Friday, 19 January 2018

What's Cooking in my YouTube Channel?

Just 2 days ago, I received an email from YouTube about some important update (or I should say changes) to the YouTube Partnership Programme which is also reflected over at their blog. I was told that my channel has no longer meet the new eligibility requirement for monetization, i.e. I'll not be paid via those little advertisements you tend to see popping up in my videos. My channel will be free of advertisements after 20th February and no longer a YouTube partner. 

Alright, perhaps it's not exactly a piece of good news to most of the YouTubers who didn't meet the new requirements (which has set to a minimum of 1,000 subscribers and 4,000hr watch time within the past 12 months). The moment I read that I'm one of them who will be affected by the new change, I was indeed shocked at start and have a sense of injustice within. First, making videos isn't an easy job to begin with and I believe everyone who does it put in a lot of effort in making those videos available online. Second, it's only natural for YouTubers (regardless how small we are) to get some form of revenue for the work we do, and monetization is one such channel to get paid in a way. Therefore, when YouTube announced this new change, it's only within common expectations that most of us will get upset (or even angry) over it.

However to me, after reviewing and assessing the new change, it turns out to be rather mix - neither good nor bad. We are given a notice period before our partnership with YouTube gets terminated unless we are able to meet the new threshold requirement within the next 30 days. As I looked into my channel stats, even I could gather everyone within the community to subscribe to my channel, to hit that 4,000hr watch time mark within the next 30 days is far TOO unrealistic (and close to impossible) because I was in hiatus for close to 2 years and it's only in recent months I started to upload new content to my channel. I do feel an "Arghhhhh" within my heart and wished I had been more regular previously so as to maintain my partnership with YouTube. But that's too late to cry over spilled milk. Before I start to get my emotions running high like most affected YouTubers and jump on the bandwagon, I took a step back and look at this issue practically. 

There's always 2 side of the story and people in general don't make decisions suddenly without a basis. For the benefit of doubt, I trusted that YouTube has been actively observing the market and had done series of surveys and market studies before making such changes. And it's only natural for them to make decisions that won't hurt their interests while preserving the interests of most YouTubers. There's isn't a one-size fits all policy; some will benefit while some will certainly lose. I guess such a move is likely to encourage YouTubers to create more original and engaging content, which I think it's a push factor to get people to work towards a goal rather than just setting up a channel to make money. The positive side of this change is that the termination of partnership is not going to be permanent, and YouTube is making this open to everyone who meets the new threshold so it's not the end of the world. 

Should anyone of you ask me did I really earn from monetizing my channel? The answer is NO. I only earn like a few cents and dollars till date, not even close to $5! In fact, I earn more via my blog in comparison to my YouTube channel despite I get more views and followers on my channel than over at my blog. As I did some ground research on some of the crafty YouTubers who monetized their channels, one of them earn an estimate amount of $40 for ~100,000 views for one of her videos that went viral. But that's like 2 years ago, things might have changed. Some only manage to earn between $100-$200+/- monthly after obtaining 20-30k subscribers after working on their channels for over a period of 4-8 years. Seriously, after looking at all these, I honestly don't see a need to be upset or angry with YouTube for such a change. YouTube don't just merely pays you solely on your subscribers base, they also look at your engagements with your audiences, in particular how much time your viewers stay on to watch your videos. Meaning to say, the more hours your viewers stay on your videos (better if they stay through the entire video and finish it), you will likely be paid more. It only makes sense in this way and that's the whole purpose of making videos. You want your viewers to watch your entire video (from beginning to the end) otherwise what's the point of making videos?  

Right after this has been announced, a lot of YouTubers actually called out for help. I don't deny I did try by placing my links in the comments section pleading for help. I do get some subscribers at the end, but not view time. Some even spammed on some of my videos without watching the content, that I need to delete off some of the comments. Honestly, I don't really like it. Simply because even I might meet the new threshold by 20th February to maintain my ability to monetize my channel via this means, I do know deeply within there might not be genuine subscribers who has the intention to follow me through. That's not what I want. I do want to engage with my viewers and that's the main reason why I want to create more videos to inspire and encourage people via the work that I do, not just getting more subscribers and views. Though I deeply appreciate the level of support and help within the community, I decided not to do any form of shout out for this further. Rather, I want to take this positively and build up my channel genuinely even it's back to scratch again. Even is to win, I'd want to win my viewers' hearts legitimately and sincerely. 

After much thoughts, I decided to create this very short trailer/teaser for my channel after taking some of the useful lessons and tips from the YouTube Creator Academy. As I was planning on my trailer video, I have an intention to create some cinematography by filming some nature scenes within my area. At the end, I decided to use one really old video I took while trying to film one of my fashion teabags in action. Very seamlessly, I manage to blend it into my Botanical Teapot Wardrobe project, which is one of my Graphic 45 2014 DT Call Final Submission projects. This makes it even more significant because that's how my very first YouTube video came about. Botanical Tea is just one of my favourite paper collections and Graphic 45 is launching them as deluxe collector's edition pack!!! How could I ever want to miss this (though I still have some of them)?

Since I've set my mind and heart to do this, it's only natural for me to want to do it well and give in my very best. It's ok that I don't have 1,000 subscribers for now, what's really important is my inspirational content and that's what I'm aiming for. Going back to ground level it's not really that scary, rather it's more about taking this journey all over again and not be afraid to fail. The ability to learn how to get up and bravely take on the journey is what makes your life interesting.

"Courage is not simple one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." 
~ C.S. Lewi's Screwtape Letters

Join me and embark on this creative journey together. Subscribe if you love what I do and would want to get inspired and encouraged. I look forward to live, learn, love and laugh together with you...

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