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YouTube delays reviewing channels applying for monetization again

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The process is getting faster, but it’s not a first-come, first-served basis

Google CEO Sundar Pichai Opens I/O Developer Conference Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

YouTube said that it was making changes to its Partner Program, but months later, the creator community is still suffering.

In January, YouTube’s team said it wanted to review Partner applications by the end of April, two months after the program’s new criteria for members went into effect. Now, YouTube is saying it will take another couple of months. Reviews are expected to be completed by the end of June, according to an update from the company, but it won’t be conducted on a first-come, first-served basis.

“This process has taken longer than we initially anticipated and we apologize for the delays this has caused,” a community manager named Jordan wrote. “We’ve now grown our review team and are currently moving through pending applications at a faster pace.”

Jordan said the team is “currently reviewing channels with the most views first, as the potential revenue impact is likely higher for those channels,” meaning that people may be waiting a little while longer depending on their popularity. If a channel just barely meets the 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of accrued watch time threshold, they may have to wait even longer.

“We know monetization is a really exciting and important opportunity, so thanks again for your patience as we carefully review new applications,” Jordan said.

The delay in reviews only seems to widen the canyon between lesser-known creators trying to become a Partner and the top one percent who receive millions of views for their videos. Lesser-known creators have complained that YouTube doesn’t care about growing and fostering talent, and instead relies on the same batch of top creators.

Multiple YouTubers have reached out to other, non-YouTube-employed people (including myself) to inquire about monetization practices. People have complained that their reviews have been held up since late 2017, following the company’s decision to change Partner Program eligibility. Monetization — and the more talked about demonetization problem — is something that YouTube is certainly aware of. CEO Susan Wojcicki promised to address those concerns in a blog post published earlier this week.

“We know the last year has not been easy for many of you,” Wojcicki said. “For those who have not yet met the new threshold, keep creating and building your audience. We have resources to help you learn and grow. We’ve also heard from you that delays in the application process are frustrating.

“We are working to make this faster.”

YouTube plans to speed up the review process partially through hiring additional moderators and members of its reviews team. The company is hiring an additional 10,000 people to moderate and review applications. Jordan’s blog post added that the team is “hoping to get caught up by the end of June and will let you know if anything changes.”

More information about monetizing your YouTube channel and becoming a member of the Partner Program can be read on YouTube’s FAQ.