YouTube will run ads on smaller creators' videos without paying them

Mariella Moon
·Associate Editor
·2 min read

Don’t be surprised if you start seeing ads on videos made by smaller YouTube creators. The video-sharing website has updated its Terms of Service, and it includes a new section that gives it the right to monetize videos from channels not big enough to be part of its Partner Program. That doesn’t mean new creators can start earning from their videos right away, though — YouTube said in a forum post explaining the changes to its ToS that non-YPP members won’t be getting a cut from those ads.

To become eligible for the YouTube Partner Program, a creator has to be living in a country where it’s active, has to have 4,000 public watch hours in the last 12 months and has to have over 1,000 subscribers. YouTube only used to run ads on videos from channels that don’t meet those criteria under special circumstances, such as if the channel was previously a YPP member. Going forward, though, the website can monetize any video, so long as it meets its ad-friendly guidelines.

That means it won’t run ads on any video that contains inappropriate language, violence, inflammatory and sexual content, drug-related and firearm-related content, as well as anything that incites hatred against individuals or groups of people based on their religion, sexuality and gender identity, among others.

In addition to this change to its Right to Monetize section, YouTube has also added “faces” to the kinds of information people aren’t allowed to collect from its service. It explained that the website never allowed the collection of personally identifiable information, but it altered its language in the ToS “to be extremely explicit about what kind of data users” can’t collect. YouTube is rolling out these changes in the US first, but they will be effective worldwide by the end 2021.