YouTube Lowers The Barrier To Earn Money On Its Platform

The number of subscribers and watch hours needed before you can earn money from YouTube is lower than ever.

YouTube has this week announced it’s lowering the requirements needed for creators to access monetization tools.

In a move that heavily rewards short-form content and streams, the platform looks set to take on the likes of TikTok and Twitch.

The YouTube Partner Program (YPP), which allows revenue sharing from ads that are placed on creators’ content, has historically only been available to those who meet high-reaching metrics.

This update however, makes the opportunity to earn money from videos even more accessible, and comes following the recent news that the platform has brought advertising opportunities to YouTube Shorts.

What Do the New Requirements Look Like?

Previously, creators had to have had at least 1,000 subscribers and either 4,000 watch hours in the past year or 10 million Shorts views in the last 90 days.

To qualify now, users must have 500 subscribers, three public uploads in the last 90 days and either 3,000 watch hours in the past year or three million Shorts views in the last 90 days.

This lower threshold means creators can get access to tools like Super Thanks, Super Chat and Super Stickers, which are all used for tipping. Similarly, they’ll be able to apply for subscription tools like channel membership, and can promote their merch through YouTube Shopping.

The Roll Out Is On, But Is It All Good News?

The new eligibility criteria is currently live in the US, Canada, UK, South Korea, and Taiwan. It’s expected to roll out to other countries where YPP is available soon.

Ad revenue is a more sustainable path for monetization as it means creators don’t have to rely on asking viewers for monetary support. However, this change doesn’t benefit all creators equally, as it seems to favor those who stream or produce Shorts over long-form content.

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A Love Affair With Shorts

The obsession with short-form video content burns bright, with Reels scoring 140bn daily views across Instagram and Facebook in October 2022 and Shorts topping 50bn daily views in Q4 2022.

It makes sense then that YouTube is encouraging as much short-form content creation as possible. One example: they recently made Shorts ad revenue sharing a reality for creators. On top of that, some US-based creators were able to access shopping-related features just for Shorts, signifying a potential dip into TikTok Shop’s waters.

While it’s unlikely YouTube will turn its back on long-form video creation, whether or not it announces any additional benefits to those types of creators remains to be seen. The platform is set to share more details around its new programs at VidCon next week.

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Written by:
Ellis Di Cataldo (MA) has over 9 years experience writing about, and for, some of the world’s biggest tech companies. She's been the lead writer across digital campaigns, always-on content and worldwide product launches, for global brands including Sony, Electrolux, Byrd, The Open University and Barclaycard. Her particular areas of interest are business trends, startup stories and product news.
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