Joining the YouTube Partner Program

By Rob Ciampa, Theresa Moore, John Carucci, Stan Muller, Adam Wescott

It’s possible to make money on YouTube with the YouTube Partner Program. If you’re really successful, producing content for YouTube could be your full‐time, exciting job. But don’t run to the bank yet, because you’re going to need to create a great channel, fill it with wickedly good content, build a passionate community of fans — and join the YouTube Partner Program.

The YouTube Partner Program is a formalized way of helping content creators (which usually goes hand‐in‐hand with channel owners because they’re often one and the same) make money several ways:

  • Advertising: You can allow Google and YouTube to place ads against your content and receive a share of the ad revenue.

  • Subscriptions: You can offer paid subscriptions with viewers paying a monthly or yearly fee for access. This is not for everyone, and you’re going to need some unique content. Viewers on YouTube usually don’t like to pay.

  • Sales: You can use your content to help sell your product and actually provide special links where viewers can go buy your stuff. This is done through a special clickable overlay, called a Merch annotation. Though there are several types of annotations, this one is available only to partners.

Though the monetary aspect of the YouTube Partner Program is the primary driver for most creators, YouTube also provides some support for content generation though places like YouTube Spaces, special studios built just for YouTube creators and advertisers around the world.

Do not rush into the partner program right away. Focus on your channel, content, and community.