YouTube is more than just a source of cat videos and hilariously painful-looking accidents caught on camera: for many people it is a source of extra income, or even a living. But the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) through which advertisements can be used to generate money is also open to abuse.
The Google-owned site has a plagiarism problem whereby popular content is stolen and re-uploaded to a different channel to generate money for a third party. In a bid to stop this practice, YouTube is banning channels from displaying ads until they have managed to hit 10,000 views.
The restriction applies to new channels only, and YouTube hopes that the time it takes to reach the 10,000 view target will give it long enough to determine whether or not to accept an application to join the YPP. While YouTube is citing the problem of stolen content as being the impetus behind the move, it’s likely that the ad boycott of the video site by a large number of high profile companies protesting about extremist content also played a part.
Writing about the new system, YouTube’s vice president of Product Management says:
Today, more creators are making a living on YouTube than ever before. However, with this growth we’ve started seeing cases of abuse where great, original content is re-uploaded by others who try to earn revenue from it. To help protect creator revenue, we recently made it easy for anyone to report an impersonating channel. To date, this change has helped us terminate hundreds of thousands of channels violating our policies. Now, we’re taking another step to protect creators by updating the thresholds required to join the YouTube Partner Program.
Starting today, we will no longer serve ads on YPP videos until the channel reaches 10k lifetime views. This new threshold gives us enough information to determine the validity of a channel. It also allows us to confirm if a channel is following our community guidelines and advertiser policies. By keeping the threshold to 10k views, we also ensure that there will be minimal impact on our aspiring creators. And, of course, any revenue earned on channels with under 10k views up until today will not be impacted.
It’s important to note that it is channels that have to reach the 10,000 view target, not individual videos — something that YouTube believes should be easily achieved.