YouTube AdSense: Getting Started
Can you make money hosting ads on your YouTube channel, such as the Google AdSense program for websites?
Yes, but the process is much more complicated.
With Google AdSense for websites, you can start with a Google account, a phone number, an address and a website.
Earning money directly from YouTube has a high barrier to entry.
What is YouTube AdSense?
As part of the YouTube Affiliate Program, YouTube AdSense allows channel owners to earn money by showing ads during their videos.
This is very different from hosting video ads on your website. To participate in the program, you need a good YouTube channel with uploaded videos.
If you already have a YouTube channel for yourself or your business, this can be an additional source of income.
Ads are just one of the ways to make money from the YouTube Affiliate Program.
Users can pay for a channel membership that grants them special privileges, pay for comment highlights or live stream chat messages, and you can even run a merchandise shop on YouTube.
YouTube AdSense Requirements
In order to qualify for the YouTube Partner Program and use YouTube AdSense, you must meet a set of specified requirements and then subject your channel to a verification process.
You need an existing, healthy YouTube channel with uploaded videos, an existing audience of at least 1,000 subscribers and a total watch time of at least 4,000 hours within 12 months.
Here is Google’s breakdown of the requirements before you can apply to the program:
- Obey all YouTube Channel Monetization Policies. YouTube Channel Monetization Policies are a collection of policies that enable you to monetize on YouTube. As a YouTube Partner, your agreements, including the YouTube channel monetization policies, require compliance with those monetization policies in order to potentially make money on YouTube.
- Live in a country/region where the YouTube Partner Program is available.
- Don’t have an active one Strikes Against the Community Guidelines on your channel.
- Have more than 4,000 valid public watch hours in the last 12 months.
- Have more than 1,000 subscribers.
- Have a linked AdSense account.
Subscriber count and watch time requirements are the most difficult to achieve. You can track your progress toward these goals on the Monetization tab of your YouTube Studio.
After clicking this tab, you’ll see information about your progress toward meeting your Subscriber and Watch Hours goals, and whether you have any active Community Guidelines violations.
Types of Ads on YouTube
Once you’ve been accepted into the YouTube Affiliate Program, you can do so Control what types of ads appear in your videos and where they are placed. The platform does a lot of this by default, but you can customize the settings.
Your options for placing an ad are:
- pre roll (before the video).
- mid roll (during the video).
- post roll (after the video).
In general, short videos contain fewer ads, and mid-roll ads don’t appear in videos shorter than 8 minutes.
Ads on YouTube fall into four general categories:
- Skippable video ads – Give users the option to skip after 5 seconds and are available on all devices.
- Non-skippable video ads – Don’t give users the option to skip. 15 or 20 seconds long and available on all devices.
- Bumper ads – Don’t give users the option to skip. 6 seconds long. Automatically enabled for other ad types and available on all devices.
- Overlay Ads – Image or text ads that appear in the bottom 20% of a video’s visual space. Only available on computer.
You can change your settings in bulk or define different ad types for different videos in YouTube Studio.
How to create a YouTube AdSense account
In summary, the basics you need to create your YouTube AdSense account and start earning are these:
- A YouTube channel with no active community strikes.
- 1,000 subscribers.
- 4,000 hours of valid public watch time.
- A Google account.
- A Google AdSense account.
Once you’re eligible for the YouTube Partner Program, apply in your YouTube studio and wait for YouTube to verify your channel.
Once you join the YouTube Partner Program, you can link your AdSense account to YouTube in YouTube Studio. If you don’t currently have an AdSense account, you can sign up for one on YouTube at this time.
Finally, go through the password and authentication process and select a Google account to connect AdSense to.
Once you have followed all these steps, you can place ads on your YouTube videos and start earning.
Featured image: ART PAL/Shutterstock