YouTube Partner Program overview

On January 16, 2018, we announced new eligibility requirements for the YouTube Partner Program. Once a channel reaches 4,000 watch hours in the previous 12 months and 1,000 subscribers it will be reviewed to join the program.
 
This is part of an effort to strengthen our requirements for monetization 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 Program (YPP) lets creators monetize their content on YouTube. Creators can earn money from advertisements served on their videos and from YouTube Premium subscribers watching their content. You can apply to join the YouTube Partner Program from your account in Creator Studio.

How to apply for the program

Updated May 1, 2018: We've grown our review team to handle the backlog of YouTube Partner Program 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 prioritized as potential revenue is likely to be higher for those channels. 
Eligibility & program threshold

All YouTube creators can apply to join as long as the program is available in your country. Once a channel reaches 4,000 watch hours in the previous 12 months and 1,000 subscribers it will be reviewed to join the program.

This program 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 monetizing, 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 program threshold, your channel will be automatically re-evaluated under the new criteria. You can check your monetization status at Creator Studio > Channel > Monetization.
  • If your channel has never been in YPP: Follow the 4 steps to join the YouTube Partner Program from your account in Creator Studio. Once your channel reaches the program threshold, you'll be reviewed to join.
What happens when you apply
Once your channel reaches the program threshold, your channel activity is reviewed to make sure your content adheres to the YouTube Partner Program 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 > Monetization. The process may take up to several weeks.

Frequently asked questions

Do I need 1K subs or 4K watch hours in the past 12 months, or both?
You need both. If your channel has fewer than 1,000 subscribers or fewer than 4,000 watch hours then it doesn't meet both requirements and will be removed from YPP on February 20, 2018.
The new requirement is for a channel to have 4,000 watch hours in the previous 12 months (ongoing) and 1,000 subscribers (total) before it will be reviewed to join the program. Learn what happens if your channel drops below the program threshold.
Is the watch time requirement 4K watch hours total? 
In addition to 1,000 total subscribers, channels need to have 4,000 watch hours in the past 12 months to qualify for YPP.
How do I check my watch hours? 
You can use theYouTube Analytics Watch time report to see your watch hours. The report defaults to showing watch hours in minutes, so make sure to 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, select your account > Creator Studio.
  3. In the left menu, 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 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 program threshold?
Channels that previously reached the new eligibility thresholds for the YouTube Partner Program and were reviewed and approved to monetize will not lose monetization just because they drop below 4,000 watch hours in the previous 12 months or 1,000 subscribers. YouTube does however reserve the right, at its discretion, to remove monetization from channels who drop below the new eligibility thresholds if their channel is inactive and not uploading or posting Community posts for 6 months or more.
Channels will lose monetization if they violate any of the YouTube Partner Program policies, regardless of their watch hours and subscriber count.
What if I don't meet the program 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 Program 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 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 February 20, 2018, channels that currently have access to these features will continue to have access even if they're no longer in 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 February 20, 2018, channels that currently have access to these features will continue to have access even if they're no longer in 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 YPP to use some monetization-related features. When YPP eligibility requirements are updated on February 20, 2018, only channels that are in YPP will continue to have access to these features:

Does monetization status affect search results?
Monetization status is not used to inform how videos display on YouTube. If your channel is no longer in the YouTube Partner Program after February 2018, it does not mean 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 permanently cancel 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 you’ll reach the YPP threshold soon, we suggest waiting until your channel is eligible for the program again so that you don’t have to open a newAdSense account to start earning money.
Before canceling 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 monetization, your channel will lose access to all monetization tools and features associated with the YouTube Partner Program. Learn more about what to do if monetization 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 Program. You can re-apply to the program 30 days after suspension.

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