It Looks Like YouTube Will Screw Small Airsoft Channels With Its New Monetization Policy

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If you are a budding airsoft YouTuber looking into generating some income from your airsoft videos, if you don’t meet the requirements to be admitted into YouTube’s Partner program, you won’t be able to earn some through the ads displayed on videos uploaded. That’s fine for you for now whilst you build your own following and viewing numbers until you make it into the program. So you expect no ads will be displayed on your videos.

But YouTube will be putting ads on your videos and that you won’t see a cent of the revenue they generated from those ads.

However small your YouTube Channel is, especially if you are just a newly established creator and serious with your videos, you spend time and even money to create good videos just to get those eyeballs and subscribers. No ads for your channel for now will be all right since it helps build viewership as many hate those ads popping up at the beginning and somewhere in the middle of a video.
But it seems unfair that YouTube will earn from your videos displaying ads and will not share even a tiny fraction of the revenue generated on those ads displayed on your videos. Even a small amount can help creators defray expenses for production.

To start earning revenue, you must be accepted into the Partner program which requires the following before you apply:

  1. Follow all the YouTube monetization policies.
    • The YouTube monetization policies are a collection of policies that allow you to monetize on YouTube. If you're a YouTube partner, your agreement including the YouTube partner program policies require compliance with these monetization policies in order to potentially earn money on YouTube.
  2. Live in a country or region where the YouTube Partner Program is available.
  3. Have more than 4,000 valid public watch hours in the last 12 months.
  4. Have more than 1,000 subscribers.
  5. Have a linked AdSense account.

Even if you meet the minimum requirements, you are not automatically admitted into the program as your application will be subject to review. Airsoft is a grey area in terms of content creation as it is about replica firearms and also simulated violence due to the live action skirmishes and there are reports that airsoft YouTubers who experience a decline in their revenues due to their content sometimes not deemed to meet the community standards.

As to displaying ads on your small, non-revenue generating YouTube channel, here is the update on the video sharing platform’s Terms of Service:

Right to Monetize

You grant to YouTube the right to monetize your Content on the Service (and such monetization may include displaying ads on or within Content or charging users a fee for access). This Agreement does not entitle you to any payments. Starting November 18, 2020, any payments you may be entitled to receive from YouTube under any other agreement between you and YouTube (including for example payments under the YouTube Partner Program, Channel memberships or Super Chat) will be treated as royalties. If required by law, Google will withhold taxes from such payments.

So here is what Roberto Blake, a famous YouTuber with half a million followers say about this (which is the same thing as said by other creators):

YouTube says that it will monitor the impact on creators. But one thing’s for sure, a lot of small channels, including airsoft channels, will miss out on the payments on the ads displayed on their videos.  If I were a creator with a small but growing subscriber base, I will not depend on the YouTube revenue sharing alone, I’ll look into other monetization options such as Patreon, merchandising and (good grief!) Amazon affiliate marketing if it can help me earn from my videos.

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