YouTube’s “Not Eligible For Monetization” Context Problem

One day last week I was looking at some of my videos to see if any of them had reached my criteria for when I decide to monetize them or not. Some people say to monetize every single video but I’m of the opinion that if a video doesn’t look like it’s going to gain any traction then I’m just wasting my time and the time of other people.

Jørgen Schyberg via Compfight

You know when you’ve monetized a video already because there’s a dollar sign next to it colored blue. As I was looking at those I noticed that one of my recent videos had a slash through the dollar sign. When I hovered over it I saw this message: “not eligible for monetization”.

That meant it was time to do some research to figure out why some of my videos might not be eligible for monetization. The best I could find was something saying that videos might be disqualified for monetization (via Adsense) for the following reasons:

Video content violations

* Nudity, sexually explicit, or strongly sexually suggestive material
* Hate or abusive speech
* Excessive profanity or graphic violence
* Promotion of harmful or dangerous activities

Metadata violations

* Video thumbnails, titles, tags, and categories that are misleading or inaccurate

I knew none of my videos had nudity; even I don’t want to see me naked. Hate speech; I’m a minority. Profanity; I’ve never uttered a cuss word in my life (which I’ve mentioned multiple times over the years, in case you’re seeing this for the first time). And promote harmful activities; obviously they don’t know me.

I didn’t fit any of those so I researched further. The only thing I could find was this list of reasons why one’s video might be blocked, none of which apply to me:

* Video includes copyrighted content.
* Video is blocked worldwide.
* Video is blocked in some countries.
* Video has been taken down due to copyright strike.
* Monetization is disabled on your channel.
* Video is muted due to copyrighted content.
* Copyright dispute in progress.
* Video is blocked.

I decided to look for all the videos that they’ve decided aren’t up to snuff. Luckily it only came to 8 videos. These are them and what they’re about:

Is Your Experience Ruined When Your Friends Love Something? – In this video I talked about having your expectations built up because other people said how much they loved it, only to find it disappointing and not living up to the hype.

Diabetes, Doctors And Medication – In this video I talked about my last trip to the doctor and how she wants me to start taking medication to prevent something I don’t already have wrong with me.

Religion, Race And Terrorism – In this video I talked about all the hate speech that was flying around at the time, how religious people were doing most of it and how it connects with racism.

Why Riots Start – In this one I talked about the reason why black people were protesting all over the country because of so many killings of young black men.

Advice From A 50+ Person On Suicide And Depression – In this video I gave encouragement to a young man who, on someone else’s video, talked about wanting to kill himself, telling him that we all go through depression but there’s so much more to stay alive for.

Taking Unreasonable Risks – in this short video I used an example of something stupid I’d just done to talk about why people needed to evaluate risks before taking them.

09-11-11 – This was my recollection of my feelings of what happened on September 11, 2001 on the 10th anniversary of the date.

Is Your Online Content Decent? – In this video I talked about the reason people needed to make sure their online content was decent if they didn’t want to deal with the consequences of irking the wrong people.

Does it seem like anything is wrong with any of those items above? In my opinion no, but maybe I’m biased. In my mind, there’s either one of two things going on, one that’s quite irksome, the other maybe not as irksome but if true then YouTube (Google by extension) needs to clarify this point better.

Webtreats - 272 YouTube Icons Promo Pack
webtreats via Compfight

The first is that they go off titles or keywords in making a decision that a video isn’t worthy of advertisements. I could see that in the two videos above where I mention terrorism and riots, maybe the one with suicide, but none of the others fit that category.

The second is that they might be trying to say that based on the titles they don’t have any advertisers whose products fit the titles or keywords mentioned. I could almost buy that one except I always see Google ads hawking different medications, I’ve seen movie ads about both depression and suicide, and diabetes ads are all over the place. It’s possible that the titles for the other videos might not directly hit any advertisers, yet I’ve seen tons of videos about cars and movies that have absolutely nothing to do with the video I’m about to watch. Still, if this one is their reason, they should at least own up to it.

One more thing. It seems that you can actually contact them to find out more… but you have to fit the criteria. What is the criteria?

I have no idea; all I know is I found a page, clicked on the link, and the response it gave me is that my channel doesn’t qualify for help and that I should look for information in their forum. Please tell me how a form is supposed to answer my question about a specific video? Maybe it’s because I’m about 250 views shy of 30K and I need more views than that to deserve special attention, but since when does customer service depend on how much someone uses a product, even a free one?

