Wednesday, August 1, 2012

How to Monetize Videos on YouTube

The 2012 edition for enabling videos for revenue sharing since the changes YouTube made on April 12 2012. Be sure to read all the video description. Follow me on twitter for more updates.
For more YouTube Tips and Tutorials check out

On May 3, 2007 YouTube launched it's Partner Program.
At first about 40 people were in this program. Names such as SMPfilms, Renetto, LisaNova, Zipster08, HappySlip, Smosh, Lonelygirl15, and others. During this time you had to do an interview with them over the phone as they laid down the rules. It was made very clear what people could and could not monetize. Learn how it all started with Zipster08

At this time there was no way to apply, it was by invite only. Although Nalts found a way by launching a campaign to rally his subscribers

and by June 9 2007 he got in.

On December 10, 2007 they expanded the program to where anyone could apply.

Each time you applied it took a few months to hear back from YouTube, due to the flood of applications. If you were turned down you were not able to re-apply for 60 days. I finally got in after my 3rd attempt on September 23, 2008. I was not able to successfully partner my other smaller channels until I grew them to decent size and I got them in finally in 2011.

On August 25, 2009 YouTube launched the Individual Partnership Program
It was their first attempt at monetizing smaller channels. Previously only Partners could place ads on their videos and YouTube and not too many of them were around in 2009. The decision to place advertisements on videos that got a lot of views and the launching of the Content ID system is what finally cased YouTube to turn a profit for the first time since Google bought it.
According to Business Insider back in 2010 only 14 percent of videos had advertisements.

In 2011 the Individual Partnership Program was rolled into the account monetization program. Basically this meant that you could place ads on your videos but did not have the full benefits of Partnership. This was considered a stepping stone for Partnership.

In the old Partner Program, IVP program, and Account Monetization program you had to fill out a claim form each time your video was reviewed. Newly approved YouTubers often had to wait days for their videos to be manually approved. Once YouTube got the chance they could trust you, and you had no copyright or TOS issues they allowed an automated system to approve your ads. A few times as a gag I even wrote, "I like turtles" on my claim form and it went through. Here is a video from my friend BionicDance giving a demo of what the old claim form looked like.

On April 12, 2012 YouTube rolled those in the account Monetization Program into the Partner Program without any notice. This caused quite a head ache in the forums as many people such as myself were left in the dark. YouTube finally pushed out this statement.
According to a live broadcast from YouTube Partner Support they do intend to roll out custom thumbnails, banners, scheduled publishing to all partners in good standing. However, they will not be expanding Livestreaming anymore. From now on they will be pushing the desolate wasteland known as Google Plus and their Hangouts On Air.

Just for the lulz please check out this example of YouTube's LiveStream and see how the quality is so much better than Google Hangouts on Air.

The Livestream was done in February 2011 when the technology was brand new while the previous video is Google's pride and joy and was made yesterday.

No wonder everyone refers to Google Plus as a ghost town.

Partner Support by email is pretty much dead now. Your best bet is to go to the help forums where people like myself try and answer your questions.

In my opinion YouTube's monetization is now mostly automated. I am basing this on what I am finding in the Help Forums. The old revenue sharing claim form has been replaced with a check box. Hundreds of thousands of new partners were added over night. That is simply too much for human review. My guess is they use a crawling program to skim through the video looking for content ID matches or otherwise copyrighted content as well as dangerous or sexual acts. They use a similar program to review flagged videos.

Then if they need more info they can send you an email like this one.

What you need to do is hit the blue link in the email if you get one of these. Hitting the reply button will not work. Expected wait time is several weeks to a few months for a response. So therefore the goal is to avoid posting something that will cause your video to be reviewed. So no music, no video game footage, no tv or movie clips and try to keep your video at least a minute long. I have seen reports of YouTube rejecting videos that were under a minute long. Also never never never use Audioswap in your videos.

For those who do not know what Content ID is here is Margaret Stewart, former head of User Experience at YouTube describing what it is and how it is used. She now works at Facebook.

Game ID is very similar. So far YouTube has not announced this new service as it is in a secret Beta test with some video game publishers. However it will allow video game publishers to claim videos that use their content and make money from them. A Game ID match will prevent the uploader from monetizing the video and the ad revenue will go to the video game publisher. You can imagine the backlash that is going to happen as this will crush those in the gaming community as the incentive to make Let's Plays and Tutorials and Reviews will be taken away.

Here is the YouTube Help Center article describing what is allowed for monetizing video game and software videos.
However it is getting more difficult to get these videos approved. This is why so many are joining Networks now. With a Network you just hit the claim button and the ads are on the video as soon as you hit the button.

Another question that comes up is how do people like RayWilliamJohnson get away with monetizing other people's content. The answer is he is with Maker Studios. As stated earlier, those in a Network don't have to submit their videos for review through YouTube. They just hit a claim button and it is done.

Avoid Content ID matches and Copyright Strikes. Learn the difference in what they look like here.
You can also learn how to dispute the Content ID claims here

Content ID strikes you can get rid of easily by just deleting the video. Copyright strikes you need to first go to Copyright School
and then waiting 6 months. If you believe you got the copyright strike in error, or you have a good faith belief that you have a fair use right to use the content in question you can dispute it. Go here to learn more
Do remember that doing a counter-notice is a legal document and SHOULD NOT BE FILLED OUT BY CHILDREN Do understand that the other party will have 10 business days to file suit against you in court to prevent the restoration of your video.

Some Terms of Service strikes can be appealed but sadly not all of them. YouTube so far has refused all of my requests for an explanation of this. However here is my tutorial on how to appeal a flag, and my tutorial on how to avoid being flagged.

Having a Content ID or a strike on your account will almost always cause every video you upload to be slowed down for review, which can take days or even weeks. The money is made in the first 48 hours. So keep your account clean.

You should never have more than one video waiting for review. You know your video is under review when the green dollar sign is shaded in your Video Manager. If YouTube rejects it then you can try again with another video. However it is very risky to have several videos waiting for review because if they all get rejected YouTube may disable monetization on your channel.

Finally for those interested in joining networks be sure to read your contracts. No child has any business on joining a network and I cry foul on any network that welcomes them. It is unethical to enter into contracts with minors. Kids wait until you are 18 or older.

However if you must then this is how you do it. I only post this because sadly I know most kids will not listen and try and monetize videos on their own only to permanently disable their monetization tab in the process.

Sadly too many kids try to monetize their videos without reading the rules and as a result get their monetization tab disabled. This is permanent and there is no known way to reverse this.

Everyone should read the Partnership FAQ This also will cover how you will get paid.

For those who want to learn more about AdSense and read questions that were answered by AdSense Staff click here

Also here is another good read. Last year Google flew me out to California to attend a conference where I got to talk to Google Staff and YouTube staff.