YouTube is responding to the current health crisis with new guidelines around application reviews to its Partner Program. If you are waiting for your channel to be monetized, it may take a little longer than usual.
During the coronavirus crisis, YouTube has confirmed that health and safety is its number one priority. To ensure that, a lot of its employees will be working away from the office, and the platform is relying a lot more on machine learning and A.I to judge potentially harmful video content. You can read real-time updates from YouTube regarding COVID 19 and the impact on creators here.
But a possible increase in takedowns may not be the only YouTube process to impact creators right now.
Coronavirus & The Impact on YouTube Monetization
Right now, fewer humans are maintaining and running the YouTube platform. Applications to the YouTube Partner Program require a manual review so it’s highly likely this process is going to be affected too.
Usually, if there are no problems with your YouTube channel, the application process takes about a month. But if you're applying for the YouTube Partner Program today, expect it to take significantly longer, as confirmed by YouTube itself:
Of course, there are going to be exceptions to this general statement. Some may find that their channels are still monetized within days. Others may find their channel not being monetized for six months. Unfortunately, in this current climate, we're going to have to accept that these types of things are going to happen.
A question that keeps coming up is if YouTube is sending its workforce home to do their jobs, why can't they do what they usually do if in the office? And that is a good question, and the team at Creator Insider, a YouTube channel made by YouTube employees, was on hand to give us a good answer:
"Many of our reviewers are working through outside companies that are working onsite where they're reviewing these videos and sensitive material in onsite locations. Now as those sites have actually been shut down to protect the workers, the workers don't necessarily have all the equipment at home".
In order to address this, YouTube is actually shipping thousands of laptops to those workers in those countries. However, that's not going to work in all circumstances. Keep in mind that there are going to be some types of policies where people won't be able to work on them from home due to the sensitive nature of the content.
Two words come to mind at this point. Patience and understanding. Your application will get reviewed so just hang on in there.
YouTube to Creators: Spread the #StayHome Message
Now of course if you are engaging in this new practice we're all becoming familiar with - social distancing - you're probably reading this at home. Which is YouTube's latest initiative to make sure that we're all doing the right thing. Spread the word to stop the spread.
If you choose to use YouTube to share content urging people to stay home, consider videos that are helpful, fun, and informative, and tag them with #stayhome and #WithMe. Read more about YouTube’s request to creators to spread the word about coronavirus.
YouTube: Capping Internet Bandwidth in Europe
Of course, since all of those people who are doing the right thing are staying at home right now, a lot of them are going onto the internet and in particular, video, to keep themselves entertained. That means usage of such video platforms as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Facebook, and of course, YouTube, are going through the roof.
And in order to make sure that all of these people watching video don't break the internet, YouTube are capping their bandwidth in Europe. Now what that actually means is that if you are in Europe, you watch a YouTube video, the default quality will be set lower than you may usually expect. That doesn't mean that you can't up the quality if you really need to, but for the majority of people, they're just going to press play and they're going be happy with whatever quality is pushed out to them.
Of course this restriction may be pushed out to the rest of the world, and they may even cap video quality in the future, But going forward, I don’t think creators should change their attitude to uploading videos. If you do want to publish in 4K, make sure you do so, so in months to come, people will be able to watch your videos at the best quality.
There is no doubt that the Coronavirus is going to continue to impact the YouTube platform for weeks to come, so do check out our YouTube playlist on the topic.
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