Can you do something for us?
Snap your fingers.
Okay, now wait three seconds, and do it again. Done? Cool.
Each time you snapped your fingers another YouTube video was demonetized. Their income, despite their hard work, reduced to just a couple of dollars a month.
If you’re reading this article, you are either:
- Worried your channel is going to be demonetized, or
- Looking for a way to regain your income after being demonetized
Either way, you’ve come to the right place.
We know how vital your income is as a video content creator and want to give you all the tools you need to not only survive YouTube demonetization but thrive despite it.
In this article, we’ll talk about why YouTube demonetization happens, why it’s a bigger problem than you think, and show you three simple steps you can take to overcome it.
What Is YouTube Demonetization (And Why Has It Hit Your Channel)?
YouTube demonetization is when videos or channels lose their ability to earn advertising income. This is often due to changes in YouTube’s advertising algorithm.
It’s a simple two-step process:
- YouTube updates its algorithm
- Videos are removed from their Account Monetization program
These videos are usually videos that either definitely, or could potentially, contain content that advertisers don’t want to be associated with.
And, it’s left many creators waking up like…
YouTube has been compelled by advertisers to update their algorithm over the last few years.
They’ve been at the center of many brand safety scares where advertisers found their advertisements being included on content such as:
- Hate speech
- Terrorist messages
- Crime videos
- Radical political opinions
All of which reflect poorly on the brands who choose to advertise there. After all, nobody wants to be seen as supporting any of these off-brand causes.
This led to a phenomenon known as the YouTube Adpocalypse, where brands boycotted their platform and resulted in what can only be hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue.
You might already be thinking this doesn’t affect you because you don’t create those types of content. But, you’d be surprised, as we’ll tell you in the next section of this article.
Either way, it makes sense that YouTube would want to create an advertising algorithm that was fair to its advertisers and offered them a high level of protection.
But what the advertisers gained in protection, many content creators lost in income.
Which is a funny way to treat your most valuable asset…
The YouTube Machine: Are You Getting Out What You’re Putting In?
YouTube is a content machine.
It’s fuelled by a never-ending stream of new content. And, although it would take 1000 years for you to watch all of that content back to back, the demand for new videos grows.
But what happens if you don’t feed the machine?
Well, chances are, you succumb to one of two fates…
- You become irrelevant.
- You become demonetized.
Lilly Singh, a prolific YouTuber with 14 million subscribers and guest appearances from people like The Rock, alluded to this in her video entitled “See You Soon…”
After eight years of consistent content creation, she felt chewed up, spat out, and confused about how to make YouTube work for her.
And, Lilly is one of the lucky ones; she’s part of the fabled group of people who can consistently break seven-figure incomes on the site.
If it’s terrible for her, then you can only begin to imagine the impact on small- to medium-sized YouTube channels.
Trixi, the owner of Don’tTrustTheRabbit, has been fighting to keep her income since 2017. The majority of her videos are family-friendly insights into German culture and their language.
Despite having 250,000+ subscribers who turn to her for weekly insights, ideas, and cultural surprises, she still finds her videos being randomly demonetized without explanation.
This story is true for many YouTubers all over the world; regardless of language, location, audience size, and the content itself.
96.5% of YouTubers will never earn enough on the platform to break the US poverty line of $12,140 per year. A number, we imagine, is likely to only get lower.
All of this begs the question…
Are you really getting the same value from YouTube that you are putting in?
Let’s look at this objectively:
- YouTube expects you to create a high volume of content through fear of losing your relevance or income
- They will pay you less than minimum wage to do so
- They reserve the right to strip you of that income whenever they want
…sounds like a pretty raw deal, right?
You wouldn’t accept it from an employer. So, why put up with it from a video hosting platform?
If you’re not willing to have your income be controlled by a third-party who expects a lot of work, for little pay, we have a solution for you.
Read on to find out more…
How To Survive Demonetization On YouTube In Just 3 Steps
Step 01 – Stop Using YouTube As A Monetization Platform
YouTube demonetization can be devastating.
