A crisis of YouTube monetization

I’m having a crisis of cognitive dissonance…

I both hate and love YouTube.


Because I love the ease of use in submitting my content to the world but hate the horrific processes in place to deal with an issue. That goes double for their arbitrary selection of problem content.

I’ll get specific…

I’ve been having issues with monetization recently. You see, I do a weekly podcast of sorts that goes up on YouTube and I occasionally throw in some game footage I’ve personally captured for use as bumper material between stories. It’s never more than 10 seconds.

I follow the model of TWIT and specifically their TNT podcast but then they don’t try to monetize on YouTube as they have their own commercial spots. All they have to do is click the “This video contains paid content” box when they upload and YouTube could care less.

I, on the other hand, rely on the AdSense revenue (not really, I think I’ve made $9 on 90 videos in 6 months)
My weekly news reports have been getting denied AdSense revenue (all 26 cents of it) for the past two weeks with nothing more than the default “we need proof of commercial use rights” email.
I have no idea what they need proof of since they don’t specify and there’s usually at least 2 different bumper videos and a pic or two in the video. Now if they let me know what was in question I’d gladly remove or correct the situation.

But they don’t. So I’m left in a state of near rage because I’ve been passively accused of something and not told what sin I committed.

I had an issue with copyright over some music in a video once. I beat two of the claims but the third was upheld….in Europe that is. The U.S. didn’t care so that video is blocked in Europe but not the U.S. but still isn’t monetized.

You’d think that if commercial use rights were in question so too would be copyright but that’s never been the case with my channel.

I also don’t understand the double standard. I’ve been doing weekly midagedgamer reports since mid April all of them formatted the same way. Most are monetized but a few are denied.
Since I’m not told the specifics of my alleged infraction I can only guess why some are fine while others are troublesome.

The only common thread I’ve found is that usually the offending videos have content from EA. I have 5 videos denied monetization, for example, all of which contained my personal captured gameplay footage from Battlefield 3 (BF3).

Now I do a news podcast so it’s not like I’m just putting up my Lan party videos.
Funny thing is, one of my most popular videos was a how-to video about using the BF3 shortcut kits has no problem with the monetization process. Nor does another BF3 video covering flight control.

In the weeks ahead I’m going to change the format of the midagedgamer report and see if that fixes anything. In the meantime all I can do is assume that anything that isn’t explicitly a how-to video concerning an EA product will get denied monetization.

Is it because YouTube is afraid of EA? Who knows. All I know is that while I appreciate the change in the way YouTube deals with copyright recently, it appears they’ve made up for it by being overly sensitive to perceived commercial use rights.

Personally, I’d rather hear from EA than YouTube about any perceived infraction.

Generally news programming can use commercial content in its stories without fear of infringement. Most news organizations have commercials. So I don’t see the distinction between what I do and what CNN does. If there’s no issue with fair use there should be no issue with monetizing the newscast as a whole.

It’s fairly simple to tell the difference between news and casual screen captures.
All this supposition is YouTube’s fault because they don’t bother to specify what their issue is. I suppose they just hope I won’t try anymore. It’s strange how the denial process works. They make it very hard to back out. You have to provide some degree of proof, submit it, then clear the monetization checkbox to cancel the attempt.

Looks like bad/lazy programming to me. That’s the problem when you apply a perfect algorithm to the mess of contradictions that is the human condition.

At this point YouTube has taken the role of that annoying soccer mom who comes along praising the cop who stopped you in the speed trap.

You know, the one you’d like to forget your manners with if you weren’t such a gentleman…
By the way, I’m going to monetize the video version of this too…

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October 2012
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