Last week YouTube made a pretty major announcement—they’ve opened up their once very selective Partner Program to everyone. I think Kevin Nalty, aka Nalts, puts it best when he says that now everyone can be a partner “as long as they own a computer and have a pulse.” This is pretty exciting for creators that have only dreamed of YouTube partnership, but not everyone is happy about the news and drama has ensued.
Now before we get to the drama, lets take a quick look at the announcement, which went up last Thursday on the YouTube blog. The YouTube Team writes:
“Whether you want to become a global pop star, create the Ultimate Frisbee Channel, teach math to students around the world, or publicly muse on your daily life, you can do it on YouTube. Partners are already producing videos that draw large and loyal audiences while building careers for themselves. But we know that there are many more creators out there with talents to share, and we want to empower them to achieve their goals, whatever they may be.
“So starting today, we are updating partner eligibility across 20 countries where the YouTube Partner program has launched. YouTube uploaders in these countries can become YouTube partners by enabling their YouTube accounts and successfully monetizing at least one of their videos.”
It should be noted that for now it looks like new “partners” don’t have the same benefits as those that previously applied and were accepted to the program. It seems that for starters all that has changed is that now everybody can monetize their videos. Other perks will be released over time. The YouTube Team writes, “We also recognize that custom thumbnails and banners are sought-after features by many creators. We are working on making these and other features available to more newly-made partners over time, like we have done with long uploads and monetization.”
Now: on to the drama! As much as this news is exciting for creators that have wanted to be YouTube Partners for a while, it is upsetting to some current YouTube Partners that had to go through the application and rejection process again and again until they were finally accepted.
Ben Hughes of Obviously Ben Hughes says, “I like the ability for more people to make money. It’s gonna make YouTube thrive, why not! What I don’t like, is being one of the people that, before today, was a YouTube Partner and had to apply for that partnership and get accepted. And not only get accepted, but also get denied…three times.” Hughes is upset that YouTube has done away with the Partner “status” by giving it to everyone. He addresses YouTube, saying, “This is really emotional for me and I can’t tell you what it feels like to have that ripped away. And I think you guys really screwed up.”
The truth of the matter is, YouTube is a business and ultimately their objective is to make as much money as possible. By opening up monetization to everyone, YouTube is maximizing their advertising revenue and, like Ben Hughes says, “Why not!”
Now I understand where Hughes and other upset YouTube Partners are coming from. That being said, YouTube Partners that were accepted to the YouTube Partner Program before last week have something that nobody will ever have again—the memory of being accepted into the partner program and being able to say that they were a partner before it was open to just anyone, and I think that’s pretty cool. I, for one, am a little bit bummed out. I was planning to start making more videos and go for YouTube partnership and I have to admit that the fact that it isn’t a challenge anymore is a bit of a downer.
I’m curious to hear what other people (partners and non-partners) think about this news. Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times. Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.