When it’s your content’s only source of income, you become totally reliant on it. Take it away, and it’s suddenly a lot harder to pay your bills.
This reliance is at the core of the YouTube business model. And, it’s what allows YouTube to give you a bum deal as a content creator.
The first step in surviving demonetization, then, is to take control of your income.
You need to put yourself in a position where you are no longer reliant on a third-party platform – or its fickle algorithm – and where you instead earn based on the …
…of the content you create.
It’s important to remember that we aren’t advising you to boycott YouTube or jump ship elsewhere; we love YouTube and think it is a great online platform for growth.
But, the best way to earn from YouTube is to build something outside of their advertising algorithm.
There are several different ways you can start to do this without moving your content away from YouTube, such as:
- Affiliate income: promoting third-party products on a commission basis
- Product placements: working with relevant companies to feature their products
- Merchandise: creating your own line of products to sell to your subscribers
- Donations: create a Patreon account where people can contribute to your work
But we have another solution that we implore every YouTuber to take into consideration. And, it’s one we know a thing or two about.
Step 02 – Launch Your Own Video Streaming Platform
The most effective way to survive demonetization on YouTube is to move your business elsewhere.
What do we mean?
We’ve seen content creators who have experience making YouTube videos go on to…
- earn more money
- grow their audience
- have less stress
- enjoy more freedom
… by following this Netflix-style business model. In fact, the average income for a content creator like you on our Uscreen platform is around $3,800 a month.
(That’s $45,600 a year in comparison to the $12,140 on offer at YouTube.)
The way the business model works is pretty simple:
- You put your premium content on a standalone video website
- You charge your audience a fair price to access them
If you’ve been creating content for free on YouTube for a while, you might feel like this isn’t a viable option for you. And, it’s common for people to say things like:
- “My audience will never pay to watch my videos!”
- “People don’t want more subscriptions.”
- “Nobody will pay for content they can get for free elsewhere.”
But none of these statements are true.
They might feel true, but the facts show otherwise. People do pay for content they can get for free, and do so in their millions.
They are also happy to pay for a one-stop-shop where they know they will find the content they love, instead of fighting through the hundreds of pieces of content in their news feeds.
And, finally, people love to support the creators they like and will contribute significant amounts of money to help them keep creating.
How to launch your own subscription videos service is a little beyond the scope of this article, so we’d like to invite you to check out these guides:
- Why Savvy Content Creators Are Launching Their Own Services
- 8 Reasons People Will Pay For Content They Can Get For Free
- How To Launch A Netflix-Style Business
You can also visit our Video Business School where we talk you through everything you need to know to start, run, and earn from an online video business.
But, all of this talk about starting a business off of YouTube doesn’t mean you should give up on the platform altogether.
Step 03 – Use YouTube As A Marketing Platform
Despite all of its flaws, YouTube can help you do one thing better than any other platform:
Connect with new customers.
YouTube is the world’s biggest video search engine and, right now, people are on their platform looking for videos like yours. So, it’s still a useful tool in your creator’s toolkit.
No matter what kind of video business you decide to run after you close this article, you will need to use YouTube to find people to sell to.
We recommend you take a close look at our extensive and very in-depth guide about creating a successful YouTube marketing funnel that will help you convert your views and subscribers to monthly paying customers on your independent VOD.
The Ultimate YouTube to VOD
Marketing Funnel Guide
In a nutshell…
YouTube demonetization is a real problem for content creators. For many, YouTube is their only source of income.
Yet, despite being the platform’s most valuable asset, YouTube is willing to pay low rates and demand high levels of output all while maintaining the power to strip you of your income.
To survive and thrive in the face of demonetization, we recommend you take three steps:
- Take control: put yourself in a position where you control your income
- Build a platform: create a standalone website where you can sell your videos
- Market with YouTube: turn YouTube into a powerful marketing tool
If you have any questions on this process, please leave us a comment below, and we’ll get back to you. Or take a look at our Video Business School!