Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 23rd year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

Content copyright © 1995 - 2017 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at

Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Youtube to ditch ad-revenue sharing?

6 September 2017

Okay, what follows is purely speculation.

However, it is speculation based on an awful lot of experience with YouTube and careful observation of Google's abandonment of the "do no evil" mantra that used to make it different to so many other big corporates.

I am a YouTube channel partner and much of my earnings come from the way that the company shares the revenue from ads placed on my videos.

Once upon a time, this was good money and meant that I almost made the average wage solely from these ads. Life was good. Because there were only a limited number of "channel partners" and the qualification criteria was quite stringent, I could focus on the creation of regular, quality content and both Google and myself benefited from same.

Then, as I've previously written, Google got greedy and decided to let every man and his dog "monetize" their videos and share the revenues from those ads.

The once prestigious "channel partner" title was rendered pretty much worthless and, because there were now several orders of magnitude more channels monetizing their uploads, the ad revenues were spread far more thinly. meaning that over time, my revenues have dropped by half, even though I've significantly increased my uploads, subscribers and views.

Now I'm speculating, based on the way Google feels it's okay to mess with stuff that works, in the quest for higher margins and more profit, the company is probably considering axing ad-revenue sharing completely.

Think about it...

If YouTube did kick the ad-sharing system to the kerb, they'd be able to monetize all qualifying (ie: not offensive, violent, terror-related etc) videos and keep every cent those ads generated.

Sure, many of us who rely on that revenue sharing would be outraged -- but Google has never hesitate to outrage us before when it suits them so I doubt that they'd consider this to be an issue if it meant doubling the profits from YouTube ads overnight.

You might think "but content creators would simply ditch YouTube if they did this" -- but you'd be wrong.

The reality is that by pissing around with the ranking system and by spreading the ad revenues so very thinly, Google has forced most content creators to create other revenue streams from their videos.

A huge number of popular channels have their descriptions littered with affiliate links to Amazon, Banggood and a raft of other online sellers. In fact many of the content creators I know are making up to 10 times more from their affiliate schemes than they are from the ad-share revenues.

Other creators (such as myself) have begun to rely on Patreon as a method of compensating for the ever-falling income from YouTube.

In short, it seems that Google has done a great job of weaning content creators off the ad-share as their primary revenue source -- and so I'm thinking that they've done this with the long-term goal of simply shutting that program down completely and pocketing all the money advertisers pay.

Most "tubers" would stay with YouTube, mainly because they have no option. There is no other video sharing site out there with anything like the critical-mass of YouTube and to pack up and move to a site such as Vimeo would be an act of suicide. Without the views that YT would still deliver, those creators would lose massive amounts of affiliate income.

So, bookmark this column and we'll revisit things in a year or two -- but I'm picking that Google will drop this bomb sometime in the next 12-24 months.

Of course if you're one of the "chosen few" who have tens of millions of subscribers and generate hundreds of millions of views every month, you may find that you'll still get a cut... but for the other 99.99%, it'll be tough cheese.

If you're a creator who currently relies solely on your ad-share revenue to survive (and some still do) then be prepared to find yourself without a pay-cheque, possibly with little or no notice.

Do no evil?

Cue Tui's ad.

Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Have your say in the Aardvark Forums.

PERMALINK to this column

Rank This Aardvark Page


Change Font

Sci-Tech headlines



Beware The Alternative Energy Scammers

The Great "Run Your Car On Water" Scam


The Missile Man The Missile Man book

Recent Columns

Are we all frogs in a pan?
There is an old parable which talks about a frog in a pan...

$1.30 an hour, I am raking it in!
I was looking for a particular edition of Aardvark this morning and unfortunately, Google hasn't done a good job of indexing this stuff so I had to manually trawl through the pages...

EVs and the environment
Electric vehicles are going to save the planet... rah, rah, rah!...

OMG, we just nuked Saturn!
The Cassini probe that has delivered so much fantastic scientific data about Saturn and its moons is gone...

The end of cash?
Does anyone remember cash?...

SWDC calls me a liar
I'm sorry for the late publication of today's Daily Dose but it could not be helped, I had to attend a meeting of the South Waikato District Council in order to do two things...

Buying the media
There is an election in just a matter of days...

That ownership thing again
Over the years I have written several columns discussing the issue of whether you really own the stuff you buy -- at least the hi-tech stuff...

You know you're too busy when...
Early risers this morning will have noticed that Aardvark's domain name had expired...

What the? and shhhhh!
This morning I did what I always do first thing... I checked Google News for the latest stories in the categories of science and technology...

NZ's energy future
Energy is going to be crucial to the future of this (and every other) nation so you'd expect that governments would be working hard on creating a plan for future energy generation and use...