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YouTube is Showing Ads On Non-Monetized Channels

YouTube is running ads on non-monetized channels, but the creators aren't receiving a share of ad revenue.

YouTube is Showing Ads On Non-Monetized Channels
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YouTube creators are fuming over a change to the site’s terms of service stating ads will be shown on channels that haven’t opted into monetization

It’s not the advertising itself that isn’t sitting well with creators, it’s YouTube’s decision not to pay non-monetized channels for serving ads.

Ordinarily, creators would have to join the YouTube Partner Program in order to allow ads to be served on their channel.

The main benefit of opting in to serving ads is revenue sharing. Many creators publish on YouTube to earn a side income, while others earn their entire living on the site.

Non-monetized channels will not have the opportunity to earn any amount of money when YouTube begins displaying ads on their channel.

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These are the changes coming into effect, as per an update to YouTube’s Terms of Service.

Right to Monetize

YouTube is adding a new section to its Terms of Service titled Right to Monetize.

Agreeing to the new Terms of Service, which is mandatory for all users, means agreeing to everything laid out in the Right to Monetize section.

Here’s a snippet of what is stated:

“You grant to YouTube the right to monetize your Content on the Service (and such monetization may include displaying ads on or within Content or charging users a fee for access). This Agreement does not entitle you to any payments.”

The company says this change is now rolling out slowly to a limited number of videos from channels not in the YouTube Partner Program.

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So all creators should be aware that ads may start appearing on some of their videos at any time.

As far as I can tell from reading the updated Terms of Service, YouTube will not notify creators when ads begin showing on their content.

For creators not currently in the YouTube Partner Program, the new terms makes it very clear no revenue will be earned:

“Since you’re not currently in YPP, you won’t receive a share of the revenue from these ads, though you’ll still have the opportunity to apply for YPP as you normally would once you meet the eligibility requirements.”

By now you might be asking: If creators want to earn money from ads, why not join the YouTube Partner Program?

Here’s why not all channels can simply opt-in to monetization.

YouTube Partner Program (YPP)

The one and only way for channels to earn ad revenue is by joining the YPP.

However, certain conditions need to be met in order to join program. The two conditions that are holding most channels back are:

  • Having more than 4,000 valid public watch hours in the last 12 months.
  • Have more than 1,000 subscribers.

So it’s the small creators who will be impacted by this change, which only adds to the controversy surrounding YouTube’s new terms.

Since announcing this change a few days ago, YouTube has been flooded with videos from creators speaking out against the company’s decision not to share ad revenue.

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Their main argument is smaller channels should earn a share of revenue if they’re being forced to serve ads.

Established creators are also saying they’re losing confidence in YouTube when it comes to making decisions that benefit the community.

Here’s an example of one such video from a favorite creator of mine, Anthony Fantano (mild language warning):

For more community reactions, also refer to Team YouTube’s tweet announcing the change. Which, I should add, is currently ratio’d with 2K comments to 1K likes.

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In addition to impacting creators, this is almost sure to negatively impact the experience for users as well.

There’s a limit to how many ads people are willing to tolerate, and YouTube may now be approaching that limit.

On one hand, YouTube could drive more people to sign up for its ad-free Premium service. On the other hand, a greater number of people may reduce their time spent on YouTube or boycott it altogether.

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We’ll see over time if YouTube decides to amend its new terms, but for now get prepared for more ads across the platform.

Source: YouTube Help Forums

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Matt Southern

Lead News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a degree in communications, Matt ... [Read full bio]

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