Summary of the Current Situation on YouTube
If you are small content creator on YouTube right now, you likely received an e-mail on January 16th telling you that you will be losing your YouTube partnership on February 20th because your channel “is no longer eligible for monetization because it doesn’t meet the new threshold of 4,000 hours of watchtime in the past 12 months and [have at least] 1,000 subscribers.” Many people believe that this new policy simply impacts monetization. It affects much more than simply monetization for YouTube creators. Small channels (like my own) who have been partnered for years will be losing: algorithmic search priority, access to video professionalization opportunities, access to YouTube networks that provide numerous opportunities, access to social circles with other top-notch content creators, and the list could go on. Additionally, people who choose to speak out against this change in policy are subject to mass-subscriber deletions and view count reductions. While this may be a result of YouTube’s automated systems, the timing is interestingly “coincidental.”
The “Small Channels Big Voices” Movement
My own YouTube channel has been in-and-out of hitting its 2,000 subscriber milestone for the past 3 days because the platform repeatedly mass-deletes subscribers. I have made two videos, one outlining the fact that I’m losing my partnership, the other, speaking out against YouTube’s restriction of smaller creators. After multiple attempts reaching out to large YouTubers (and YouTube itself) with no response, it is clear that small channels like my own only have their few followers to depend on for support.
Many have asked: what else can we possible do but tuck our tails between our legs, leave YouTube, or simply give up on making videos? The answer: we must continue to speak out. Since small content creators only have each other and their audiences to fall back on for support, the only thing we can do is assemble in an attempt to make our concerns heard by YouTube and the upper echelons of large content creators.
The easiest way to assemble as small content creators is through other social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram. Assembling can take the form of sharing our content on pages, giving shout outs, collaborating in videos, or circulating this message to YouTube. In our correspondence, we a striving to get YouTube’s attention through using the hashtag: #SmallChannelsBigVoices when communicating or sharing content. This is our way of telling YouTube that we’re here and that we matter.
Other Ways YouTubers and Viewers Can Help
1. Continue to Watch, Share, Comment, Like, and Subscribe:
- As you may expect, the easiest way to support small content creators is by actively engaging with their content: watching their videos all the way through, sharing them on social media platforms, commenting on them, liking them, and even subscribing to their channels. As small creators, we seriously have to fight for every subscriber we get because they mean that much to us.
2. Support the #SmallChannelsBigVoices Movement:
- Supporting this movement will also help considerably; there’s power in numbers and the more people we have sharing this hashtag on Facebook and Twitter, the more coverage we’ll get. Large YouTubers participating would be valuable for our movement as they have large followings that listen to their words. Ultimately, our hope is that if YouTube hears our concerns they may compromise and change this policy so it is more inclusive. Check out the
- Facebook Page, created by YouTuber
3. Post Consistently:
- In order to gain further attention, we may have to share things consistently. Additionally, for small YouTubers, I encourage you to upload quality content daily, if possible. That will increase the likelihood of your views and watch hours increasing.
4. Watch YouTube Videos About This Policy Change:
- Many YouTubers, other than myself, have been making videos about their own fears of losing partnerships. The following playlist contains some of those videos:
To be a small content creator on YouTube means a lot of invalidation, erasure, and difficulty right now. Since YouTube and large YouTubers have remained silent, all we have are our audiences and each other to rely on. Let’s keep fighting for our outlet and continue making a difference.
For inquiries and collaboration requests: message me on YouTube or e-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org