Digital Networks Differ On Responses To YouTube’s New Partner Program Requirements

By 02/27/2018
Digital Networks Differ On Responses To YouTube’s New Partner Program Requirements

In January, YouTube announced its plan to raise the standards of its partner program by requiring creators to have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time over the past year before they are able to run ads on their videos. As that policy went into effect, small creators banded together to offer each other tips for surviving “demonetization day,” but there is also another group that has been profoundly affected by the changes: Online video networks.

Networks that are partnered with hundreds, thousands, or even tens-of-thousands of YouTube channels are figuring out how to adapt to the tightened standards, and there doesn’t seem to be a consensus on the perfect solution. As reported by Digiday, Fullscreen is among the networks that has decided to release demonetized creators from its roster. Other companies, such as animation hub Frederator, are committing fully to their existing contracts with partner channels.

As Fullscreen SVP of social media strategy John Holdridge told Digiday, the network will make any outstanding payments to demonetized creators and plans to allow those who eventually meet the new partner program standards to rejoin the network. In the interim, it may offer those creators a helping hand. “We’re also looking into how we can help [demonetized creators] find a path forward, ” Holdridge told Digiday. “Maybe they need to make this type of content versus that type of content; maybe there are audience-development strategies that they can employ to build a sustainable audience.”

Update 3/1/18 1 PM ET: Fullscreen has offered the following statement regarding its current partner program policy:

“Creators who don’t meet the new requirements were removed from our (and other networks’) CMS. This led to the end of creators’ contracts that didn’t meet YouTube’s new requirements, however creators remain welcome in the Fullscreen ecosystem. Fullscreen will continue to provide tools and services to the entire roster, even to those who have lost monetization, as we continue to dedicate ourselves to quality relationships with our talent.”

Frederator sent a letter to its partners stating its own stance on the changes. “We are extremely proud to announce that albeit YouTube is disabling their partnership with some of you, we here at Channel Frederator consider you members in good standing,” the letter reads. “You will not be disabled from your partnership with us, you will still have access to our tools/platforms, and opportunities for growth to reach that threshold for monetization.”

Digiday notes that keeping those smaller channels in-network makes sense for Frederator given the company’s commitment to spotlighting up-and-coming animation talent. One of the network’s current series, Go! Cartoons, is an incubator that features projects from relative unknowns. The latest episode just arrived today.

In total, Frederator’s network includes more than 3,000 animation channels.