Thursday 5 November 2009

Youtube Partner

I am a YouTube partner. My channel is called broadsurf. As of today it is the top pets and animals channel for the month according to the Channel stats (it will change downwards for sure!) -- (update 25-11-09: it is no longer the top for the month but as it is now featured as one of the top channels it attracts attention, which helps to sustain traffic levels - it is sort of self perpetuating, to a degree).


Above a screenshot as at 5th Nov. 2009 for the month. It is top! Great but I am realistic. Update 14-11-09: As at this date it is on page 3 of the all time number of hits -see below:

Youtube all time number of hits for broadsurf channel

My name is Michael Broad. I make videos about cats to publicize my website:

I don’t actually think that my videos on my YouTube channel have made a massive difference to hits to my website despite plastering my web address over the videos! And of course YouTube allows you to put a link to your website on your channel (your home page at YouTube).

Although Alexa (an Amazon web traffic measuring site) tells me that YouTube brings in 7.92% of the traffic to my website (see below). Incidentally this blogger site is not my main website. It is a Blogger subdomain that feeds some traffic to Pictures of Cats org, the main site.

youtube clickstream

Update 17-11-09: The upstream sites have changed showing more supply from YouTube. Although these figures are a bit wild and not to be completely relied upon. We should not be numbers reliant - use commonsense more:

POC stats

So what are the advantages of being a YouTube partner and how do you get accepted?


When I first made an application I got a pretty fast response to tell me that it would be unlikely to succeed. So I didn’t follow through. That tells me that if you don’t get such a response you are likely to succeed, which proved to be the case.

I made my second application when I had posted some videos of an F1 Savannah cat called MAGIC. This changed the dynamics a lot. The hits built as this cat was named the Guinness World Record tallest pet cat. Korea got hold of it and the video was embedded in some of their high hitting websites. One video in particular caught their attention:

magic savannah cat and Andeas video stats

These extra hits made all the difference. OK, the first thing for a successful application would seem to be the obvious; a considerable number of lively hits going on at the time of the application. Even with 30,00o hits per day I was only ranked No. 39th amongst all the UK partners (all divisions). The numbers are big in YouTube.

In order to get good hits the video has to have something different but it need not be a good video. There are a lot of poor videos getting massive hits. The more extreme the better seems to be the method, which is not my style and I think YouTube should promote pure quality as well (which it may do incidentally – I just have not noticed).

Next and most importantly all your videos must be your copyright. When you apply this is scrutinised. YouTube have been criticised over the way they have turned a blind eye (or at least that is what some people think and say) to breaches of copyright by people who upload videos. They probably can’t keep track of the uploads. But when a person applies to be a YouTube partner it means that they (YouTube) are directly involved and they can’t be seen to be partners with a person or persons who flagrantly breach copyright. So the application process contains a lot of references to copyright. It focuses heavily on that to the point where YouTube say that they will delete a video if a partner uploads one that has a breach of copyright problem on any media issue: still images, music, video, anything.

So, your videos must be free of copyright breaches. No not quite actually. If you disclose a breach they might still accept you as a partner. After all a breach of copyright is not actionable until the copyright holder takes action and sometimes the copyright holder might actually approve the breach because it helps them. And in any case copyright is not black and white. It is complicated and their is such a thing as fair use. Plus few people sue on breach of copyright as it is so bloody expensive to sue and the outcome is so uncertain. All that said keep the videos clean of copyright violations. Do it right and YouTube will like you.

OK, you have plenty of hits and your vids are clean: GO HERE to apply.

The Benefits

The first benefits I am going to mention are the ones in my mind, the outstanding ones: Monetisation and Customisation. There are others.

You can make money with Adsense. You need an Adsense account. I already had one. If you haven’t it is pretty easy to apply but it takes a bit of time. I would expect that if you are accepted as a YouTube partner you will also be accepted for an Adsense account.

