YouTube's new policy 2019 will go into effect stating 10 December 2019
- YouTube’s new terms of services allow the video sharing platform to terminate creator accounts if they are ‘no longer commercially viable’.
- Creators are not YouTube employees so the company is not obligated to pay them any kind of salary.
- Theories on why YouTube has implemented the new rule range from FTC compliance to removing commercial accounts exploiting the system.
In its conditions for terminating creator accounts, the company states, “YouTube may terminate your use of the Services, or your Google account’s access to all or part of the Service if YouTube believes, in its sole discretion, that provision of the Service to you is no longer commercially viable.
But, it has not defined what being ‘no longer commercially viable’ entails. "We’re making some changes to our Terms of Service in order to make them easier to read and to ensure they’re up to date. We’re not changing the way our products work, how we collect or process data, or any of your settings," stated YouTube spokesperson in response to clarification queries from Business Insider.
Everyone who uploads a YouTube video is not immediately popular. It normally takes time and consistent content in order to build an audience. The outrage from creators is over the fact that the new regulations are ‘discouraging’ and will take away from creators’ livelihood.
Wow, didn't think I'd be trending from this. https://t.co/YNChy1S3BG— Christian Maracle (@MaracleMan) 1573362181000
online content creators need to unionize or this will continue to happen https://t.co/IfrJIsJ6qa— Liz Ryerson (@ellaguro) 1573410056000
We love ambiguous terms of service that can literally terminate a channel because YouTube can decide it can’t make… https://t.co/UuXgeI8XDj— Pup Amp (@Pup_Amp) 1573424373000
Creators are not YouTube employees
Creators are not YouTube employees. There is no contract obligating YouTube or Google to covering a creator’s living expenses, resources, health care or any kind of salary.
As a creator, a person is freelancing for YouTube. They’re uploading their content on a free website — there is no server cost, hosting cost or advertising cost — for exposure and distribution.
Google, Youtube’s parent company, subsidised the cost of servers and bandwidth but that doesn’t account for the cost of engineers, product development and various other aspects.
While YouTube may be making it harder for to for creators to breach the barriers of entry, it’s also giving them resources for free.
And, small creators — generally those with 10,000 to 100,000 subscribers — actually run a loss for YouTube. The video platform calls them Bronze or Silver level creators. The company makes 90% of revenue from Gold and Diamond creators, who have at least a million subscribers.
note that if you have 100,000 subscribers, youtube will let you use their studios in LA. it's a completely differen… https://t.co/tqX967YgUN— Liz Ryerson (@ellaguro) 1573410132000
Change in policies is hardly surprising
YouTube is known for changing its policies. Before 2013, creators had to submit an application and be approved before being able to monetise their content. After that, Youtube opened up its platform to everyone who had a YouTube account.
At the time, it was one of the few platforms offering monetisation for content. One could say that the rise of YouTube and its popularity draw from its ability to pay people.
In February 2018, the ‘adpocalypse’ came. The company changed its policy to say, “YouTube currently requires YouTube Creators to earn 1,000 subscribers and 4000 Hours of Watch Time across their channel in a 12 month period,” in order to become a monetised creator.
A thread on Reddit claims that YouTube had to change its terms of service in order to comply with new Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations.
Another theory is that this won’t really impact any original creators, only commercial accounts using YouTube for free storage — uploading videos to YouTube and keeping them private, instead of storing them on Google Drive.
Some believe this is a way for YouTube to ban creators that result in making advertisers drop out — an extension of what TV stations and newspapers have already been doing for years.
Even though YouTube hasn’t defined what ‘no longer commercially viable’ means, most interpretations conclude that it means cutting off creators if it starts to hurt the business in any way.
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