YouTube’s partner and revenue sharing / ad-sense program

Although my videos aren’t commercially-oriented, I realized that, for the most part, YouTube and Google certainly are.

Bandwidth and storage space, even for Google, costs some money to house and maintain. Some of how they get revenue is by putting ads on people’s videos, while, in other ways, they have content creators provide, link to, and promote YouTube over the plethora of other video services available.

Why choose YouTube? Hmm, before I haven’t really given it much thought, but I guess one reason is, I’ve been with them since around the time they started and decided to stick to it, in spite of the throng of people who login just to watch people’s videos and make adolescent comments about them or other factors which would drive the prudent video-maker away quickly.

Also, YouTube is FREE and I like the idea of free stuff, so much in fact that I continued to use YouTube to post different videos, even when Google bought them out and basically eliminated the earlier Google Video service altogether (which was then preferable to YouTube for me).

At that time, I had a choice to move to one of the other video services, or stay with YouTube. But hey, every once in awhile you are given a dangling carrot or incentive to stay, as YouTube apparently was recognizing the faithful loyal uploader and rewarding them with emails like the one I received in June of 2010, enter the revenue-sharing program:

I was excited when YouTube/Google emailed me about becoming a YouTube partner account. They said I had a video getting lots of views, and I could benefit from their Ad-sharing/revenue program, which basically puts AdSense type banner ads floating over the bottom part of your video.

Of course, if you don’t want to see the ads, the user just has to use AdBlock Plus (in Firefox) or simply click the X to close the advert and continues watching the video, unaffected.

For those that do click on the ads, well of course they are brought to whatever that relevant ad may be, and the YouTube uploader (that would be me..) gets a clickthru commission, that is, a few pennies on the dollar for each valid human-entered click on the Advertisement. Neato..

Then, in came another email about revenue sharing. I had another video… etc…

Well, shucks, I thought, I may as well get something back from all this bother and if they send me money, great.

So, I went ahead and created a Google AdSense account and tied it to my YouTube login.

Next, I went about adding the option to a few of my more popular videos to the revenue sharing thingy.

Over time, I can’t say I really got much in the way of $ but I am sure Google and YouTube got quite a bit of revenue off the deal, because the next thing I knew, I was getting an email inviting me to apply as a YouTube partner account.

Since I already have a old grandfathered director account, I can upload videos over 10 minutes long and over the usual uploaded file size limits, but the partner program gives you even more customization options for your Channel (the dashboard sort of page that lists all your videos) so, as I thought this would be a nifty thing to add, and went ahead and applied. Then, I waited.

Meanwhile, I created some nice themed channel graphics images and uploaded them to my channel, cleaned up the look of it, I was pleased. I watched the Google AdSense clickthrus grow and revenue coming in .. again, not a lot– I’m not one of those Google success stories where they are sending me checks for thousands of dollars each week, having retired to some tropical island sipping exotic rum drinks for the rest of my life while the income rolls in.. But yeah, the occasional deposit to my checking account is nice, small that it may be.

I then did something interesting… I paused — I got tired of checking application status each month, and thought for sure that YouTube had forgotten about me, continued on my way making better HD videos and getting more subscribers and views in the hundreds of thousands now. All fine and good.

Then, finally, the email arrived from YouTube about my Partner Program application. We had a good business relationship going, I was uploading good videos, they were tagging them with their revenue sharing program and turning a profit, and I was making sure my traffic was legitimate — oh yes there are ways to scam the system of course, get yourself lots of views by trickery, but my traffic was all valid and that certainly would look good in the eyes of Google… My content was all stuff I owned, I wasn’t uploading TV shows or movie clips or ripping other people’s music tracks, turning them into slideshows or 4 minutes of a scanned image of the album cover followed by the audio track from a CD I didn’t create, that would certainly be against the Terms of Service (even though this type of piracy and unauthroized use is rampant on YouTube). I wasn’t uploading hate videos, political or religious or porn (which are also all over YouTube), so that was good in the eyes of YouTube and their partner program, of course.. so the final answer to the partnership program? Guess what it was?

It was a big fat NO — denied! They denied my partner application even after all of that … Can you believe it?!

Perhaps it is better not to bother with all of that, then.

Thus, I am no longer tagging or crediting my videos with thanks to YouTube.

I am no longer revenue sharing any of my videos with YouTube (I removed the ads from the ones that were eligible, and outright refuse to promote others into that status).

You might say I am just a bit disillusioned with the whole idea of YouTube’s partner program, it’s insulting like a slap in the face.

I’m un-linking my YouTube account from Google AdSense. What ever paltry sum they spoon fed me along with the moneys they gained from advertising over my videos, will be no more.

Would they change their mind any time soon? Most likely, no. I’m not padding my numbers, not spamming others, not sticking promoted videos in completely irrelevant spaces just to get more traffic, and not optimizing my channel in the ways they ask (which looks to be an invasion of privacy to me, and likely only serves YouTube advertisers for their marketing statistics.. no way I am giving them that sort of data for free or willingly, nor do I want some random person learning about my viewing habits on YouTube, which normally has nothing to do with the videos I am uploading or presenting to the world…)

We’ll see what happens next.

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