For YouTube creators who have fewer than 1,000 subscribers or fewer than 4,000 hours of watch time over the past year, February 20 was an unfortunate day. It was then that the new rules for the YouTube partner program went into effect, stripping many small channels of their ability to accrue ad revenue.
Rather than sulking their way through what they are referring to as “demonetization day,” the members of the so-called “Small YouTuber Army” are showing solidarity with one another. Several creators have shared videos that offer tips and support to videomakers who are no longer able to run ads.
The idea behind the demonetization day videos, as shared by “booktuber” Girl About Library, is to remind small creators that they are not alone in their YouTube-related strife. “Hearing that other people are struggling the way you are struggling,” she said, “is the best encouragement that the world can provide.”
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As part of the demonetization day “festivities,” creators recommended small channels that are worth subscribing to and offered tips for growing one’s audience, so that channels that don’t meet the current partner program standards can strive toward them. In one demonetization day video, vlogger PeachLoveHappiness hit on some basic growth strategies, such as consistent scheduling and collaboration with other creators.
As videos like that one received attention from outlets like Polygon, some larger channels added their own demonetization day thoughts. Many of YouTube’s top creators have agreed that the new standards are necessary in order to up the quality of content on YouTube, but that hasn’t stopped some YouTubers from offering encouragement to those who are now shut out of the partner program. “You’re supposed to do YouTube for fun and the money comes secondary,” said gamer ImAgility. “I do believe if you do YouTube for the money, you’re not going to make it that far. You’re not going to be that passionate about it.”
For small creators on YouTube, the only way forward is to put their heads down and keep chugging forward. It’s the day after demonetization day — and there’s a lot of videos to be made.