Sunday, December 8, 2013

YouTube January Monetization Changes - What's Actually Going to Happen

Two days ago, I wrote a post detailing a very significant YouTube change starting January that may cause a negative effect for channels that upload gameplay footage.

I would like to just clear up some misinformation on that post, as I researched a bit more on the subject. I do apologize if I sounded like I didn't know what I was talking about, as the information I brought up then was derived by merely one YouTube video and an e-mail from my network.

So here is basically what's going to happen:

For those who are not aware of the few changes to MCNs (Multi-Channel Networks) and its partners here's some highlights to what's going on:

  1. MCN partners are being divided into two separate groups called an 'affiliate' or 'managed'. Larger channels will generally be put on managed and the smaller ones won't, unfortunately but solely depends on the network.

    MCNs will now be liable for all of their managed partners.
  2. Instant monetization goes bye-bye for affiliate partners. Managed and those with YouTube directly are unaffected by this change.

    Videos will go under review much like the process AdSense partners go through, generally taking around 24 hours for approval or denial.
  3. Affiliate partners are guaranteed YouTube Analytics' revenue access and the possibility of unlinking from your network from your Features page. Note however, the network can simply reject your request in a click of a button, or release.

Okay, so MCN partners—which are YouTube partners in a network (RPM, Fullscreen, TGN, etc.)—will be now grouped into "affiliate" or "managed". Unless your channel has multimillion views and subscribers, it will most likely fall into affiliate.

Affiliate partners now no longer receive instant monetization. Instant monetization meaning if the videos are free from copyright issues with the copyright holder. All your newly uploaded videos will now have to go through YouTube's review process to enable monetization, which can take between a few hours to a few days. How YouTube does their review nobody knows.

If you are partnered through YouTube directly with Google Adsense, or monetize videos individually as a non-partner, then this news means nothing for you. YouTube will still be doing their monetization review I mentioned above that takes hours to days for approval, unless I guess you are well established and have a track record of uploading original, approved content.

Managed partners retain their ability to instantly monetize videos after upload. I'm thinking channels such as PewDiePie will fall into managed.

Even after all this, what I said in my previous post could still be valid. That gameplay footage may no longer be able to be monetized, or that you have to work much harder for them to get monetized by incorporating things such as prolong commentaries (to get them to fall in "fair use" terms) and providing proof of commercial usage rights from the video game companies.

It's all very scary. This definitely could cause an end or at least a massive reduction in gameplay videos on YouTube, as a lot of people don't like creating content that isn't getting them paid. Most gaming channels are part of a network, as well.

I for one have already stated I will continue to upload gaming videos regardless of what happens. It's just the fact that potentially losing a source of income that helps fund creation of the videos is sad. I don't wish to greatly alter my content to counter this either.

Come January, we'll see what really happens. I'm anxious and scared at the same time!


  1. Personally I don't believe this'll be the end of gameplay videos. If all it's gonna really do is pretty much change it from "Instant Monetization", to the same type of Monetization that the AdSense or Non-Partnered accounts have, I can still live with that, since I used to have that kind of partnership til I switched to ZoominGames. If that's all it effects then I'll be able to survive my way through this the same way I did Google+, by simply not bothering about it too much and simply treating it as a normal thing that must be done.

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