Hour-Long YouTube Videos Are Becoming the Norm – Here’s Why

Hour-Long YouTube VideosAs YouTube changes their monetization policy, the qualifications to become a member of their Partner Program has become much more selective.

With the implementation of the new monetization policy, creators who are just starting out will find that they will be hit the hardest. Let’s take a look at what’s changing.

YouTube’s Policy

The prior policy allows for any creator with 10,000 lifetime video views or higher to be considered as a partner with the media mogul. Now the policy has changed drastically by requiring that prospective partners must have reached both 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time within 12 months.

Due to this, popular creators who want to generate the most revenue from the site have decided to increase the length of their videos, and therefore the amount of advertisements shown in each video.

Just under ten years ago, we could expect the average YouTube video to range from three to five minutes long with an advertisement listed before the video would start. We are now seeing the change in video length skyrocket from the previous four minutes to anywhere close to an hour.

YouTube celebrities have determined that by producing more content, they are able to make more money off of advertisements and develop a deeper connection with their viewers which will help them in the long run to further their brand.

YouTube’s Algorithm

The algorithm as part of YouTube is changing dramatically as well. Researchers from the Pew Research Center have noticed that after watching a recommended video, the next video options are geared toward two things: promoting a popular creator and suggesting a longer video than what was previously watched.

Researchers have noticed that YouTube is adopting a sort of “sofa mentality” where the media site is tending to lean toward becoming recognized as “must-see TV” instead of a service for short clips featuring a variety of skits and vignettes.

What You Can Do to Limit Your Time

In the company’s blog, they have presented a number of ways to stay cautious and aware of the amount of time you watch videos every day. These include:

  • Reminding yourself to take breaks
  • Limiting the amount of notifications you receive on your phone
  • Turning off notification sounds and vibrations

An automatic profile update allows for each user to access the amount of time they have spent viewing videos either that day, the previous day, or over the last week. To access this feature, go to your account menu. YouTube Music and YouTube TV are not accounted for in this total, however.

Moving Forward

As the site reaches more and more attention from audience members, the media site is trying to rebrand itself and take advantage of the new monetization system put in place.

It will be interesting to see whether this strategy works for the company, or if changes in users’ habits will bring about a refinement or reversal.

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