YouTube Ads for Small Channels

Recently, YouTube announced how it will run advertisements on select channels regardless if they are in the Partnership Program. And as you can guess, it’s caused a bit of controversy. So, what’s the issue with YouTube Ads showing on your channel?

Actually, quite a bit, when you think about the implications.

I remember when YouTube didn’t pay creators. We uploaded videos much like most people use TikTok today. It was just a fun hobby.

Considering YouTube Ads on Channels

I know I should probably be on the side of outrage as many other smaller YouTubers. However, I try to see things from both sides of a coin before making my own judgments.

One of my favorite quotes is, “Once you understand the nature of the thing, you know what it’s capable of.”

So, something like YouTube ads running on small channels not in the Partnership Program is really not surprising to me.

Doesn’t Really Impact the Quality of Small Channels

In the end, having ads on your channel really doesn’t take away from your accomplishments. Sure, you’ll have to make a new goal if getting into the YPP was your end game.

But after all is said and done, you’re still a creator with an audience who appreciates your work.

It’s Still a Marketing Device

Out of all the social media platforms I use, especially for, YouTube drives the most viewership to my blog. This means it’s more viable of a platform for me than Facebook or Twitter.

YouTube Marketing

And that’s really the primary reason why I built the YouTube channel to begin with. It was supposed to augment the blog posts so people could either read or watch the content.

Sometimes, Reputation is Better than Profit

Having a solid, future reputation in your field is often better than making a buck in the here-and-now. It often opens doors that you didn’t know where available and can greatly affect your career over time.

Having YouTube ads on your channel doesn’t take away from those accomplishments. It just means YouTube acknowledges you have potential but is too greedy to give you a slice of that monetary pie.

An Extraordinary Amount of Unmonetized YouTube Content

When you think about it, there is a vast amount of video content uploaded to YouTube. According to Statista, 2019 saw 500 hours uploaded every minute. And you can bet that most of it is from creators who are not enrolled in the YPP.

Offsetting Server Load and Expenses?

When I upload a 10-minute video, it takes up about 3GB of drive space, on average. Yes, YouTube does have a compression platform so you can still watch 4k video without requiring the same amount of space. But, that’s still a LOT of data.

And that’s just considering the storage. It takes an incredible amount of power to maintain a datacenter, especially when you add in cooling units. Offsetting some of those costs by running YouTube ads on small channels only makes financial sense, from a corporate standpoint.

Taking 100% of Revenue for YouTube Ads

Instead of giving creators a bit of the ad money, as you’d see with channels in the Partnership Program, YouTube gets to keep it all. Depending on the bid cost per advertiser, this leads to an awesome amount of money.

And in a world driven by profit, I’m incredibly surprised YouTube didn’t do this sooner.

This is what happens when you have shareholders.

No Solid Competitor for YouTube

In reality, there is no real competition for YouTube. This means it can get away with a lot more since the brand doesn’t have to worry about people flocking to another platform.

In essence, it’s too big to fail.

No…TikTok, Instagram, nor Facebook are Competitors

Some people will try to equate platforms like TikTok, Instagram or Facebook as competition for YouTube. However, it’s not the same comparison at all.

For something to really compete with YouTube, it would need:

  • An expansive search capability
  • The capacity to quickly scale its datacenter
  • The ability to upload edited video formats, beyond what a smartphone can do
  • Have a strong plan in place for monetization
  • Offers tools, functions, marketing aspects, and integration capabilities to rival YouTube

Don’t get me wrong, mobile devices are still a valuable tool. But, there is a reason why YouTube still has far more staying power than something like TikTok.

For instance, my audience probably wouldn’t get the same out of the experience if I moved WriterSanctuary to mobile-only video. And I’ve found a surprising number of people watch me on TV over a phone or computer system.

Now, also consider the audience. How many people who view your channel, with or without YouTube ads, will even use another platform? You might get a few viewers, but nothing compared to how many people search your content on YouTube.

A Massive Marketing Campaign Needed

If you compete against the number two website in the entire world, second only to Google itself, you need a powerful marketing campaign. You can’t just toss up a few banners and expect an influx of visitors.

YouTube is a household name. Its reputation surpasses anything on the Internet, including Vimeo or Dailymotion.

And Vimeo now charges creators for drive space on their platform. Well, you can use the free version, but it’s incredibly limited. YouTube doesn’t have such restrictions…yet.

In other words, you need to give people a reason to use your services over YouTube on a massive scale.

“Preferred” Searching

Google incorporates YouTube videos in its search pages. What’s to stop it from preferring YouTube over another competitor? Much like how Amazon was recently called out for pushing its own products during search, Google can do the same.

After all, it’s a privately owned company…and will argue people can simply use another search tool.

Constant Ad Blocker Growth

Ad blocker software is quite popular around the world. And when this software is utilized in browsers, it cuts the revenue of any channel that is monetized in certain ways.

And this creates an issue with YouTube ads pulling in money for the company.

Taking Money Out of YouTube’s Mouth

Ad blockers prevent YouTube ads from showing. This means advertisements generate less money for YouTube because no one is seeing or clicking those placements.

This compounds the problem as the developers need to find other ways to generate income. Remember, there are shareholders and CEOs to pay.

I Don’t Use Ad Blockers for a Reason

I don’t use ad blockers because most people rely on the money generated from ad placement systems to earn an income. In a way, I am supporting those creators by helping them make a few tenths of a cent when I read their posts or watch their videos.

Ads don’t bother me like they do some people. And, I’ve come across a few that were fun to watch.

At any rate, it’s my way of letting the creator know that his or her content was worth my time.

AdSense Pays Poorly, Anyway

And the last point I want to bring up is how AdSense has crap for pay. Unless you’re pulling in tens of thousands of views, you’re not making that “mad YouTube money” from AdSense.

Unfortunately, my opinion on this aspect is limited to what I see in AdSense on the blog. It may be a separate payment scheme, but given the nature of Google, I highly doubt that it is much different.

Thousands of views for $5

According to my blogs, it takes a bit more than 7,000 page views to make $15.00. So unless you’re creating something that draws in a massive audience, you’re not replacing a full-time income with YouTube ads.

21 day AdSense

This is why most successful YouTubers get sponsorships. You’ll make vastly more money than relying on AdSense alone.

Again, this is purely me speaking from experience using AdSense on the blogs. And if I ever get “monetized” on YouTube, I’ll have better data and will rewrite this portion of the blog.

You Can Monetize without AdSense

You don’t need to rely on YouTube ads to make money. Just market yourself as a creator with whom other brands want to associate. And that’s the hardest part, really.

Unfortunately, many large brands don’t take small creators seriously. You’ll need a large audience to really get the attention of a nationwide brand.

However, it’s still possible to make money from your channel outside of YouTube Ads. Try reaching out to businesses that fit your channel’s niche. While you probably won’t make tens of thousands of dollars per upload, you might still generate a bit to make the time worthwhile.

I’ll Still Make My Videos

Would I like to earn a bit of money from YouTube ads? Absolutely. Even though the payout is crap, it’s still more than I had this morning. But, I create content for my audience, not to line my wallet.

And yes, the payout from AdSense does pay all of the hosting for the blogs and a bit extra. But, $20 per month is really nothing to live on.

My point is that YouTube ads are not the goldmine many people think they are. There are far more profitable ways to maintain your channel.

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Chris Desatoff
3 years ago

I can’t wait to get monetized on Youtube. Would be nice to have that extra income stream, even if it’s just 20 bucks a month or whatever.

But then…that means I have to make more videos meh.

One thing at a time lol

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