As of today, a lot of YouTube channels (including mine) are no longer eligible for running adverts or even linking to Patreon in end cards (as you need ads enabled to show it). While initially it felt a bit of a blow, I stopped caring about it soon after.
In fact, with my new videos this year, I didn’t even bother to monetise them while I had the opportunity to. YouTube is a great platform to upload and share videos, interact with like-minded people and build communities. We don’t really owe YouTube anything as they give us exposure and a platform to exist on. Hosting video is very expensive, especially on a high-traffic site such as theirs.
It’s still possible to make a living on YouTube for those that want to, but you have to be good at what you do and genuinely love making videos. You need to be consistent with a regular schedule of quality uploads. Those who are beneath the eligibility threshold of 1,000 subscribers with 4,000 hours (240,000 minutes) “watch time” in the last 12 months won’t be missing out on a great deal of income.
I must admit that it was quite nice making the odd few pence or even a pound here and there throughout the year, but in all honesty just doing 1 hour of work would earn me more than I’ve made passively in the last 4 years on YouTube.
Those who want to make a living on YouTube, will still be able to make a living on YouTube (through a good business model that goes beyond just simple YouTube Ads). Those who want to do it as a hobby, are still free to do that as well. Don’t let this change knock you back, see it as an opportunity to reflect and assess why you do this. If it’s for love of making videos, spreading a message, building a community, sharing your passions, then surely not running a few ads shouldn’t stop you. Musicians don’t learn an instrument to make money, they do it as a way to express themselves creatively. It takes a lot of time, hard work and dedication. The reward is what you create, not what you earn from it.
So today YouTube is stripping me and many others of earning a few pounds, so what? It doesn’t stop me and it shouldn’t stop you either. Create for the love of it and if in a year or so you make a bit of money out of it, hey, that’s just a bonus.