Everything You Need To Know About YouTube Demonetization

We’ve all dreaded it. That yellow dollar sign next to our video in the creator studio. This yellow dollar sign is what we all fear: that YouTube has deemed our video demonetized. Therefore, this video will not make us any money.

Yes, creators. We’re here today to discuss YouTube demonetization. We’ll explain what it is, bust some myths about YouTube demonetization and let you know what you can and cannot say in your videos if you want to make money off your creations.

What Does YouTube Demonetization Mean?

Demonetization is what happens when YouTube deems your content as unsuitable for advertisers and removes the option to monetize your video. Usually, you’ll see the little dollar icon on your video. The dollar icon (and the little status update next to the icons) indicates whether or not your video is monetizing. Here’s a short explanation about each icon and status update and what they all mean.

demonetization article on green

Generally speaking, if your dollar icon is green and the status is “on”, your video is monetizing as it should.

demonetization icon yellow

This icon means that you turned on video monetization, but because it doesn’t completely meet YouTube’s advertiser-friendly content guidelines, you may earn less revenue on this content either because advertisers opted out, or because there’s a copyright claim to some of the content in your video.

demonetization icon red

This icon means that although you turned monetization on, your video was found ineligible for one of several reasons and you will therefore not receive any revenue on that specific video. This can be because of a copyright dispute that you’ve lost or because the video violates YouTube’s community guidelines.

demonetization icon grey

This icon means that you chose not to turn monetization off for that video.

How Will YouTube Demonetization Affect Your Channel And Videos?

Strictly speaking, demonetization won’t get your content deleted or your channel terminated, so you have nothing to worry about in that regard. It will, however, mean you’ll stop making money from your content, which could hurt your bank account and motivation to keep on creating.

Demonetization Rules And Words

According to YouTube: 

“All videos uploaded to YouTube must comply with YouTube’s Terms of Service and Community Guidelines. To be eligible for advertising, videos must comply with the AdSense Program Policies. YouTube also reserves the right at its discretion to now show ads on videos and watch pages – including ads from certain advertisers or certain formats.”

This statement means that whenever you upload a video to YouTube and expect to get it monetized, you have to make sure you’re playing by YouTube’s rules. Otherwise, YouTube will have every right and power to demonetize your video, and there’s not much you could do about it. You could always appeal their decision, but in some cases, that won’t help you all that much.
Google and YouTube compiled a list that describes the content that is unsuitable for advertising including a full list of examples.

What About “Demonetizing” Words?

It’s all about context and moderation – as well as common sense.

Hate-speech and slurs are forbidden in any way, shape, or form. You cannot attack an ethnic group, a sexual orientation, or a race. That is simply unacceptable in YouTube’s playing field.
However, dropping f-bombs, as well as s-words and b-words are ok, apparently – as long as it’s not done at the very beginning of the video, in the thumbnail or title, excessively or out of context.

Oh, and don’t try misspelling cuss-words on purpose. The algorithm can see right through that and your video will still be demonetized.

What About Gaming?

We all know that some games out there have a fair share of violence portrayed in them. That’s fine by YouTube – if you’re showing a playthrough of a specific game and there are blood and death going around while you do, that’s alright. That’s because it’s all in context with the gameplay.

If you’re creating a video of a montage of the most gruesome deaths in the game, however, your video will probably get demonetized because it promotes and portrays violence as a focal point.

What If I Cover The News Or Current Events?

That’s fine, too! YouTube won’t demonetize you just for covering current events.

If you start spreading conspiracy theories and misinformation around, however, your videos will be demonetized. As long as you have a strong basis for what you’re saying and you’re not showing anything violent or full of gore in your videos, you should be fine.

The Key Point Here Is That YouTube Is A Family-Friendly Website.

Since January 2020, YouTube – and YouTubers – are obligated to comply with the FTC’s COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act). This means that YouTube has become very aware of what they are showing on their platform and they intend on making sure that the content is either marked as not suitable for children (or suitable for children) and that it is generally wholesome and positive. Not complying with COPPA will get your videos immediately demonetized and you might even get sued by the FTC for violating the law.

As long as you use your common sense and read the AdSense Program Policies carefully, you should be fine as far as monetization goes. However, making money solely based on ad revenue on YouTube is difficult when you don’t have a colossal following, and you should seek other options for making money with YouTube videos.

How Do I Make Money From YouTube If My Channel Got Demonetized?

Even if your YouTube video is demonetized, there are other ways you can make money off of YouTube that don’t rely on ad revenue as a main income source. Here are some ways that you might want to consider for earning money:

  1. Build Your Own Email List. With an email list, you can notify your subscribers that a new video is coming out without having to rely on the notification bell. With an email list, you can also notify your subscribers of any new products and launches that are happening as well as content uploads on other platforms.
  2. Don’t Solely Rely On Ad Revenue. Don’t put all your eggs in the YouTube basket. You can start by selling merchandise on your channel or by selling digital goods on your channel (if possible).
  3. Sell Products. You can also sell physical products that aren’t “merch”. Depending on your niche, you can sell goods and drop-ship them or become an Amazon affiliate and sell products for a commission.
  4. Brand Deals And Sponsorships. Have a good pitch in place when reaching out to brands. When brands see a vision in something, they’ll go along even if you don’t have a lot of subscribers and views. They might not necessarily give you money right off the bat but they will spread your content in your email list and give you more exposure. You can sign up to websites like Famebit to find brands that are looking to work with YouTube creators.
  5. Crowdfunding. Again, have a clear vision in mind and a business plan. Give your audience a reason to donate money to you and don’t just assume that they’ll go along because you’re putting content out there. Sites like Patreon and Ko-Fi are great for crowd-funding.

How To Avoid YouTube Demonetization?

Generally speaking, to avoid YouTube demonetization, you’ll have to abide by YouTube’s community guidelines. Specifically, this means:

  • Avoid Using Excessive Swearing. While some “bad words” are allowed on YouTube, using them excessively and without context will definitely get your video demonetized. Use safe language and censor curse-words if there are any just to be on the safe side and avoid YouTube demonetization.
  • Avoid Showing Nudity Or Sexual Content. YouTube is a family-friendly website, destined for all audience demographics. Make sure you’re not showing nudity (or even semi-nudity) in your videos.
  • Avoid Encouraging Risky Behavior. Showing stunts is allowed on YouTube, but you’ll have to put a very clear disclaimer to not try it at home. Substance abuse (including alcohol) should also not be encouraged in your video.
  • Avoid Violent Or Graphic Content. If you’re showing violent content as part of a video game play-through, that’s fine. Avoid making videos that are all about the violence in the game, though, because that will definitely get you demonetized.
  • Use TuBeast’s AI Video Analysis Tool. Our AI (“Artificial Intelligence”) Video Analysis tool can find more than 50 mistakes and issues in your video before you upload your video to YouTube.
    • One of the things our AI can discover is Potential Harsh Language use that might cause demonetization.
      potential harsh language
      * Click to enlarge
    • Another policy violation our AI can detect is problematic scenes that might include nudity or graphic violence that will get your video demonetized.
      policy violation
      * Click to enlarge

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