Here’s why creators should worry about demonetized YouTube content

From the beginning, YouTube has been a place where independent content creators can share their work with the world.  And while the platform has remained the place for user-generated content, many creators have risen to great fame on the platform.  For this reason, over the years, YouTube has come to serve a far wider demographic of content creators.  Many of these creators rely heavily on YouTube for their income.  But solely relying on YouTube for your income is a risk for your business and makes it less sustainable. Here’s why creators should worry about demonetized YouTube content.

YouTube has a history of demonetizing content for no apparent reason.  This blog from Business Insider explores three cases of creators who rely on making money on the platform.  The creators all share the experience that YouTube claimed they were in violation of their content regulations and demonetized their content.  The worst part is that they were not even given the option to appeal YouTube’s decision.  Creators often refer to the late trend of demonetized YouTube content and thus denying creators their revenue as the ‘Adpocolypse’. YouTube is a great platform to build a business on, but YouTube demonetizing your content is a real threat.

Many creators who had their content demonetized by YouTube suffered from near-catastrophic financial consequences - even when they never violated YouTube’s content regulations.  Creators who experienced this agree how stressful the situation can be.  YouTube is not quick with helping you out with this situation either, as some creators waited for 2 months before YouTube re-monetized their content without giving an explanation.  Many high-profile YouTubers had to take their issue with YouTube to the public before it got picked up by YouTube.  Now imagine if YouTube advertisements are the only source of income for your business.  If that revenue stream, for whatever reason, suddenly diminishes because YouTube claims you violate their content regulations, this could have an effect on your short-term solvability. 

Maybe you need to pay rent for your recording studio, or you have people working in your team that you need to pay every month.  A small mistake from YouTube could bring you into financial trouble and you need to prevent this from happening at all costs.  One way to do this is to develop new revenue streams.  If you are a creator on YouTube, you are probably sitting on a pile of content that you could re-use in some way.  For instance, you could repurpose your content to build a following on Instagram, TikTok, or any other social media platform. But on Instagram, you have the risk of getting banned and losing everything as well.

When you are a creator on a big social media platform like YouTube, Instagram or TikTok, the companies behind those platforms have full control over your business and your followers. They can ban your account - and therewith your business - for no apparent reason. They are also in charge of how often you can reach your followers. Besides, they even own all the data from your followers. 

These platforms have so much power in the digital ecosystem. Now, imagine a scenario where your followers lose interest in the platform.  You might have spent years creating amazing content that will gain you followers to allow you to make more money.  Look at what happened to Vine, which was at one point a huge app where many creators rose to internet fame overnight and even built a profitable business from it.  When Vine decreased in popularity and all its users went on Instagram, many creators were left empty-handed.

We’re not implying that any of the social media platforms discussed will shut down, but it is important to realize that when they do, your account has no value.  The same happens when your YouTube content gets demonetized.  But if you’re a smart content creator who is aware of this risk, you are probably already busy with generating extra revenue streams.

There are many additional revenue streams to build on when YouTube demonetizes your content. YouTube demonetizing your content simply means that you will not be able to play advertisements before your videos. It is a pity, but there are many other ways to make money off your YouTube content.  As stated before, you could repurpose your content on other social media platforms or a blog.  Using additional channels to monetize your following comes with new opportunities as well.  It won’t even have to cost you all the extra effort you might expect.
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