We’ve kept you up to date with the various changes YouTube has made to monetization over the past year, such as the new monetization icons, but this may be one of the biggest to date: As of February 20th, 2018, YouTube is limiting monetization to channels with 4,000 hours of watch time in the past 12 months and 1,000 subscribers. This new threshold is a part of YouTube’s effort to tighten requirements for monetization in order to prevent spammers, impersonators, and other bad actors from hurting the YouTube ecosystem.
This may seem like a lofty goal, but it’s easy to check if you’re already qualified, and if you’re not there yet, there are plenty of steps you can take to achieve the goal. Whether you’re looking for ways to boost your channel stats or want to reach new heights, we’ve outlined helpful tips to get your numbers growing.
Check Your Analytics
Not sure if you’ve made the cut for the new requirements? It’s simple to check on your own: open up YouTube Analytics and filter by “Last 365 Days.” If your watch time is over 4,000 hours (240,000 minutes) and you have more than 1,000 subscribers, you’re all set. If either of these requirements is not met yet follow some of the tips below to build up your audience and watch time as quickly as possible.
Mine Your Assets
Once you’ve figured out which channels need a boost, make a master list of assets that you have rights to, and check for content that you haven’t uploaded to your channel. Remember, you don’t need music videos to have a successful YouTube strategy! Whether it’s art tracks for an album, lyric videos, behind-the-scenes footage, acoustic performances, or just some b-roll for an interview, every little bit can help. This may also be a good time to connect with your artists about creating some content exclusively for YouTube, whether it’s a performance or a personality piece.
Create A Schedule
Once you’ve figured out the gaps in your content, don’t just rush to upload it all at once! We’ve found that the channels that upload new content consistently, releasing a few new pieces of content on a regular basis, generate the most watch time and subscriber growth. Whether it’s twice a week or five times a week, establishing a regular flow of content will help you grow your channel as quickly as possible and maximize views for each upload. Flooding your channel with too much content at once can cause content to be overlooked, limiting your cumulative watch time.
Leverage Your Content
If you run different channels for your artists, you may find that one artist is qualified for monetization, but a newer or smaller artist isn’t. In cases like these, consider leveraging the reach of your larger artist by featuring the newer artist in playlists, end screens, or cards on your most-watched channels. If you have a channel for your label, you can also use this as a hub to feature and drive watch time to your various artists from a central location using playlists. Consider also reaching out to your Label Manager at The Orchard to inquire about a “UGC Campaign,” where your existing assets can be used to service cards that direct viewers to a channel or video of your choice.
Use Every Feature
Finally, don’t forget to use every feature YouTube has to offer! End Screens can help you direct viewers to more content on your own channel, increasing your watch time. Playlists can also help to associate your content with each other and drive more watch time from a single viewer. Promote your new videos across your artists’ social channels, and message them to all of your friends. Literally every minute counts, and there’s no time to lose!