YouTube will run ads on some videos without giving creators a cut of the revenue

YouTube has updated its terms of services with a new section that will see ads run on videos from creators who aren’t enrolled in the YouTube Partner Program. This will mostly affect channels with smaller audiences, and viewers will have to get used to seeing a whole lot more ads in general—unless you’ve got YouTube Premium, that is.

For some context, the YouTube Partner Program works by giving creators a cut of ad revenue from their videos. Currently, the requirements for YPP is 4,000 total hours of watch time over the last 12 months, along with at least 1,000 subscribers to the channel.

Before the latest change, creators who weren’t part of the programme still had some ads on their videos. However, these were usually cases where a third party (such as a record label or a production company) claims content in the video as their own, and consequently monetises that content.

Now, it appears that ads will run on any YouTube videos. Basically, the new Terms of Service means that YouTube reserves the right to monetise your content (including displaying ads or charging users access fees)—and non-partnered creators aren’t entitled to any payments.

“We added this new section to let you know that, starting today we’ll begin slowly rolling out ads on a limited number of videos from channels not in YPP. This means as a creator that’s not in YPP, you may see ads on some of your videos. Since you’re not currently in YPP, you won’t receive a share of the revenue from these ads.”

Obviously, this hasn’t gone down well in the creator community. A quick glance at replies to the announcement on Twitter reveal that users are… angry, to say the least. “Dogshit” was the first description I noticed, while others complained about how the policy changes appear to target smaller creators—who sometimes earn nothing from their content.

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In any case, YouTube hasn’t actually explained what the criteria is/will be for these ads to run on videos, only that a “limited number of videos from channels not in YPP” will be affected. Meanwhile, from the viewer’s point of view, a cynical take on the whole situation would be that the policy change also helps to push YouTube Premium—the paid subscription that removes ads from all videos for viewers.

So, what do you think? If you’re a creator and you’re affected, leave a comment below—we’d love to hear from you.