And just like that, with a swift right hook that seemingly came out of nowhere, Google/YouTube has just crushed the dreams of many an aspiring YouTuber. I got the email last night and the official announcement was published on the Google Inside AdWords official blog too. If you want to monetize your YouTube videos by way of the YouTube Partner Program (YPP), you'll need to meet some new, higher requirements.

Up until this point, if you wanted to get a cut of the advertising money coming out of your YouTube videos, you only had to accrue 10,000 lifetime views. This was meant to weed out any of those fly-by-night operations posting unauthorized concert videos and the like. As of February 20, the YouTube Partner Program is going to make it remarkably more difficult for you to run monetization on your YouTube channel at all.

Instead of simply requiring 10,000 total views, you'll need to meet two new requirements. First, your channel needs to have 1,000 subscribers. Second, it must have 4,000 hours of watch time within the past 12 months, which equates to an average of 2,000 minutes per month.

These new YouTube Partner Program requirements not only apply to brand new channels that are applying for monetization for the first time. It affects everyone who is already in the YPP who does not meet those requirements. That's a real shame, because there are so many "small" creators on YouTube who put out terrific content and have a dedicated fan base, but they don't quite reach those thresholds.

These new requirements come hot on the heels of one of YouTube's most controversial years to date. The demonetization crisis came about when YouTube came under fire for videos depicting white supremacist views, as well as disturbing content aimed at children. And let's not forget about the recent Logan Paul debacle with the "suicide forest" in Japan. But instead of punishing "big stars" like Logan Paul, YouTube decides to punish the smaller creators.

Moves like this seem to indicate two things. First, Google/YouTube is far more interested in appeasing the advertisers (and their fears of having ads run alongside questionable or controversial subject matter) than they are in supporting the community of creators. Second, they'd much rather throw their support behind a smaller number of big-time creators than to throw a bone for the little guy.

I love YouTube as much as the next guy and I can fully appreciate the sticky situation they're in. At the same time, I also feel these new requirements are unnecessarily punishing the wrong set of YouTubers.

In any case, if you want to throw us a bone and help keep the lights on, be sure to subscribe (and watch) the MEGATechNews YouTube channel, as well as my personal channel and the one belonging to Futurelooks manager dude Stephen Fung. We need all the support we can get!

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