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YouTube has made it more difficult to use crowdsourced-funding platforms like Patreon with a recent out-of-the-blue update.
The update forces creators to become part of its partnership program — which lets users monetise their videos — if they want to embed external links like Patreon to videos.
The update was not announced on YouTube’s official creator blog, and has many users upset with the potential tampering of their revenue.
Youtube has just withdrawn the ability to post links to Patreon unless you monetise? You are fucking kidding me!
— chinnyhill10 (@chinnyhill10) September 28, 2017
The news creates a few stumbling blocks for creators.
The first is that not all YouTube creators are eligible for the partnership program. A user has to have 10 000 public channel views before monetising their videos, and it isn’t available globally (though, admittedly, it does reach 97 countries).
The other is that YouTube’s own unreliable monetisation platform has been leaving creators in the lurch recently. In a bid to keep already upset advertisers appeased, the company has made it more difficult for creators to monetise their videos.
Not only has the platform cut down on content like swearing, it has also come under fire for demonetising innocent LGBT+ content. Creators have also complained that queries to YouTube on why specific videos were demonetised can often be left unanswered.
It is for this reason creators have made the move to other funding options — like Patreon, which lets viewers pay for regular subscriptions to exclusive content.
YouTube has made it clear that while the channel must be part of the partnership program, videos do not necessarily have to be monetised.
Channels don’t actually have to monetize videos, they need to join the YouTube Partner Program so we can determine compliance w/ policies.
— Team YouTube (@TeamYouTube) September 29, 2017
The change also doesn’t stop creators from posting a link in their video descriptions or even mentioning it in their videos — but the quick, under-the-curtain change has left creators feeling helpless in regards to managing their income.
So now the question is, if they arbitrarily demonetize my videos, can I keep my Patreon links? Also, I have to get approved by AdSense, so if they don’t approve me, I can’t effectively monetize my work at all.
— Ian Danskin (@InnuendoStudios) September 28, 2017