YouTube Monetization Changes Coming In 2021

Learn about the new YouTube policies and the YouTube monetization changes and learn how you can adapt to these changes as a YouTuber.

As a YouTuber, you know by now that staying in the game and making the most out of your career requires knowing the rules and the policies that can make your business grow faster. 

Not knowing the rules can cost you money and even break your career as a YouTuber.

Too many times, YouTubers make the mistake of neglecting the need to stay informed about the latest happenings and events, both in their niche or industry and on the YouTube platform itself. 

This can be a big disadvantage to you as a video content creator. 

You need to know the policies put in place to help you grow your channel, scale your business, and monetize your videos. 

If you ignore them, it’s as good as shortchanging yourself and robbing your channel of a chance to become the best it can be. 

That’s why we are creating this article. 

In this article, we will be sharing with you a vital piece of information that can change everything for you. 

Basically, in late November 2020, Youtube made several changes to its terms of service. 

In the update, there were some policies that have a direct effect on your channel. 

Specifically, these changes touch on Youtube’s monetization policies. 

Since you are probably on youtube to make some cash, we believe you would be interested in learning what these changes mean to you and your youtube channel.

Read on to find out the YouTube monetization changes and how it can affect your channel and videos.

Let’s find out!

What Are The New YouTube Monetization Rules?

The new monetization rules state that ads will be run on videos of all creators but the YouTubers who are not a part of the YouTube Payment Program will not receive a share of the revenue generated from these ads. 

Before you lookout for the new YouTube Monetization Policies or Rules, you want to know what they used to be before they changed. 

So, what exactly changed?

YouTube added the phrase “or faces” to their Terms of service. 

This was to be explicit about what cannot be collected.

What does this mean exactly? 

Well, it means that YouTube is adding this to their Terms of service to help them explain explicitly to users what kind of data cannot be collected from YouTube.

The platform has never allowed the collection of personally identifiable information. 

This means data that can be used for facial recognition

This was under their previous versions of their Terms of services.

However, this time, YouTube wants users to understand it clearer, so they included specific language to achieve this purpose.

YouTube takes its user’s privacy seriously.

Another change made is the addition of a new section to its Terms of service: Right to Monetize.

In the New Section under “Rights to Monetize,” there are some things you should know.

With this new policy, it means that as a user, you now give YouTube the right to monetize your content on the service

This monetization may include displaying ads on or within the content or charging users an access fee.

What else should you know? 

This agreement does not entitle you to any payment.

From 18th November 2020, any payments you may be entitled to receive from YouTube under any other agreement like payments under the YouTube partner program, channel memberships, or super chat, will be treated from now as royalties.

If the law requires, then Google will withdraw taxes from such payments.

That’s on a former note. 

So, what changed here?

Simple, YouTube added a new section to its terms of service “Right to Monetize” and there are two updates here:

1. For Channels Not Yet In The YouTube Payment Program

YouTube states explicitly that from November 18th, 2020, it began to slowly roll out ads on a limited number of videos from channels not in the YouTube Payment Program.

What this means is that as a creator that is not in the YouTube Payment Program, you may see ads on some of your videos, however, since you are not currently in the YouTube Payment Program, you are not entitled to receive a share of the revenue from these ads, although you will still have the opportunity to apply for the YouTube Payment Program once you meet the eligibility requirements.

You can check what progress you have made towards the eligibility requirements on the monetization tab in YouTube studio.

2. For Monetizing Creators In The U.S:

YouTube also updated the terms of service to mention that any payments from YouTube’s top U.S creators will be considered as Royalties from a U.S tax perspective and this was made effective from November 18th, 2020.

Also, some creators may be required to submit tax information in AdSense and may be subject well, to U.S withholding taxes if required by law.

U.S creators will be generally unaffected by these withholding taxes, however, as long as they provide valid documentation.

You might want to get professional tax advice on this.

What Do The YouTube Monetization Changes Mean To The Creators?

Well, YouTube’s new monetization changes mean Google will now show ads on all videos, even if creators don’t want it, and you won’t get paid, not unless you are a member of the YouTube Payment Program. 

This means that unless you are in the YouTube Payment Program, you may see some ads on your videos and you won’t receive a share of the revenue generated from these ads.

YouTube Payment Program is the YouTube Partner Program which video creators and influencers can belong to if they have more than 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours of viewed content in the last 12 months.

Membership in the YouTube payment Program is what makes you eligible to receive revenue shares from YouTube based on the ads shown on your videos, but not many YouTubers meet the qualification.

What does this mean for YouTubers still trying to gain ground and small channels still struggling to grow?

For smaller YouTubers, having ad-free videos was a competitive advantage as they work on growing their channel into a monetizable one with a reasonable amount of revenue.

Also, their viewers had the opportunity to enjoy videos without the distractions of a related or unrelated ad, and this could help creators focus on growing.

As it is now, that option is out of the picture.

The major challenge in this, for creators, is that they are at the mercy of the platform and any decision that stems from it.

Looking at it from YouTube’s perspective, creators would need to consider that videos are hosted and streamed for free and that it took something of a while for YouTube to become profitable.

Another thing to consider is the significant costs it takes to run the platform, considering that the bandwidth is not free.

These are some things to put into consideration when analyzing YouTube’s Monetization changes.

Usually, when advertisements run on YouTube videos, those creators typically receive a portion of the revenue through their role in the YouTube Partner’s Program.

With the new monetization rules, however, a creator who is not in the YouTube Partner Program is likely to see ads on their videos according to the update on YouTube’s terms of service, and not get paid any portion of the revenue generated.

Before this time, YouTube stated that these videos only received ads in limited circumstances, like if they were monetized by a record label as part of a copyright claim.

What this will do is affect mostly smaller creators who don’t have huge viewership.

Channels that haven’t attained the minimum requirements cannot get monetized

To many YouTubers, it will take a lot of effort and time to attain Youtube’s minimum requirements for monetization. 

This is something to be concerned about, seeing that advertising is a major big deal for creators, who may have been relying on the platform’s payout to support themselves.

Now, YouTube will have the ability to run more ads on its platform without having to pay a huge number of creators in the process. 

So, it appears that YouTube is out to make money from the creator’s sweat. 

This hasn’t settled properly with most YouTubers. 

Especially considering that before this update, a YouTuber would choose not to show ads on their channel even when they have qualified for the Youtube partner program. 

They would decide to run an ad-free channel if they wish. 

It now seems that YouTube is taking this power from them. 

YouTube has promised, however, that ads that are on sensitive topics will not be run on creators’ videos. 

These include ads on politics, religion, alcohol, and gambling.

The YouTube management team has not specified the number of creators who will see ads run on their videos without payment, but the company has confirmed that ads may appear on channels of all sizes.

So, you might to just wait and see if yours will be one of the randomly chosen channels. 

The company has also said it would monitor the impact this decision has on creators on the YouTube platform.

Wrapping Up

YouTube policies change periodically. 

Some have a direct impact on users, while others create an indirect impact. 

What we know is that any changes that have something to do with revenue sharing will be received with mixed reactions. 

In fact, youtube has made changes before that had a serious impact on Youtubers’ earnings.  

As a YouTuber, you need to keep tabs on any of these changes as they’ll affect how you interact with the platform. 

We hope you found this article helpful!

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