YouTube is relaxing the rules for its partner program, so new creators can start earning as early as possible from their video-making careers. However, it is still not rosy for new content creators.

YouTube is one of the go-to platforms for video content and has been instrumental in the digital creation era. However, new content creators who mostly have a handful of subscribers do not have access to YouTube’s Partner Program (YPP). This program is a way for creators to earn money from advertisers. 

This week, YouTube relaxed its eligibility rules for creators, opening the door for these creators to start earning on the platform faster. The partner program also gives creators access to fan funding features like channel memberships, Super Chat, Super Thanks, and more. 

Lowering the barrier to revenue 

As of today, creators on YouTube can apply for the partner program once they reach 500 subscribers, upload 3 public videos in the last 90 days, and either accumulate 3000 watch hours in the past year or receive 3 million Shorts views in the last 90 days. Previously, channel owners needed to have either 1,000 subscribers with 4,000 valid public watch hours in the past year or 1,000 subscribers with 10 million valid public Shorts views within the last 90 days to qualify for YPP. 

“In the U.S., the number of channels that earned a majority of revenue from Fan Funding products in December 2022 saw an increase over 20% compared to the prior year,” YouTube said YouTube in a blog post. “As these creators continue to grow their channel, they’ll automatically become eligible to earn revenue sharing from ads and even more benefits once they reach the existing YPP eligibility criteria without having to go through the full YPP application process again. These existing eligibility requirements to unlock revenue sharing remain unchanged,” adds YouTube.

Why is this important to creators?

Some local creators are happy about YouTube’s changes to YPP. They can now monetise their content early in their YouTube careers without amassing a big following. However, the content still needs thousands of hours in viewership, and the number set by YouTube is a minimum of 3000 watch hours. According to Dickson Otieno, who runs and is a video creator, the watch hours are high. 

Online tech publisher Nixon Kanali, who reviews hardware products for his YouTube channel, told TechCabal, “YouTube should have done this a long time ago. So many young creators have been unable to monetise their content for a long time because the previous requirement was not easily attainable, especially for creators who are just starting. This new requirement is very important as young creators can start earning from their craft early as they build their pages. This is also important because we might now see several creators who are used to sharing their content on platforms like Facebook or any other social now moving their content to YouTube,” said Kanali. 

YouTube still doesn’t pay much in Kenya 

Kenyan creators earn as low as KES 1000 (under $10) per 10,000 views from their video viewership and sometimes depend on sponsored content paid for by their clients. The number of views does not solely determine the amount of money earned from YouTube. Even if a video receives 1 million views, only a portion of those viewers may have watched the ads for over 30 seconds, while others may have skipped or used ad blockers. Factors such as niche metrics and geographic location play a role. Science and tech videos, for example, tend to generate higher earnings. These are some of the issues that have been raised by creators, citing that creators in Western countries earn more

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Kenn Abuya Senior Reporter

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