The two most common requests for videos I get on YouTube and here on my blog are:
- requests for more depth of content: “make more [Rift Warrior / Prot Pally / etc] videos”
- requests for more breadth of content: “can you make videos of [X / Y / Z] classes or [A / B / C] games?”
To date, the limiting constraint for the number of videos I can publish is the amount of free time that I have. Given that constraint, I made the decision a while back to provide depth of content, e.g. 1 class at a time for 1 game.
For example, when Rift launched back in February, I rolled a Warrior as my main character, and as I leveled him up I made a series of narrated videos for the class and wrote an in-depth Riftblade Warrior Guide. It was not until more recently that I started creating videos for different classes, namely Rogue and Cleric, even though I had played around with alts.
That being said, what I would love to do is create videos for multiple classes for multiple games concurrently. The implication of delivering that much content is that I would need to invest more time into blogging and video creation. Making a video for me takes an order of magnitude more time that writing a text-based blog article like this post. For each video, I have to capture illustrative footage, watch it to find scenes with educational value, edit the best segments, narrate, iterate, and finally render and upload the finished product.
IMO, my videos provide distinctive value because of thought and intention that goes into creating them. That may sound arrogant, but if you perform any of the following searches on YouTube, you’ll see multiple videos from my channel on the first page of the search results:
- “rift pvp” sorted by rating
- “rift pvp” sorted by relevance
- “prot pally 85 pvp” sorted by rating
- “prot pally 85 pvp” sorted by relevance
So this brings me to the YouTube Partner program. Basically the Partner program enables a YouTube user to monetize their videos. If I were a Partner, I would take a careful and thoughtful approach toward ad integration that so that viewers would have a positive experience.
Every now and then I have checked on the YouTube Partner page to see whether my channel was eligible. The traffic on my YouTube channel has gradually grown, and this month I cracked 2k subscribers. Recently the “Apply Now” button on the Partner page returned a different result: it didn’t tell me I didn’t qualify, which it had in the past. So I applied.
At the time of application, here were my statistics:
- >2k subscribers
- >85k channel views
- ~885k upload views
YouTube provides general guidelines but not specific numbers (e.g. # of subs, # of views, # of thumbs up, etc) for approving new Partners. I understand that – they need to have the flexibility of approving whichever applicants they see fit. From what I’ve read over the past couple weeks, applicants have very differing experiences as far as getting approved or rejected.
I received the rejection email from YouTube today, which is the boilerplate rejection letter, except for the italicized text (emphasis mine):
Thank you for your interest in the YouTube Partner Program.
Thank you for your understanding.
The YouTube Team
I read through the links provided above, and I understand that YouTube will not approve Partner applications for channels that simply show video game footage. Video game vids (usually with music overlaid) are a dime a dozen on YouTube.
However, the last 80+ videos I’ve made over the past 2.5 years are all narrated educational videos, and I have received thousands of comments/messages/tells from players saying that my videos (and written guides) have been a huge help to them. And I know that there are other video game commentators who are Partners. So it’s not that I was applying for something that YouTube had never approved previously.
Needless to say, I’m really disappointed with the outcome for my application :(
I didn’t get into blogging with the expectation of it evolving into an income-earning job. I blog and make videos because I love gaming and I enjoy teaching and helping other players. I believe my getting turned down by YouTube’s Partner program is bad not just for me but for folks who appreciate the kind of content I publish. Frak!
Had I been approved, this post would have looked very different, and I would be here writing about how I was going to be greatly expanding my coverage of MMORPG games and classes – in short that you’d be see a lot more videos from me covering greater depth and breadth (more games, more classes). And I would be able to justify the much greater investment in time, because I would be compensated for it with the experience of learning the Partnership aspects of YouTube (valuable knowledge IMO) and with some incremental income – who knows how much but anything is better than nothing, amirite?