Guest blog: YouTube Partnership

Hey guys its Tofu here (theTofushow) with a little look at something that we all probably know a little bit about and all want, you know, that shiny golden idol at the end of the Video making tunnel? Yup that’s right I mean the YouTube partnership program.

Look at your subscriptions. It is more than likely that you are subscribed to a couple of YouTube partners. This is all of the Phillip Defrancos, the Toby Turners, and the Charlie Mcdonnalds. All of the big YouTubers are Partners. It is because of this that it would be easy to see the Partnership program as a symbol of status. And is it not?

So if you didn’t already know, the YouTube partnership program is a higher level (of sorts) to being a part of YouTube. Specifically, it means that you get to make cold hard cash off your videos, along with other benefits (such as unrestricted use of YouTube features like having a customized channel page). But is it safe to assume that being a partner is better than the alternative?

Let’s have a look at what you need to be to apply for the program. Straight off the YouTube partnership page it states that:

A) You need to create original videos suitable for online streaming (the 2 key words there being original and suitable)

B) You have the permission to use any copyrighted material (this is definitely the strictest of the 3 rules)

C) You regularly publish videos that are viewed by thousands of people.

Now as for this last one, I have read and watched my fair share on the topic and the general consensus is that you must have around 1000 subscribers and get at least 2000 views per video. It is also said that you must have a certain number of friends but I wasn’t able to verify this. I can’t tell you the exact number (me and my 10 videos are not Partners) so these are just estimates, but it is easy to see why only the “cream of the crop” can be partners.

But there are restrictions to being a partner. The use of copyrighted material is very strictly prohibited and even the slightest reference can lead to removal of the video. Of course there is the fact that advertising is placed at the bottom of your videos, which can frustrate viewers to say the least.

Even after finding all the facts about YouTube Partnership I still had quite a lot of questions, which Is why I talked to YouTube partner and Fellow NZYT’ers Andrew (Strugsnotdrugs) and Matt (MattMulholland26) about the matter. Here’s what he they to say


“In October 2006 I started a YouTube channel called ApsiringPhotographer. It became pretty successful, and I enjoyed making YouTube contacts through this channel. I did however want to become a YouTube Partner to supposedly take my channel ‘to the next level’, but I was constantly turned down by YouTube because my videos had too much copyrighted material in them.”

“I then created a new YouTube channel called StrugsNotDrugs in May 2009. My goal – to create videos that didn’t infringe copyright laws and could potentially create funds in the future through YouTube Partnership.”

“Sometime down the track I received an e-mail from YouTube Partnership inviting me to join their Partnership programme in November 2010. I was gob-smacked – and actual e-mail FROM YouTube? I signed up straight away and was accepted into Partnership instantly. I got a letter from Google in the mail, and I was then able to receive revenue from the adverts that can now be posted from adverts that I allow Google to put next to some of my videos. I also loved the customizable banners that I could put on my channel too.”

“To be honest though, I have many questions still about the integrity of the YouTube Partnership programme. Before I entered Partnership, I thought that it was the high-class, premiere status of YouTube… but I don’t think it’s living up to all I thought it would be. For a start, not all of my videos are 100% copyright free. Secondly, I thought I would have a whole wave of viewers come surging through my channel = more views, more subscriptions, more clicks on my adverts and more money… not quite the case (although, the subscriber-base has increased a little more than it normally would). The pay you get through YouTube Partnership is very low. Depending on the number of clicks your adverts get I would estimate maybe 10-20 cents a day?”

“Lastly, what baffles me most is that I received yet another e-mail from YouTube inviting my AspiringPhotographer channel (remember, the channel I abandoned in May 2010) – to YouTube Partnership too! Of all channels on YouTube, my AspiringPhotographer channel breaches all copyright laws in terms of music and video usage that does not belong to me. That being said, YouTube Partnership is a mystery. The good record I kept on the Strugsnotdrugs channel did pay off – my lack of copyright infringement paid off and I was invitied to Partnership. On the other hand however, I received an e-mail from YouTube two weeks ago inviting AspiringPhotographer to Partnership too – the most copyright infringing channel I have. There are three YouTube channels in my Partnership under the same account – which has some very cool branding and funding perks – but – in all honesty, Partnership isn’t as glamorous as it is lived up to be.”

“By all means, I still encourage you to apply for Partnership. Just don’t feel down if you aren’t accepted – the perks of Partnership aren’t THAT high.”


“For me, it’s been only an awesome thing. It gives me (a little) money and motivation to take things more seriously and release more videos more often… So I can get more money. You’ve got the big guys who are making big fuck off six figure incomes from it and it gives me the thought of “holy shit, I could actually make a living from making videos for the internets”. Obviously to get to that stage you need a miracle or a sex tape or something crazy to get the huge amount of subscribers needed, but fuck it, it’s possible.

When I was trying to figure out if I was gonna do it or not, I looked online to see other experiences and opinions and I found a lot of people bitching about how it limits you in that you’re really only allowed to use fully original content. I see that as a good thing. If anything it’s encouragement to go and create shit. It’s like google and youtube are pretty much rewarding you for being creative and original. That doesn’t happen in the real world.

I know that’s not what actually is going on, they do it for legal reasons and they want to make money out of you but who cares. If I can get paid for singing about penises, and not have to work 9-5 for some cockmaster company, I’ll die happy.

Without being too corny I would say it affected my life more then my videos. It was kinda like “hey I must be doing something OK if this is happening, I’m gonna give doing it properly a go”. I quit my job and now spend most of my day working on songs, making videos, and trying to reach a wider audience online. May have been a bit premature because I have no money now but, again, fuck it. Life is good.”

There are two quite different views about being a YouTube partner. While the perks are there perhaps this program is being idolized as “winning on YouTube”.

Personally, I aim for the YouTube partnership program, but not because of the various perks, or even the motivation to use original content, but more for something Both of these successful YouTubers have. Passion. I aim to look at my videos and think to myself: “I’ve done something that has made somebody laugh” and perhaps this will come when I’m a partner but maybe it won’t. I think this is best put in Andrews’s words:

“Continue to create great, captivating and fun videos – just rest in the fact that YouTube Partnership is not what makes you a great YouTuber.”

If you have any thoughts, why not write a comment, every comment gives Ryan (TheRyanLamont) just that little bit more satisfaction! Thanks for reading guys and remember to keep it cool!



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