How much can you make from Adsense? It is a numbers game, pure and simple. You need lots of hits because the number of people who click on an advert are small in percentage terms. I have 66 videos. I enabled ads for about 6 (10%) and made about £70 (GBP) in one month.

Customisation is good. You can place customised bits here and there, the most noticeable of course being the header. The process of customisation is straightforward.

What else? I am not that commercially minded but people who make videos to make money can do things like utilize their sales to sell their own ads.

The full set of benefits as declared by YouTube are here: Benefits.

Uploading Videos

When you upload a video you are given the option to monetise inside the video. The upload screen is different. Some viewers don't like inline Adsense as it can be irritating and I don't like it myself but it is more effective. You have to be in-your-face with advertising there is no doubt about it. And bottom line it is about making money.

If you select to have Adsense inside your video you have to complete a form in which you explain why your video is clear of all copyright breaches. You have to do this in 4 - 1000 characters. This is tight if the video has a lot of material from different sources in it. I have fallen foul of this, once.

The video concerned (shown above) is completely legal but I failed to explain fully that the images in the title sequence were creative commons images reproduced under license. That was my fault and monetising was rejected by Youtube (I was told in an email). I decided to respond to the email thinking that I would not get a response but I did (good on Youtube). It seems that one of the advantages of being a Youtube partner is that they do communicate with you if needs must. But they prefer, I suspect, that you don't.

Anyway, I explained the position but they have not allowed inline advertising in the video to this day. Moral: get the thing right first time and take your time. I have prepared a text that relates to most of my recent videos which I might need to modify a bit an d then I cut and paste it in the box.

Update 11-10-09: Maybe the YouTube team saw this post as I got an email today saying that the video might have a breach of copyright in respect of the audio content. This is incorrect (as it happens) as the audio was purchased from (a very good source of high quality music that can be used legally! And it is not that expensive at about $29 for a track). I had explained this earlier to YouTube when uploading the video as I remember it (no criticism intended by the way, these things happen).

Anyway I was pleased to see that the inline Adsense is now in place for this video. So all is well. I think the moral as I stated is for us to get it right first time, which means going a bit slower than one wants sometimes. Everything is high speed and instant on the internet and you gotta keep building the god content but there are times to slow down and just get it right and to make it better. You make it slower but it sticks around longer once published.

YouTube are constantly upgrading and expanding the partner programme. I notice that the peoples of ten countries can participate in the YouTube partner program and the latest countries to join the list are Spain and Brazil. The full list of countries are (I believe this is accurate - source Yahoo Answers): Brazil, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, U.K and USA.

Here is a video made by YouTube Partner support about the partner program:

Further Update 12-10-09: I uploaded another video (the one below) and fully explained the copyright issues to make sure that there would be no problems in YouTube accepting the video for inline Adsense (embedded in the video) and low and behold it was refused! I have no idea why. The people at YouTube email you and link to the standard guidelines which I have read more than once. I emailed back to say that the video is not in breach of copyright. Every angle has been covered by me. Here is the video. The music was bought and is licensed for use in a video. The video is mine and the title was paid for by me. The images in the video are licensed under creative commons or expressly by the photographer. There is nothing wrong that I know of yet it was refused for revenue sharing. But don't misunderstand me; no criticism is intended as I think YouTube do an amazing job to keep all the balls in the air with the kind of expansion that they have undergone over the years but I feel that the degree of expansion has caused some problems.

I guess every video uploaded by a partner that requests revenue sharing has to be reviewed by a person as opposed to a machine. I don't know how many partners there are but it must be above 5,000 and if they upload one video a month that makes a lot of people doing very boring work checking that the videos don't breach copyright. I think the speed at which they are checked causes problems if there is a lot to take in and digest as is the case with my videos as they are made up of several sources of material.

From YouTube Partner to Home Page

1 comment:

  1. Wow, now that's an excellent post about the realities of being a YouTube Partner. Thanks for enlightening us.


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