Obviously I’m griping but at the same time I have my wife’s words in my head once more: “If there’s a gimme, there’s a gotcha.” In essence, because I’m using a free service, they’re allowed to have their rules and really are under no obligation to tell any of us what they are or how they work, disregarding that Google mantra “do no evil”… if this can be considered evil, and that would probably be a stretch.

In a way, I guess it’s not as bad as when Google first decided to disallow Adsense on this blog because I wrote a post that had the word “cleavage” in the title, and then killed my page rank for almost 2 years because I ran some text link ads (which I was guilty of I admit)… because neither time did I actually care. It’s not that I overly care this time either, since I’ve only made about $10 to $15 dollars total over all these years (even on my one video that’s close to 11,000 views lol).

It’s just another little irksome thing that I suppose we have to deal with as long as we’re not paying for it. I just wish they were a bit more clearer in their explanations because it would be nice to know.

22 thoughts on “YouTube’s “Not Eligible For Monetization” Context Problem”

  1. That is a little scary and crazy! I make videos also and one got a no monetization because it had a song by Stevie Wonder which was Happy Birthday To Ya. The video was of the Martin Luther King Day Parade last year. I didn’t know how to take it out so I took a chance. Boy they took it down with a quickness. Nobody got to see all the filming I had done that day. Bummer but what can you do?

    1. That’s a good point Tomeka. I’ve only ever had music in one of my videos and it was a classical piece which, though the music is safe, if they had been able to figure out which orchestra recorded it they might have had me taking it down as well. Fat chance of that eh? lol Still, I haven’t been able to figure out if I did something wrong or they just don’t have anything to matches up with what I said the videos were about, and I hate not knowing.

  2. I was facing this issue back in 2015 when my own created videos were causing this same issues. But I was able to solve it in my own way.

    1. There are always ways around that issue, thank goodness, but it’s still irritating not to have a full policy from them on their actions. I did read today that they’re looking to address it though; that’s shocking but it’s also about time.

      1. Some people are so cheeky that the steel your videos edit them upload them and then put a false claim of copyright issue and believe it or not they will win over you.

  3. Mitch I monetise just about all my videos because I figure you never know which one will produce a click or a view. I don’t consider it wasting my time as it’s so easy to do.

    If my memory is correct only one video was refused by Google, one of the Bellagio Fountains one because they say the music being played was copyrighted. Who am I to argue with the Big G!

    Sorry mate, but I can’t supply you with any reasons why Google acts the way that it does.

    1. No problem Peter because I don’t think anyone will be able to answer this one except YouTube. You’re also probably correct in saying I should monetize each video. One of my other friends said the same thing. Maybe one of these days I’ll listen to one of you. lol

  4. Sometimes it happens. Even I don’t know why. 2 years back me too tried the same thing with youtube and got rejected. Their reason is, I put one of the Indian cultural song music as my background music. I didn’t put the original song but I just put the music of that song as my video’s background music. After that I just forget about youtube and till now never tried with them again.

    1. One never knows what YouTube or Google is thinking. That’s why I’m always recommending that people just go on doing whatever they want to do because if one gets penalized for something they don’t know there’s no need in worrying about it.

      1. You are absolutely right Mitch. I would recommend affiliate marketing is one of the great ways of earning money.

  5. Hey buddy,

    Hope you are fine.

    There are some more reasons on why the monetization is not enabled.

    1. Audio is changed in youtube editor.
    2. Sometimes it is glitch, you can’t do much. Just try disabling and enabling the button with interval.
    3. Some users might had reported the video

    It’s okay. I am not an advocate for Google.
    However, you should understand there are tonnes of videos on youtube. They rely heavily on algorithms to decide things.

    It is not feasible and not possible to focus on every creator.

    Some big creators do run into issues sometimes.

    Hope all is resolved. Take care.

    1. Hey Rohan,

      Thing is, I don’t have any of those things with any of my videos. If someone reports a video, YouTube either takes the video down or shuts down the channel. The other two can’t be done because I don’t know how to do anything with video on YouTube & there’s no buttons to enable or disable, just that stupid dollar sign with a line through it.

      My main point is that YouTube should at least tell people one way or another without us having to guess at it.

  6. Please keep in mind that owning the rights for commercial use is just one requirement for monetizing a video but of course there are also further guidelines that decide about if a video is eligible for monetization. Advertisers aren’t willing to place ads on every type of video and so the topic also matters. The abuse of an animal that is running in rampage and providing shocking moments may not be very friendly for advertisers.

    1. We don’t have to worry about the first one because all rights are mine. On that second one… that might be the case but if so YouTube should tell people that’s the reason. How hard could that be?

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