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Why You Should Not Monetize YouTube

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There are tons of articles about how to “MAKE MONEY ON YOUTUBE” all over the internet. There are books written on the subject. There is an endless supply of resources letting people know how they can make money. Oddly enough, these people are probably getting more views and making more money than any of their videos. I even tried to monetize my Youtube channel. However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that monetizing my channel was not what I wanted to do. I bet that getting approved to put Ads on Youtube videos is not what most people really want either. What people really want is to get views. Views are how you get things outside of Youtube and branch out into other mediums. By focusing on the monetizing of your videos you are taking away energy from that ultimate goal.

Viewer Attention Span

When audience members go to the Theatre they are mentally prepared for an hour and a half to three hours of entertainment and expect a few commercials/trailers before the movie begins. When people sit down in front of their television they are looking to relax for thirty minutes to an hour with their favorite shows. They are willing to put up with commercials but will gladly fast forward if they can. They may even use the time to stretch their legs, do some chores or grab a snack before returning to their program. The attention span for an average YouTube video is 30 seconds to one minute. When people are on the internet they want things instantaneously. They don’t want to deal with commercials before watching their video or reading an article. This is especially true with a Youtube video that they are unsure of the content they are about to watch. Lots of potential viewers will simply move on without even giving the video a chance. Established shows are struggling with how to create a revenue with the fast pace, instant gratification internet culture.

Time and Energy

YouTube and their Advertising Partnership Program is a huge beast. Here are some statistics about YouTube at the time I wrote this article. Every minute 72 hours of footage is uploaded to YouTube. They are localized in 43 countries that have more than 60 languages. There are a million new subscriptions every day. YouTube does an amazing job scanning videos for copyrighted material and keeps their site running smoothly. However, they are so large that their customer service in helping out the little guys is non existent. If you ever run into difficulties with your monetize account you will simply be referred to a forum where people are having a similar problem. The issue you are having trouble with is often not resolved. Instead you will find people stuck with the same problem and complaining about the lack of service they are getting from YouTube. Rather than spending hours trying to figure out how to make a few more pennies, you could be spending that time an energy creating another video to put up on your YouTube Channel. Perhaps this will be the one to go viral and get you the career you really want.

A 1,000 View!!! So What?

This is not meant to be negative. Chances are as an artist you have had enough of the nay sayers telling you why you won’t “make it”. What it is meant to do is put things in perspective so you can focus on the real goal. Remember that feeling when you got the first real comment on your video. Hopefully, it was a positive critique that let you know other people are enjoying your videos and not just family, friends and spammers. Another great milestone is the first time one of your videos reaches 100 views. WOW! Suddenly you are invigorated to make more videos. The next major achievement is a 1,000 views. That’s right, more people have seen your video than you actually know. It is also the qualification for monetizing a Youtube video and being accepted into their partnership program. The thing is, 1,000 views may be something to be proud of but it is nothing compared to the 1,000,000 views you need to go viral. Rather than spending the time figuring out how to make money, spend the time figuring out why that video was successful. Then work on pushing it further and creating similar videos.

Viral Videos

If you are one of the lucky ones who gets a video to go viral, accumulates 10,000 views on a regular basis or has hundred of followers then you are probably ready to start monetizing your videos. However, if you are like most people out there, think about what you really want from Youtube and what is the best way to spend your limited time and energy.

Before you answer that question ask yourself...

  • Do you want to make money from a Honey Badger video or score a pistachio commercial?
  • Would you rather make pennies per click for singing on Youtube or get a record contract?
  • Are you more interested in making money on Youtube or showing the world what you can do?

Now you can answer the question, what do I really want to get out of Youtube?


Gregg on May 02, 2019:

Good article, helped me to adjust my thinking as to why I really do what I do on YouTube.

Paola Bassanese from Ireland on September 04, 2018:

I like your thinking! Now that it's more and more difficult to go viral, it's better to focus on the quality of the content that we produce and create loyal communities that appreciate what we do.

adveNZures on November 21, 2017:

Very good article, thank you.

enzo on October 13, 2017:

going to monetize the night away

Gandhi Memes on April 18, 2017:

Please watch one of my videos and reply on if I should or should not monetize

Anon on February 09, 2017:


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skperdon from Canada on July 01, 2015:

You are so right, I tend to stay away from videos with too many ads. Great info, thanks for sharing.

Sean Fliehman on January 27, 2015:

Wow, good thoughts. I actually read this article all the way through. I've been considering doing youtube videos as an outlet for my short films.

Geekdom (author) on January 06, 2015:

Thank you for your insightful thoughts and clarification for other readers.

I wrote the article under the assumption that people would not use other people's intellectual property, because of copyright issues. Thank you for mentioning that YouTube will put ads in automatically if people do things like use a copy righted song.

Ignacio Mata from Las Vegas, Nevada on December 28, 2014:

The thing about ads on YouTube though is that it's not always the uploader monetizing the video. Ever watch music videos or watch videos that are just a song on YouTube? They had an ad, didn't they? Any video with a Content ID Match will have ads placed on that means even one's video that samples some artist's music will end up getting slapped with Ads. As for Ads on Hulu (In reference to another comment), well, they gotta get some money somehow.

I do think people need to focus on their content first before monetizing. Even though I've had a few gameplay videos up I've yet to monetize, mainly because I hardly get any views on them. As for the part about going viral, I actually remember seeing a video (or was it a blog post?) that said going viral was NOT what you wanted to do, as it's pretty much like watching a firework go off. Sure it'll be big for a while but after that, eh.

Geekdom (author) on May 28, 2013:

It is all about getting down to the WHY. Good luck with the promoting and thanks for reading.

cristianneacsu from Bucharest, Romania on May 27, 2013:

Well i have found myself in exact situation you talk about - time for making videos is more important than trying to monetize. on the other hand I use to promote people, blogs and businesses so making videos make me money anyway so yes i said to myself I will not use ads.

I need also all people attention when they look to my videos so I really don't need things on the screen.

Happy to read here, thx

Geekdom (author) on January 03, 2013:

nuffsaidstan...thanks for the feedback and adding the tip from your friend. Hopefully it will help others succeed on the internet.

Geekdom (author) on January 03, 2013:

mts1098....good luck with the youtube videos. What is your channel? I am always looking to support fellow artists.

Geekdom (author) on January 03, 2013:

Agreed. I stopped watching Hulu because there were too many commercial. I think the internet is all about subtle advertisement. When it slows down our information download it is on the wrong medium.

nuffsaidstan on January 03, 2013:

You are so right, a friend of mine who is now a virtual millionaire from the internet always says you must concentrate on content first and build up a following before you consider any type of advertising.

mts1098 on January 03, 2013:

You are correct...After reading this I de-monetized two videos and will probably do the same for the rest...I thought about what I wanted from my videos and sharing the experience is better to me than the pennies...great job...cheers

freecampingaussie from Southern Spain on January 02, 2013:

So true / I often don't watch a video on youtube now as I resent the ads coming on first . I understand people want to make money and that's fine but the ads are almost as long as the clips....................

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