YouTube has announced a significant update to its monetization policies, allowing more creators, including those with smaller followings, to monetize their presence on the platform. The company revealed that it is lowering the eligibility requirements for the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) and introducing several monetization methods for smaller creators, such as paid chat, tipping, channel memberships, and shopping features, The Verge reports.
As per the new eligibility policy, creators can now join the YPP once they reach 500 subscribers, which is half the previous requirement set by YouTube. Additionally, the benchmarks for watch hours and Shorts views have been adjusted. Creators will need 3,000 valid watch hours or 3 million Shorts views instead of the previous requirements of 4,000 watch hours or 10 million Shorts views. Initially, these lower requirements will be implemented in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Taiwan, and South Korea.
While smaller creators will have the opportunity to monetize their content, YouTube emphasizes that they will still need to expand their audience to generate ad revenue. The existing YPP requirements will remain in place for revenue sharing. However, YouTube clarifies that creators who meet the higher requirements won't need to reapply to the program. The company has been actively using its ad revenue sharing program to incentivize creators, particularly for short-form content, and recently introduced an ad revenue sharing program for Shorts.
Other platforms, such as TikTok, have also taken steps to provide access to creator monetization features for smaller content creators. TikTok recently announced that its video paywall feature, Series, would be available to creators with over 10,000 followers. Additionally, users with 1,000 followers who meet certain criteria can also apply to participate in the program. The Series feature enables creators to share premium content that fans can pay to access.
These changes in monetization policies are aimed at empowering smaller creators to earn income from their fans and followers through additional content offerings, interactions, and financial support. Tipping and paywall features are already available on various creator platforms, but their success relies on an audience willing to spend money.
In addition to the expanded eligibility for monetization, YouTube is also opening up other revenue streams to a wider group of creators. The shopping affiliate program, previously accessible by invitation only, will now be available to YPP participants in the United States with a minimum of 20,000 subscribers. This move further diversifies the ways creators can generate income through their YouTube channels.