Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

As one of the people whose channel is affected by this policy change, I have to say I am not happy. There are a few issues I have with their new policy:

1) They should not have made this change retroactive to channels. If you already met the criteria you should be grandfathered into the new program. To terminate monetization entirely gives me no incentive to continue with YouTube.

2) For niche channels, like my own, it can be easy to have the views but difficult to have the subscribers. These two should not be tied together for purposes of monetization.

3) The ones that seem to be causing the biggest headaches on YouTube lately are the bigger creators.

4) Finally, their email to me says that they made this decision based on discussions with creators like me. I would be hardpressed to find a creator "like me" that suggested this. Instead, I suspect, they reached out to the creators with the biggest say and decided to squash the little guys for greater visibility.

I am curious if they will continue to monetize my videos while not sharing the revenue with me or if they will remove ads entirely from my videos.




>) For niche channels, like my own, it can be easy to have the views but difficult to have the subscribers. These two should not be tied together for purposes of monetization.

I completely agree.

I've saved hundreds of dollars [and time] on car maintenance/repairs and plumbing by watching some guy or gal on youtube with very specific information (for a given make/model/year) for example.

I hope these kinds of instructional videos get a reprieve because many many people use them and save tons of money and time [finding manuals and reading them is arduous].

This could be a terrible loss for some audiences as well as the creators who get compensated, slim as it may be.


Honestly I think people will keep making those sorts of videos anyway. We never get paid anything for posting on Stack Overflow or Hacker News yet here we are. And YouTube had lots of good videos before it had monetisation.


> We never get paid anything for posting on Stack Overflow or Hacker News yet here we are.

About 30% of my consulting revenue last year came directly from "I saw you on Hacker News and--".

It is rather harder for a car mechanic to do that.


Right, but if even 5% of car mechanics were making Youtube videos only a few would still be able to make a meaningful amount of money off of them. A car mechanic capable of adapting to a new technology early, and building an audience off of that is more than just a car mechanic.

If you benefit from a disruptive technology, you can't expect the "new normal" to persist indefinitely. The ride certainly may not be free or easy, but it would be abnormal for it not to change.

This whole thing seems very reminiscent of SEO about a decade ago. It was still fairly new and thousands of people built incomes and entire businesses with employees around it. In some cases a search algorithm update wiped out all of their audience. Of course, in nearly every case those impacted immediately blamed Google.

When something is fairly new, the first movers often get outsized benefits. You have less competition which makes the ability to both capture and monetize an audience easier. As the market matures more competitors appear. If the pie doesn't grow as fast as the new competitors arriving, all participants earn less profits.

The results of what Google/Youtube is doing now is just bringing the same effects early. The future of Youtube producers will consist of less search visibility combined with ad revenue divided more ways. 15+ years of double digit only advertising growth has gone a long way to mask the audience problem (and when it ends it is going to result in massive changes to Google.)


Perhaps. I think there are people in places [even in the US] where money goes further for whom a dozen dollars here, a dozen dollars there from different uploads made it worthwhile for them. I hope you are right, but I fear we might lose some great contributors.


Would you still be here or on StackOverflow if you knew that some of the contributors were "gold members" who got directly paid while you didn't?

We participate in these places for the intangible rewards and one of those, I believe, is feeling that we are helping to foster an egalitarian community. When the community is explicitly tiered and money-based, is that still something people will want to chip in to out of the goodness of their hearts?


If they do, then that is great. Since there is no compensation from youtube, these creators should upload the content to a bunch of online streaming platforms.


I guess Google will have the data to know for sure.

But will they backtrack if they’re wrong, or just accept it as collateral damage?


>We never get paid anything for posting on Stack Overflow or Hacker News yet here we are.

Speak for yourself.


99% of the affected channels make less than $100 per year. I don't think most of these types of videos are made with a plan to make money. I think people like making videos explaining things they understand.


Not everyone lives in the US. $100 for me or you may not be worth putting hundreds of hours into making a bunch of videos but it may be for others. My father's late friend used to do that since he was disabled and had few other options. He was in this sub-$100 category.


I'm not particularly interested in the money, but I am worried that features I want to use will be restricted to partners.


Exactly. If they care about monetization, they would sell merchandise or use Patreon or similar.


The TOS bans patreon etc. links unless you meet monetisation requirements: https://www.polygon.com/2017/9/28/16380186/youtube-patreon-d...


If you have a following in Patreon or any other similar platform, it shouldn't be that hard to jump ship and start uploading somehwere else. Any serious internet publisher should have at least one alternate channel for followers. I'd go with Twitter and a newsletter, so if YouTube decides to screw me, I can tell people "hey, I'm moving to [random platform here]". Patreon allows you to communicate with your followers too, so going, you can take your actual contributing followers with you wherever you want (theoretically).


This describes the benefit of being diversified but it doesn't explain how you get there in the face of YouTube's efforts to prevent that. I mean you could plug your Twitter then plug your patreon there but then you're relying on the YT -> Twitter conversion rate multiplied by the Twitter -> Patreon conversion rate.

You could just plug it verbally and skirt the enforcement of the YouTube rules that way, but if they became concerned enough they have automatic transcription and did start enforcing it on annotations/descriptions...


I find it almost callous that not only do they make it super hard for "small timers" to monetize their channel using their own product, but then proceed to block any efforts to let fans contribute via others.


Ha. That's gold.


