Uploading videos to monetize with ads

There are a few factors to consider when you’re uploading a video you want to monetize with ads.

New Monetization Icon: Check Ad-Suitability Before Your Video Goes Public

Upload as Unlisted to check monetization status

You can upload as unlisted before you make your video public and start to get public views. This option allows our systems to run ad suitability checks before you start monetizing. 

You should leave your video in private or unlisted for 1 hour. Our system checks typically take less than 20 minutes, and no more than an hour. If a review is still in progress, you’ll see a ‘checking’ icon.

If the monetization status is green, proceed to publish. If the monetization status is yellow, you can appeal or edit and fix the video before you publish. This way you can make sure you’ve addressed any monetization concerns before publishing. 

How Self-Certification helps

With Self-Certification, all creators in the YouTube Partner Program have more control over monetization decisions. You can also see the expected monetization status and revenue potential in real time.

For creators with a high accuracy rating history: We’ll use your input for the initial monetization decision. Then you can publish and monetize your video immediately after you upload it. If our systems find any discrepancies with your rating, there’s a small chance it could change. If possible, you should wait an hour before making a video public. 

For creators that are new to Self-Certification OR have a low accuracy rating history: We’ll rely more on our automated systems for monetization decisions. There’s also a ‘checking’ monetization icon to make it clear when a review is still in progress. Videos can’t be monetized with ads until system checks are complete. 

To check your rating history, check out - Understand your rating status.

Understand our monetization icons

Here are what the different icons mean:

  • Green: Monetization is “on”, and the video is ready to publish. 
  • Yellow: Your content can run limited or no ads from all advertisers. You can either publish, edit the video and re-upload it, or request a human review of your content.
  • Red: You turned on monetization, but because there’s a copyright claim on the video, it can’t be monetized. Sometimes, you can file a dispute.
  • Gray: You chose not to turn on monetization for this video.
  • Checking: Review is still in progress, and ads won’t run until the check is complete. You can still make a video public while it’s being reviewed. But to maximize revenue, wait until this icon is replaced with either a green, yellow, or red icon, which means the check is complete. 

Note that most creators won’t see this ‘checking’ icon because our systems are typically quick, or we’ve relied on your Self-Certification input.

Learn more about what each icon means in our monetization icon guide.

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