As we all know, more and more people are using ad blockers. These also work on YT videos. I'm wondering if anyone has wind of what YT are proposing to counter this ad blocking "revolution" for those of us who depend on advertising revenue.
I really don't want to charge for my content as this would severely limit my audience. But with ad blocking in full swing, it seems like the only way to make money from YT in the near future will be to charge some kind of premium.
This is an interesting subject and I'm sorry it has taken a while to reply. It's been sitting in my forum drafts for about 10 days! so for now, I'll attempt to be brief here and let's see if we can help the conversation along!
It's also timely because of Ken's post here: https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.php?p=1393447#p1393447
. I'm sure your experience will be of value to his mini-survey as well.
First, I have no idea what YT are specifically planning but this may provide some clues....
There is no question that using YouTube for monetisation as a specific strategy can be effective. I personally know of a few cases that do extremely well. These people aren't superstars but they follow the YT "rules of engagement" successfully, have a really engaged niche and they experience the financial benefit.
However, although adblockers have an obvious - even significant - impact, I don't think they are actually the main problem someone adopting a monetisation strategy may have. The bigger hurdle is YouTube itself.
YouTube is needing to increasingly meet the demands of the advertisers - this means re-focussing where the ads appear and who with, by exerting quality control and changing the game for those that can monetize and use features (like End Cards) and those that can link to external fund raising sources like Patreon.
In an increasingly competitive video market, including Facebook and other social channels, YT seriously needs to give the advertisers confidence that they won't blowup their brands and provide a high quality, viewing audience. In effect, it is needing to change the way it positions itself in the marketplace. Logan Paul was just a symptom of their problem - not THE problem!
In many ways it is finally moving into the new Internet age, just like Google did, stripping away the opportunity to make money fast! Content has always been King (yes even furry cute animals and human idiocy can be content) but now they are setting the entry level higher if you want to make money from their platform.
As well as that, consider the following...
About 30-ish% of viewers use adblockers. Add to that the fact that ads only show some of the time on your channel and you only make money when someone clicks on the ad, AND Google take their cut from that, then you can possibly speculate that your income will be from (at best) around 20-30% of your views. That's my figure and unsubstantiated but I think you will see the logic of it.
I have seen a suggestion that each $100 would be based on 50,000 views and while that is unconfirmable without a lot of our own research, it fits with the notion that YT are creating an environment where they will only financially engage with committed, long-term, highly active, quality producers with highly engaged viewers.
Perhaps you would share your income per views to get us going?
So, if you are looking exclusively to 'passively' earn using Adsense then yes - you will probably run into trouble if you don't ramp up production.
In my personal opinion the biggest challenge won't be because of Adblockers though. It will be because you are relying on a source of income where your supplier can significantly change the game. From a business point of view this can be very risky.
To expand a little; historically, there have been two broad categories of YouTube monetisers. I know there are also more distinctions than this, as Ken refers to in his article but I am keeping it simple! (In the end, the difference is all about momentum.)
The first category included the occasional YouTuber hoping to make some extra money and/or being found. The other is as a serious YouTube 'activist'.
Speaking strictly in terms of monetisation in the YT environment, if you sat in the former category, there is just no conversation. You'll notice I use the past tense...
Sticking a few videos on YT occasionally and hoping to make some money - or even to drive traffic to your site (I have yet to see an SBI! site that receives high levels of referral traffic to the site, commensurate to the effort) is not enough to develop a monetisation platform and, historically, your income would have been poor at best.
And now, it will be absolutely $0, forever. As you will know Google have just recently significantly tightened up the rules around being eligible to monetize.
On January 16, 2018, we announced new eligibility requirements for the YouTube Partner Program. Once a channel reaches 4,000 watch hours in the previous 12 months and 1,000 subscribers it will be reviewed to join the program.
That's a lot of watching but the most telling part is 'reviewing'. They actually do this and it's a rubbery area where values and inclusion options will be able to change. Got too many channels on biscuit making? - sorry we have enough of those, or perhaps not enough ads for that type of channel... (This is my hallucinating but you see the risk of subjectivity and their own business needs being met.)
Let me be clear. This is not just for new members of the program. This also applies to existing members so if you did not meet the criteria, then your capacity to monetise has been automatically removed.
On February 20th, 2018, we’ll also implement this threshold across existing channels on the platform, to allow for a 30 day grace period. On that date, channels with fewer than 1,000 subs or 4,000 watch hours will no longer be able to earn money on YouTube. When they reach 1,000 subs and 4,000 watch hours they will be automatically re-evaluated under strict criteria to ensure they comply with our policies. New channels will need to apply, and their application will be evaluated when they hit these milestones. https://youtube-creators.googleblog.com ... rtner.html
So, this leaves the 2nd category of YouTubers. The changes are actually not bad if you are committed to production. You are on the team, you will potentially have a higher financial return. This actually creates an upside for people that are serious about YT as a monetization strategy.
Apart from a unique 'voice', to take a terrific SBI! concept, they need to have the capacity to follow the YT "rules".
Consistent uploads - ideally weekly, production values (including info and clear presentation skills) that keeps the viewers watching, thus creating what YT call "watch hours", a lot of subscribers, a lot of production momentum and a lot of hidden tricks which we mostly cover in our TNT articles.
Is this possible? Absolutely but it does establish a fairly high level entry bar if you want to be committed to the production cycle.
So - in my mind, that's the first barrier to monetization in YT.
If you ARE serious about building a strategy, Adsense won't be a problem for the first 1,000 subscribers anyway so this is the time to lock in your overall monetisation momentum. If you go back to the SBI! Action Guide it actually advises a similar thing which is to not add Adsense until you have (from memory) 100 visitors a day. It's smart not to have monetised your account until you have good traction. Think of it as an investment!
When you are at 1,000 you can initiate sponsorship opportunities and other things to vary the sources of your income. If you factor in the advantage of traffic to your site be careful to "weight" the value accordingly based on the number of visits you actually receive.
As a side note- you can always have a message on your videos inviting people to ensure their blocker is whitelisting your channel, and explain why. Video is ALL about a one to one relationship with your viewer (there is only one person you are communicating to at a time) and engaging with them and giving them a compelling reason to do so is a pretty good strategy.
But above all, this question that needs to be asked (and about all the strategies you employ - not just video) is; "am I getting the best ROI for my time and effort and for the long-term time and effort I need to commit to"?
It's a really useful question to hold in the back of your mind. Stats are invaluable in telling you where you are up to so use them as a launching pad.
For example - have a good look in Google Analytics to see how much traffic you get from YT to your site and also look at your YT Insights to get a good idea of the full details of who is watching, how long and all the rest of it.
Then also consider, could you be doing something different. For me, most obvious alternative is to step outside the YT as a primary video -monetization source (unless you fit into Category 2) or use it strictly as part of an on-going monetization strategy that supports your site's financial wellbeing.
I think I have pretty loudly worn my heart on my sleeve about this question (see also http://sbitips.sitesell.com/adding-video-choices.html
and the related series) so I suspect I'm going to hear more about this point of view! I'm always up for a discussion, so love to hear your thoughts and thanks for the question!
Hope this is interesting.