youtube partner program requirements

YouTube Partner Program Requirements for Monetization in 2021 – How to Apply

This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read my full disclosure.

So you’ve started a YouTube channel and wanna know what the YouTube partner program requirements and rules are for 2021. You’re not alone! As I shared in my last post, more people searched How to Start a YouTube channel in March of 2020 than any other month EVER!

Business owners are realizing that they must adapt in order to thrive in volatile, unpredictable times. Long-time employees have been laid off or furloughed and are looking for remote job opportunities and ways to make money on the side.

How YouTubers Make Money

First off, you need to know that there’s more than one way to make money as a YouTube content creator. 

When you’re watching YouTube videos, you know those ads that pop up before, during, and sometimes after a video? Those ads are one way that YouTubers make money.

You can also review products and share affiliate links, earning affiliate revenue from your YouTube channel, and as you start to grow, businesses may “sponsor” your videos in exchange for a mention of their products or services.

YouTube Partner Program Rules and Requirements

There are four main requirements in order to apply to the YouTube partner program.

1. Eligible Countries Only

You must live in a country that is eligible for the YouTube partner program. I’ve compiled a list of approved countries here.

YouTube partner program countries eligible for monetization

2. 1,000 Subscribers

You must have a minimum of 1,000 subscribers on your YouTube channel. These subscribers can be from any time period (so if your channel is 7 years old with home videos dating back to your college days, those early subs count).

3. 4,000 Hours Watch Time

You must reach a threshold of 4,000 hours of watch time in the past 12 months on your channel. This means that other people must have viewed your channel for a cumulative total of 4,000 hours. This seems like a lot, but there’s power in the compound effect! Audience retention rate will help with this. When people click on your videos and watch them for longer, obviously, your watch time increases! 

4. Linked AdSense Account

The final requirement is that you must have a linked AdSense account. If you already have a blog, you can use your existing AdSense account. Otherwise you’ll need to submit an application for approval.

How to Create an AdSense Account

  1. Visit the Google AdSense website.
  2. Click Sign up Now.
  3. Enter the url of the website you want to link (your YouTube url).
  4. Enter your email address.
  5. Click Yes for AdSense to send you specific suggestions and information related to your channel.
  6. Click Save and continue.
  7. Sign in to your Google Account.
  8. Select your country or territory.
  9. Review and accept the AdSense Terms and Conditions.
  10. Click Create account.You’re now signed in to your new AdSense account.

Before your account can be fully activated, you’ll have to complete a verification step. Google will mail you a postcard to your physical address, and you’ll enter that code on AdSense’s platform when you receive it. 

How to Apply to the YouTube Partner Program

First off, your videos need to meet YouTube’s community standards guidelines. Here are some bullet points taken from YouTube’s description. These behaviors will get you suspended or banned. 

Once you’ve agreed to follow YouTube community standards, you can review and accept YPP terms and conditions.

  1. Sign in to your YouTube channel.
  2. In the top right, click your profile picture > YouTube Studio.
  3. In the left menu, click Monetization.
  4. If you’re under the threshold (meaning you don’t have enough views and/or subscribers), click Notify me when I’m eligible to get an email when you’ve reached 1,000 subs and 4,000 hours of watch time in the past 12 months.If you meet the threshold, click Start on the “Review Partner Program terms” card. 
  5. Once you’ve signed the term, YouTube will mark this step with a green “Done” sign on the “Review Partner Program terms” card. 

YouTube will then review your application, and, if approved, you’ll be able to start monetizing your existing uploads and any new videos you upload! Congratulations! 

What if Your YouTube Partner Program Application is Rejected?

Fine tune your channel and keep creating content that meets YouTube partner program rules and requirements, and you can reapply in 30 days. Just be sure to figure out what the reason for your rejection was so that you can fix it.

Watch my Beginner’s Guide to Starting a YouTube Channel 



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