YouTube monetization policies

Updated September 2019: We recently changed the name from "YouTube Partner Program policies" to "YouTube monetization policies." There are no changes to our policies and how we enforce them. 

If you’re in the YouTube Partner Program, it’s important to follow the YouTube monetization policies, which include YouTube’s Community Guidelines, Terms of Service, and Google AdSense program policies. These policies apply to anyone in the YouTube Partner Program. If you want to monetize videos with ads, they must also meet our Advertiser-friendly content guidelines.

If you violate any of these policies, YouTube may take some or all of the following actions:

  • Disabling ads from your content
  • Disabling your AdSense account
  • Suspending your participation in the YouTube Partner Program
  • Suspending or even terminating your YouTube channel

Here’s a quick overview of each major policy. Make sure you read each policy thoroughly.

Follow the YouTube Community Guidelines

These guidelines help keep YouTube a great community for users and advertisers. Content that violates YouTube’s Community Guidelines is not eligible for monetization and will be removed from YouTube. Content that’s not suitable for all audiences may be age-restricted. In addition, your YouTube channel may receive strikes, and repeated violations may result in suspension from the YouTube Partner Program, and/or termination of your YouTube channel.

Content that violates YouTube’s Community Guidelines includes:

These guidelines apply to anything you post on YouTube, including, but not limited to video thumbnails, titles, external links, and tags.

Learn more in our Policy and Safety Hub.

Ensure you have commercial-use rights for your content

It’s important you have the right to use all of your content commercially before monetizing it on YouTube. If you continuously submit ineligible videos, you may be suspended from the YouTube Partner Program.

Here are some of the key monetization policies that relate to copyright:

  • Own commercial-use rights: Make sure you have all the rights to the content that you attempt to monetize. This includes right to all audio and video elements.
  • Understand your rights: If you incorporate third-party content in a video that you attempt to monetize, make sure you understand your rights granted by the license.
  • Monetizing third-party content: Make sure you’re adding value to any third-party content you monetize, and that your content has significant original commentary, educational value, or editorialized statement.

Keep in mind that your content must also meet the AdSense content quality guidelines in order to monetize.

These guidelines are provided solely for educational purposes and do not constitute legal advice. You should seek legal advice from a lawyer or legal representative.

For more information about copyright and fair use, please visit our Copyright Center.

Follow AdSense program policies and YouTube’s Terms of Service

AdSense allows YouTube partners to get paid for monetizing their videos. Make sure to follow the AdSense program policies and YouTube’s Terms of Service.

Violating these policies may result in your videos being removed, your AdSense account being disabled, your channel suspended from the YouTube Partner Program, and/or your YouTube channel being terminated.

Content quality guidelines

AdSense content policies are extensive and include quality guidelines from the Webmaster/Search Console policies. We’ve highlighted some of the most relevant policies for YouTube creators below.

Reminder: These guidelines apply to your channel overall. If we find that a channel is dedicated to content that doesn’t meet our guidelines, the channel may be suspended from the Partner Program.

Make sure your content adds value, and is unique and relevant. We’ve included some examples of content that doesn’t meet these standards, which means it can’t be monetized. This list is not exhaustive.

  • Reused content. This is content that doesn’t provide significant original commentary, or educational value. It may also mean that we’ve identified that large portions of your channel either completely match other content, or are noticeably similar. Examples include:
    • Third-party videos stitched together with minimal to no changes
    • Third-party content compiled without a narrative
    • Content uploaded somewhere else first
    • Content uploaded many times by multiple users
  • Repetitious content. This is content that appears mass-produced in order to increase views without adding significant educational or other value. Examples include:
    • Synthetic voice reads third-party content or nonsensical content
    • Content on a channel with minimal changes from video to video
    • Repetitive or mindless content with no additional educational value, commentary, or narrative
    • Content that’s been mass-produced or generated programmatically
    • Image slideshows or scrolling text with minimal or no additional narrative, commentary, or educational value

Note: You may be able to monetize third-party content if you have commercial use rights for that content, and you’re contributing to the value of that content in some way. This can include, but is not limited to, high-quality editing, adding commentary, or narrative.

Ad violations

Examples of ad violations:

  • Clicking on your own ads for any reason
  • Encouraging others to click your ads
  • Using deceptive implementation methods to obtain clicks

Using third-party sites and tools

Examples of misusing third-party sites and tools:

  • Employing or commissioning third party sites and tools to artificially or manually generate subscribers or views
  • Embedding third party advertising, sponsorships, or promotions placed on or within your video content
  • Selling your YouTube channel and/or partner channel via third-party sites for monetary profit
  • Manipulating or incentivizing others to click on video features such as “Like” or “Favorite.”
Creator influence on YouTube

The success of the YouTube Partner Program is dependent upon the willingness of advertisers to associate their brands with YouTube content, and the earnings of all YouTube creators are negatively impacted when advertisers lose trust. 

We don’t allow egregious behavior that has a large negative impact on the community. This policy means you should be respectful of your viewers, your fellow creators, and our advertisers -- both on and off YouTube.

If you violate this policy, we may take action ranging from temporarily turning off your monetization to terminating your accounts.

Learn more about Creator influence on YouTube


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