According to some of the most recent research, YouTubers can make an average of anywhere between $0.01 to $0.03 per view on their videos. While that might not sound like a lot at first, keep in mind that some YouTube videos can easily get hundreds, if not thousands, of watch hours if the content is targeted and well-made.
However, if you’re just now posting your own videos to YouTube for the first time, you might notice that you’re not automatically set up for monetization. And in fact, even once you’ve looked into turning on ads and everything else, you might notice that you’re still not able to monetize your videos.
So just what is the answer for how much watch time required for YouTube monetization?
This is because YouTube requires users to reach a certain threshold for watch time before you can monetize your content. But what is that magical YouTube channel watch time number? And how can you create videos to help you reach it plus maximize your revenue potentials?
The answer: 4,000 watch hours on your YouTube channel
As of February 2018, YouTube dictates that YouTube channels must have more than 1,000 subscribers and over 4,000 watch hours annually before you can earn money on your YouTube channel.
However, it’s important to note that even from there, YouTube will still evaluate your channel for other strict criteria to make sure it is complying with all of their policies and best practices outside of watch time and watch hours minimums.
So while this 4,000 hours of watch time threshold is a good goal for any new content creator on the platform, the real goal of what you’re actually trying to do is simply to create engaging and watchable content so that you can work your way into the YouTube Partner Program.
(You know, rather than basing your entire video strategy around trying to get one video to become that one viral video everyone talks about for the next few weeks...)
Understanding the YouTube Partner Program
The all-important YouTube Partner Program (or YPP) is at the crux of how YouTube works to empower its YouTube users. This program offers plenty of support and features for its creators that unlock the myriad of lucrative aspects of creating videos with YouTube ads for your audience.
However, as mentioned above, there are certain criteria which your channel must meet before you will be invited into the YouTube Partner Program. Here are the minimum eligibility requirements according to YouTube:
- Follow all of the YouTube channel monetization policies.
- Live in a country/region where the YouTube Partner Program is available.
- Have 0 active Community Guidelines strikes on your channel.
- Have over 4,000 valid public watch hours in the last year.
- Have over 1,000 subscribers.
- Have a linked AdSense account.
With these criteria in place as goals, the name of the game then becomes growing your audience (and subscriber count) while also maximizing your watch time and top performing videos.
How to Increase YouTube Watch Time
So, how do you actually achieve these goals? Let’s go over some tips to help you increase your YouTube watch time for your channel.
(Keep in mind that YouTube is only counting public videos and not private videos or unlisted videos, so make sure your watch time and watch hours are focused on your public content.)
- Have a strong brand (personality): To really have your videos stand out and do well on YouTube, you need to focus on how you present yourself and your content. No one wants to watch boring or uninteresting content, so your first goal is to bring excitement to your channel which audiences can connect with. Here are some ideas to help you along the way.
- Know your audience: You’ll also want to do a bit of research into who your audience is and what they’re interested in. Check around for other similar channels for some competitive research, or look at other types of videos which can give you a stronger understanding of what audiences enjoy watching.
- Don’t underestimate titles and cover images: No one can watch your content if they don’t click on it first, so making sure your titles are fun, informative, and engaging is paramount. You’ll also want to make sure your cover images actually give your audience an idea of why they should watch your videos.
- Always be building to something: Getting clicks is only half the battle though. Once you’ve gotten your audience watching, your next goal is to keep them watching to rack up those watch time hours. The biggest parts of your videos should come at the end of your videos, not just at the beginning.
- Make engaging content: At the core of everything you do with your YouTube videos is the focus on making your content as engaging as possible. There are a lot of tips, tricks, and theories to cover behind this, so be sure to read up on our guide on how to start a YouTube channel.
- Be sure to clear your content with YouTube to avoid Community Guideline strikes: This one should be a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many channels have neglected this step. If you’re unfamiliar, here’s everything you need to know about YouTube channels and codes.
Those are just some basic tips for increasing your YouTube watch time, though. The real goal is to simply make enough videos that provide valuable content and be the truest that you can to your channel’s brand. Be real and be authentic with your audience, but also be sure to pull out all the stops that you can to put your channel in the best light possible.
How long does it take YouTube to review a channel for monetization?
This is a great question which YouTube does not appear to directly address in the YouTube Partner Program guidelines or FAQs. However, based on reports from other YouTubers, the process can take anywhere from a few days to a month.
If you’re waiting anywhere longer than 30 days for YouTube to review your channel for monetization, something might have gone wrong and you should contact customer support.
How to turn off monetization on YouTube
If for whatever reason you’re tired of having ads on your YouTube channel, you can always turn off monetization whenever you want. The process is actually pretty simple, and you can follow these steps as outlined from YouTube below:
- Sign in to YouTube.
- Click your profile picture.
- In the left Menu, click Content.
- Select the video you want to turn off ads for.
- In the left Menu, click Monetization.
- In the top “Monetization” box, click Off.
- In the top right, click Save.
Hopefully these answers, guides, tips, and tricks have given you a solid understanding of how watch time, watch hours, and video ads work, and how monetization could be unlocked for your budding YouTube channel.
However, there’s always more to learn in the world of YouTube video creation, so if you’d like to check out some other interesting resources check out these additional articles from the Soundstripe blog:
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