YouTube has announced a change to their Partner Program that will restrict users from being able to monetize their YouTube content till they reach 10,000 lifetime views on their channel.
YouTube opened their Partner Program back in 2007, and since then it's enabled of platform creators to make money from their content - as part of their announcement, YouTube notes that there are now more creators making a living on YouTube than ever before. But this has also allowed users operating in violation of YouTube's rules to benefit - for example, you can easily upload another creator's original work and start making revenue off it, which YouTube might eventually catch wind of and remove (and also ban your channel), but with no establishment threshold, those users can simply start up a new account and do the same again.
According to YouTube, the new restriction will give them enough information to determine the validity of a channel, while also enabling them to confirm if the user is following their community guidelines and advertiser policies.
"By keeping the threshold to 10k views, we also ensure that there will be minimal impact on our aspiring creators. And, of course, any revenue earned on channels with under 10k views up until today will not be impacted."
In addition, YouTube's also adding in an application process for their Partner Program - once a creator hits 10k lifetime views, they'll be eligible to have their content reviewed in order to begin serving ads on their channel. This'll give YouTube more oversight on platform creators, and may also help them ensure ad content is not being served alongside offensive material - an issue that has caused significant backlash in recent weeks.
What the actual impact of the change will be is hard to say. Definitely, this will create more of a barrier for new talent, but as noted by several users, if you have less than 10k total views on your channel, you're likely not generating significant revenue from your content anyway. It may also drive creators to other platforms, though it's unlikely they'll find similar revenue opportunities for video content on other sources (at least not yet).
This also comes as YouTube's looking to make moves to take a bigger slice of traditional TV viewership - earlier this week, YouTube launched YouTube TV, which will enable subscribers to view content from a range of TV providers, and YouTube, via the YouTube app. As they evolve their platform in this direction, it makes sense that YouTube would also want to ensure they have more control over the content available.