There is certainly no shortage of creators who develop their YouTube channels out of passion or a sense of mission, but for many users of the platform, money is the main motivator. What requirements do I need to meet to be accepted into the Partner Program and monetize my content? The answer to this question can be found below.
The times of the "wild west" on the YouTube platform are gone forever. Just a few years ago, it was enough to set up a channel and upload video content to be able to earn revenues from advertisements displayed by users. However, this led to a number of abuses, mainly related to the use of other people's content, and attempts to stop this practice resembled the fight with the mythological Hydra, whose severed head was replaced by two more. Finally, YouTube said enough is enough.
Currently, the platform has some minimum criteria that a channel must meet in order to be admitted into the YouTube Partner Program. These are the obligatory 1000 subscribers of the channel and one of the following, the already famous 4000 valid public hours of watch time on the channel in the last 12 months or 10 million valid public Shorts views in the last 90 days. What is worth emphasizing is that these watch hours of content must be "verified" hours, which means that it must be the total watch time of videos set to public on the channel. Private, unlisted, deleted, shorts and even non-VOD live streams do not count towards this pool.
In addition to meeting the quantitative criteria, there are also criteria to keep in mind… let's call them "qualitative" because there can't be active YouTube Community Guidelines strikes on the channel. We can receive such warnings for publishing sensitive, controversial, potentially dangerous content, inciting violence ... The list is really long and we encourage you to read it in the link below the article.
However, we assume that we are developing the channel exemplary, using our own content, in accordance with YouTube's policy and we have managed to achieve the required quantitative thresholds. It's still not everything. There are some formal requirements, the most important of which is having an AdSense account linked to the channel. So if you're serious about making money on YouTube, it's worth getting an AdSense account in advance.
Requirements met... Can I monetize my content now? Not so soon. First, you need to sign the terms of participation in the Affiliate Program, and then send an application to join it. Fortunately, both of these things are done quickly from our account, and after they are done, a YouTube employee will proceed to verify the application. Yes, yes - the channel will be verified manually, which is a very strong defensive wall against attempts of any tricks. How long does the check take? Usually it's a matter of days, although YouTube warns that in the case of a large number of submissions or other events, this time can be significantly longer.
At this point, all we have to do is wait for the verifiers' decision. You should not worry that in the meantime our channel will be unsubscribed by several people and fall below the required subscriber threshold. Since we previously met the requirements and had the option of sending the channel for verification unblocked - it will be assessed for compliance with the rules of the Partner Program.
In a nutshell, that would be it. If we meet all the numerical, qualitative and formal requirements, the decision should be positive and allow us to gain financial benefits from the content we create or license.
However, it is worth remembering that this opportunity is not given to us forever. In the event of actions that do not comply with the rules we promised to adhere to the partnership agreement, or if the channel has been inactive for more than half a year, YouTube may thank us and unsubscribe the channel from the Partner Program. Any desire to return will involve the need to re-register the channel for verification, which - obviously - must be preceded by meeting all the conditions again.
Detailed description of the Affiliate Program: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/72851
Community Guidelines: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/9288567