I've gone with patreon to support smaller channels, 1 to 10 dollars each, budget 20 dollars a month.

Mentions among creators drives me to new channels and I add to Patreon.


I agree. I have found a lot of value in channels with very niche information on a wide variety of topics.


Sure, but why does youtube need to care? From their perspective, those videos probably aren't helping their bottom line. It might be better if they weren't uploaded in the first place: Less disk space used, no need to index them, etc.

(I echo your agreement, for what it's worth.)


Youtube absolutely should care. The "long tail" is one of Youtube's competitive advantages. Sure, each individual video in the "long tail" may only have a couple thousand views, but collectively as a whole the "long tail" is the reason why you instinctively check YouTube over any other site when looking for:

"how to replace xx on 1998 honda",

"2002 winter olympics highlights",

"insert 1980s tv show name theme song"


Isn’t that why YouTube and the internet won over cabletv and newspapers? The long tail!

I don’t want to watch what everyone else is watching, I want to watch whatever I want to watch, no matter how obscure, niche or unpopular.


They're profitable videos to advertisers. You always end up buying a part or tool (or new car? Muffler fix video --> Check out the new Tesla).

Often paying a premium to get the part tomorrow.

The manual review shouldn't take more than 7 seconds.


Sure, but why does YouTube need to care?

Those videos get me to YouTube in the first place. Once there they can try to get me to watch 'better' videos and the videos I do watch gives them lots of useful information about me that they can sell to advertisers.


These videos get me to youtube, but I only watch them, I don't watch segments of Jimmy Kimmel like a chump. Also: adblocker.


I do believe you are right. The ROI on these videos for YT, is likely very minimal, given opp cost. On the other hand, it creates awesome goodwill.


And how much does a cursory Manual review cost?

Econ 101 is that you should match marginal cost to marginal revenue.

YT is leaving money on the table here.


> 3) The ones that seem to be causing the biggest headaches on YouTube lately are the bigger creators.

You're probably referring to the recent events where well-known youtubers have published questionable content and causing an outrage.

But I think this is about the low-quality spammers and copycat content farms that create videos automatically or semi-automatically or just otherwise with low effort, and aggressively optimize using analytics. To make matters worse, a lot of these target children and some of these have even been approved to the "for children" category.

Even though the outrage hasn't been as loud in the media (but there has been some discussion about it), I think it's a much bigger issue for them than a few high profile makers publishing questionable content.

From their point of view, the spam accounts are impossible to distinguish from individuals who have just a few videos or are just getting started. If they allow monetization with no barrier to entry, there will be spam content.

I'm not sure what other alternatives they would have, apart from manually vetting each and every account eligible for monetization.

I do understand that this is a pain in the ass for niche content production. I've been considering starting some niche video production too (I enjoy activities that others enjoy watching) but now it looks like it would take 6-12 months (at least) to get to the point where you could make a dime. For me, this would mean non-trivial time and money investment in equipment. I wouldn't do it to make money, but I don't want to be spending money with not hope of getting any back either.


> 3) The ones that seem to be causing the biggest headaches on YouTube lately are the bigger creators.

Not quite:

* Paying for views/subs is a huge issue. The lifetime view count makes it so that you only need to pay once to reap the benefits of YPP. Making the requirement continuous gives less financial incentive.

* Elsagate and content aimed at children was a smaller but frequent controversy last year. I’m guessing they need more time/resources to vet that content and slow down the rate that spammers and low-effort content providers try to game the system.


> The ones that seem to be causing the biggest headaches on YouTube lately are the bigger creators.

This is a great observation. They're punishing the small, niche channels for the terrible shit pulled by the huge channels, with Logan Paul just being the most recent and which is probably the precipitating event here.


I knew someone would mention Logan Paul, that one guy that faked colorblindness to get views, and ultimately ended up tubing around a dead guy.

If Google is doing this with a "let's try and make it harder for idiots like Logan Paul to become successful" motivation, then shame on Google.

The only other reason I can think of is that smaller players have been abusing the system, and we see tons of tiny low-quality popups that film inappropriate stuff and get reported. I think this is more likely, than because of anything Logan Paul did.


They're not punishing small channels for logan paul. he's an incredibly easy problem to deal with, and they already solved that problem by kicking him off YPP.

This is to deal with the much larger problem of small channels posting awful content in such huge volumes that it's difficult to police, and causing headlines like this one: https://www.buzzfeed.com/charliewarzel/youtubers-made-hundre...


YouTube doesn't understand or care about the true underlying value of its platform, let alone its potential. And they continue to make bad choices to steer it in entirely the wrong direction. It could be a powerhouse but they keep screwing it up. This is all part and parcel of google/alphabet being horrendously bad at product management and customer interactions.


Leave youtube, start your own business? Do Patreon or something. Seriously, we need to cut down our dependence on big tech. They've been taking advantage of us for too long.


I don't get the views/subscriber criteria at all. If the changes are to "protect the community", why worry about number of views or number of subs? And not only they made it important, they made it the first pre-requisite to even consider your channel!


It allows them to review those channels more carefully, since theres less of them.


What’s your channel? I found a Jeff Mould but it was just junk video of burning houses.

If you post a link we can see the sort of content they’re cutting out.


Have you seen the comments on the blog post? The firsts are all about asking people to suscribe to their channel, possibly with subing back.

Edit: Well, all the comments are asking for suscribers.




Applications are open for YC Winter 2022

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: