YouTube is a great platform that has brought together content creators of all sizes. Regardless of whether you’re looking to make YouTube a secondary source of income or if you’re hoping to become a full-time YouTuber, the first step in your journey on YouTube is to understand how to monetize your channel with YouTube Partner Program.

This article breaks down everything you need to know about the YouTube Partner Program to get you started with monetizing and growing your channel.

Requirements for the YouTube Partner Program

There are four requirements to be accepted into the YouTube Partner Program and start generating revenue on your videos.

1. You need to have a minimum of 1,000 subscribers

This requirement is simple, a minimum of 1,000 people need to be subscribed to your YouTube channel. It doesn’t matter when you hit that 1,000 mark. You’ll fulfil the requirement whenever your channel touches 1,000 subscribers.

YouTube Partner Program - Reach subscriber count
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2. Your channel must have a minimum of 4,000 watch hours in the last 12 months.

The YouTube Partner Program requires that you have at least 4,000 watch hours on videos that have been posted to your channel in the last 12 months. To elucidate, watch time hours are the total number of hours of your content that have been watched by viewers on YouTube. Live stream watch time also counts along with videos. It’s important to note that only the watch time for videos posted on your channel in the last 12 months count towards this requirement. Watch time for any videos that you delete will also not count towards this. Not sure how to look for your watch time and other metrics? Check out this post on YouTube watch time and other important metrics.

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3. You must comply with YouTube’s policies and guidelines

This requirement is important and relates to the kind of content that you can upload on YouTube. YouTube has an extensive document detailing exactly what you’re allowed to post and what kind of content is eligible for monetization on YouTube. Here’s a YouTube Support Article that delves into the nitty-gritty details of what is allowed on the platform and what isn’t. YouTube needs to be appealing to content creators, viewers, and advertisers all at the same time. As a rule of thumb, if you think your content could come across as inappropriate, then it probably will not qualify for monetization. However, you can refer to the article linked above to make sure that you’re up to speed with all the fine details about what content is allowed.

YouTube takes copyrighted material very seriously. You can use copyrighted material as long as you have the license for it, but if you don’t – it could land you in trouble. YouTube follows a three strike policy for violations of its copyright policy. You get a strike for each time you upload unlicensed copyrighted content onto YouTube, with the third strike resulting in a final and irreversible closure of your account. So, be careful what you upload onto YouTube and ensure that you are not unknowingly infringing on someone’s copyright.

This doesn’t mean you can’t use third-party content to create videos. If you are adding value by providing commentary, education, or any other form of original contribution to the video such that you’re not deriving revenue directly from the copyrighted material, then it counts as fair use and qualifies for monetization. Reaction videos are a good example of this. The reason this policy exists is to incentivize original content and for the betterment of the community as a whole.

4. You must associate a Google AdSense account with your channel

The final requirement to be eligible for the YouTube Partner Program is that you must have an active Google AdSense account linked to your channel. You can use an AdSense account that you already have or set a new one up during the application process.

YouTube Analytics for YouTube Partner Program
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How to Apply to the YouTube Partner Program

Once you’ve met the four requirements listed above, you are right on track to get accepted into the YouTube Partner Program.

Ensure that you’ve met the aforementioned requirements by clicking on your profile picture in the top right corner and navigating to YouTube Studio Beta, which should give you an overview of whether or not you’ve met the requirements to apply to the Partner Program yet or not.

Go ahead and fill in your application once you’re sure you meet the YouTube Partner requirements. Following this, YouTube will conduct a manual review of your channel to ensure that your content is in keeping with its policies and is eligible for monetization. It could take anywhere from a few days to a month for YouTube to decide on whether you’re accepted to the program or not. There have been cases where it has taken channels longer than the stipulated month-long wait time to receive a decision. There is not much you can do to speed the process up, but you can contact support and @TeamYouTube on Twitter to stay in the loop and receive updates on the status of your application.

That’s all there is to applying to the YouTube Partner Program and monetizing your content. If you need some more tips about starting and growing your YouTube channel, we have many tips on this blog to get you started!

Good luck!

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