYouTube, @YTCreators, and @YouTube handles by 75%. YouTube claims to have also more than doubled the number of creators receiving personalised update emails.

In terms of enforcement policies around abusive comments and spam, Wojcicki said that new moderation tools that allow creators to review comments before they’re public have resulted in a more than 75% drop in comment flags on the channels that have this enabled. YouTube now plans to expand the tools to 10 languages.

In February, YouTube also announced additional measures it will take against creators whose “actions risk harming the entire community” – for instance promoting violence or hate or traumatising people. These measures include suspending a YouTube channel’s ability to serve ads and removing its eligibility to be recommended on YouTube, for instance on the homepage or the trending section of the site.

Read Wojcicki’s full blog post by clicking here.