YouTube Partner Programme overview

On 16 January 2018, we announced new eligibility requirements for the YouTube Partner Programme. Once a channel reaches 4000 watch hours in the previous 12 months and 1000 subscribers, it will be reviewed to join the programme.
 
This is part of an effort to strengthen our requirements for monetisation so spammers, impersonators and other bad actors can't hurt our ecosystem or take advantage of creators, while continuing to reward those who make our platform great. Get more details on the YouTube Creator Blog.

The YouTube Partner Programme (YPP) lets creators monetise their content on YouTube. Creators can earn money from advertisements served on their videos and from YouTube Red subscribers watching their content. You can apply to join the YouTube Partner Programme from your account in Creator Studio.

How to apply for the programme

Updated 1 May 2018: We've grown our review team to handle the backlog of YouTube Partner Programme applications. Pending applications will be reviewed by the end of June and we'll update you if anything changes. Channels with the most views will be prioritised as potential revenue is likely to be higher for those channels. 
Eligibility & programme threshold

All YouTube creators can apply to join as long as the programme is available in your country. Once a channel reaches 4000 watch hours in the previous 12 months and 1000 subscribers, it will be reviewed to join the programme.

This programme threshold allows us to significantly improve our ability to identify creators who contribute positively to the community and help drive more ad revenue to them (and away from bad actors). These standards also help us prevent potentially inappropriate videos from monetising, which can hurt revenue for everyone.

You can check your watch time and subscribers in YouTube Analytics. If you don't meet the threshold yet, keep working to make original content and build your audience using tips from top creators.

How to apply
  • If your channel has previously been in YPP: When you reach the programme threshold, your channel will be automatically re-evaluated under the new criteria. You can check your monetisation status at Creator Studio > Channel > Monetisation.
  • If your channel has never been in YPP: Follow the 4 steps to join the YouTube Partner Programme from your account in Creator Studio. Once your channel reaches the programme threshold, you'll be reviewed to join.
What happens when you apply
Once your channel reaches the programme threshold, your channel activity is reviewed to make sure that your content adheres to the YouTube Partner Programme policies, YouTube Terms of Service, YouTube spam policies and our Community Guidelines.
We'll email you to let you know as soon as the process is complete. You can also check the status of your application at Creator Studio > Channel > Monetisation. The process may take up to several weeks.

Frequently asked questions

Do I need 1000 subs or 4000 watch hours in the past 12 months, or both?
You need both. If your channel has fewer than 1000 subscribers or fewer than 4000 watch hours then it doesn't meet both requirements and will be removed from the YPP on 20 February 2018.
The new requirement is for a channel to have 4000 watch hours in the previous 12 months (ongoing) and 1000 subscribers (total) before it will be reviewed to join the programme. Learn what happens if your channel drops below the programme threshold.
Is the watch time requirement 4000 watch hours in total? 
In addition to 1000 total subscribers, channels need to have 4000 watch hours in the past 12 months to qualify for the YPP.
How do I check my watch hours? 
You can use the YouTube Analytics Watch time report to see your watch hours. The report defaults to showing watch hours in minutes, so make that you change your view so that it shows watch time in hours. In the graph, click the Compare metric drop-down menu, then choose Watch time (hours).

See your Watch time report

Creator Studio Classic

You can go directly to the Watch time report or follow the steps below.
  1. Log in to your Google account.
  2. In the top right-hand corner, select your account > Creator Studio.
  3. In the menu on the left, click Analytics > Watch time.

To download the report, click Export report in the top right.

YouTube Studio beta

You can use the Overview tab to see how long viewers watch your content:

  1. Sign in to YouTube Studio beta. If you haven't tried the beta, learn more.
  2. In the left-hand menu, click Analytics.
  3. Click the Overview tab to see watch time info cards.
  4. Click on the cards to get a deeper dive.
What happens if I drop below the programme threshold?
Channels that previously reached the new eligibility thresholds for the YouTube Partner Programme and were reviewed and approved to monetise will not lose monetisation just because they drop below 4000 watch hours in the previous 12 months or 1000 subscribers. YouTube does however reserve the right, at its discretion, to remove monetisation from channels who drop below the new eligibility thresholds if their channel is inactive and not uploading or posting Community posts for six months or more.
Channels will lose monetisation if they violate any of the YouTube Partner Programme policies, regardless of their watch hours and subscriber count.

What if I don't meet the programme threshold?

If you don't meet the threshold yet, keep working to make original content and build your audience. Here are some resources that can help you grow your channel:
Will I lose access to creator features if I do not meet the new YPP criteria?
Channels currently need to be in the YouTube Partner Programme in order to access certain features. Here's how access may change based on the new YPP threshold.  

Features not affected by YPP eligibility requirements

You do not currently need to be in the YPP to use the following features (this list is not exhaustive):
  • Cards: All creators can use cards. However, linking to external websites from cards is a feature that is currently only available to YPP members. When YPP eligibility requirements are updated on 20 February 2018, channels that currently have access to these features will continue to have access even if they're no longer in the YPP. We'll be building out new eligibility criteria for this external linking feature.
  • Creator Studio: You don't need to be part of YPP to use Creator Studio on YouTube. 
  • Custom URLs: You don't need to be part of YPP to claim a custom URL. However, there are other requirements that you must reach.
  • Custom thumbnails: You don't need to be part of YPP to use custom thumbnails, you just need to verify your account by phone.
  • End screens: All creators can use end screens. However, linking to external websites from end screens is a feature that is currently only available to YPP members. When YPP eligibility requirements are updated on 20 February 2018, channels that currently have access to these features will continue to have access even if they're no longer in the YPP. We'll be building out new eligibility criteria for this external linking feature.
  • Live streaming: You don't need to be part of YPP to use live streaming. You just need to confirm that your channel is verified and that you have no live stream restrictions in the last 90 days.
  • Scheduling uploads: You don't need to be part of YPP to schedule uploads.
  • YouTube Analytics: You don't need to be part of YPP to use YouTube Analytics.

Features affected by YPP eligibility requirements

You currently need to be in the YPP to use some monetisation-related features. When YPP eligibility requirements are updated on 20 February 2018, only channels that are in the YPP will continue to have access to these features:

Does monetisation status affect search results?
Monetisation status is not used to inform how videos are displayed on YouTube. If your channel is no longer in the YouTube Partner Programme after February 2018, this does not mean that your videos will be limited in search and discovery.
How do I access the balance in my AdSense account?
If you have AdSense earnings but your current balance doesn't meet the payment threshold, you can follow the steps to close your AdSense account. As long as your current balance meets the cancellation threshold, you'll be paid your full AdSense balance in the next payment cycle.
If you think that you'll reach the YPP threshold soon, we suggest waiting until your channel is eligible for the programme again so that you don't have to open an AdSense account to start earning money.
Before closing your account: If you have never received a payment from AdSense before, make sure to follow all the steps to getting paid, including:
If you'd like to participate in AdSense again in the future, you'll need to submit a new application using an email address that's not associated with any previous AdSense account.
If your YPP participation is suspended

If it's determined that your channel is no longer eligible for monetisation, your channel will lose access to all monetisation tools and features associated with the YouTube Partner Programme. Learn more about what to do if monetisation is disabled for your channel

You can keep uploading original content and building your audience on YouTube even if you're not in the YouTube Partner Programme. You can re-apply to the programme 30 days after suspension.

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