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YouTube CEO addresses demonetization, ignores frustrated small creators

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Susan Wojcicki also announced a pilot program to patch over YouTube’s spotty monetization algorithms

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki announced in a blog post today that YouTube will be launching a pilot program with a small group of users in an attempt to address and ameliorate its creators’ continued concerns regarding demonetization and other recent, largely unpopular changes to the YouTube Partners Program.

In the post, which was largely an update from the past year and in particular the past few months, Wojcicki acknowledged the frustrations of many content creators who have voiced their concerns, saying that the last two weeks had been “challenging” and that YouTube was “committed to communicate more with all of you,” while trumpeting that “channels earning five figures annually grew more than 35 percent, while channels earning six figures annually grew more than 40 percent.”

That is exciting news for people who are already doing very well on YouTube but less so for people who have had to contend with more stringent eligibility rules for monetizing content on YouTube. “While we know some creators found this change frustrating, it strengthened advertiser confidence, making monetization and the broader community on YouTube stronger for creators building their business on the platform,” says Wojcicki.

The post, which articulates “an update on [YouTube’s] 2018 priorities,” says that the platform wants to provide more opportunities for creators to engage with fans and address abuse, claiming that “YouTube is an incredible force for good, particularly when it comes to education.”

Wojcicki also announced the imminent launch of a YouTube pilot program meant to address complaints about its pesky upload algorithm, which users say have been incorrectly demonetizing ad-friendly videos. It’s launching “with a small set of creators to test a new video upload flow that will ask creators to provide specific information about what’s in their video as it relates to our advertiser-friendly guidelines”:

In an ideal world, we’ll eventually get to a state where creators across the platform are able to accurately represent what’s in their videos so that their insights, combined with those of our algorithmic classifiers and human reviewers, will make the monetization process much smoother with fewer false positive demonetizations.

Not all YouTube creators were receptive to this response to many of their perennial concerns.