YouTube Is Making it Harder for Fake Channels to Make Ad Money

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YouTube is hoping it can weed out rogue channels that violate its content policies by making it more difficult for them to make money.

The Google-owned online video service announced a new rule on Thursday requiring creators to reach a minimum of 10,000 lifetime views before they can earn a share of ad revenue from the site. YouTube said it is looking to reduce the number of channels that steal content from other individuals or companies in order rack up video views that they can then use to make money through the site’s partner program. YouTube offers creators a 55% share of the ad revenue from pre-roll ads that appear in of their videos.

YouTube has been working to reduce bad behavior on its site by introducing a tool for users to report channels that impersonate other people or accounts. On Thursday, YouTube said that it has removed “hundreds of thousands” of violators from the site.

According to YouTube, the 10,000-view benchmark allows the company time to determine whether a channel is violating community guidelines and advertiser policies. The service had been receiving complaints from certain advertisers who were unhappy that their ads were being played in conjunction with questionable content, the Wall Street Journal,

In creating the new policy, the company considered whether a minimum page view threshold may offend or discourage some of its less prolific creators from contributing to the site. “By keeping the threshold to 10k views, we also ensure that there will be minimal impact on our aspiring creators,” the company said in a blog post announcing the rule change. YouTube also added that channels with less than 10,000 views would be able to keep any revenue they earned before today’s changes.

(Two years ago, YouTube angered some of its content creators when it introduced its YouTube Red ad-free subscription streaming service and removed the videos of any partner creator who did not sign a revenue share deal for the new service.)

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YouTube also said it would soon add a new review process for its Partner Program that assesses the activity of video publishers on the site once they reach the 10,000-view milestone and apply to make money from future content. “Together these new thresholds will help ensure revenue only flows to creators who are playing by the rules,” the company said.

YouTube launched the Partner Program and ad revenue-sharing in 2007, and the site has paid out billions of dollars to rights holders while helping to spawn a number of “YouTube celebrities” whose individual accounts can earn millions of dollars annually.

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