YouTube Screwed WFNY: While We’re Waiting

I feel lucky to have the faithful WFNY readers every week, but I’m especially feeling the love today. No, this isn’t another Patreon pitch, although, now that you mention it… One day after letting the world know about YouTube’s marginalization of creators including WFNY, you have responded. What am I talking about? Let’s unpack it.

YouTube changed the deal

We got an email this week that YouTube had changed the deal with content creators. WFNY had jumped over the bar as a YouTube channel and we were able to start trying to use that venue to create content in the hopes of building an audience and making a bit of money. We were making some pennies already and despite the fact that we were a bit inconsistent in our offerings, it was building. We were posting the podcast on YouTube and with the help of some videos by Jeff Nomina and the rest of the team we finally qualified for monetization in late August by getting 10,000 public views on the channel. That was our mission and we did it.

Then we started making a little bit of money and BOY DID THE PENNIES START ROLLING IN! This is what our chart looks like. Seriously. Check out that one day where we almost banked $2.00.

WFNY is estimated to have earned just under $30 from YouTube since late August. We had plans and hopes to build that, and YouTube took it away. Here’s what their email said.

Under the new eligibility requirements announced today, your YouTube channel, WaitingForNextYear, is no longer eligible for monetization because it doesn’t meet the new threshold of 4,000 hours of watchtime within the past 12 months and 1,000 subscribers. As a result, your channel will lose access to all monetization tools and features associated with the YouTube Partner Program on February 20, 2018 unless you surpass this threshold in the next 30 days. Accordingly, this email serves as 30 days notice that your YouTube Partner Program terms are terminated.

We had one viral video that accounted for about 56% of our watchtime on YouTube, but we narrowly accomplished the 4000 hours of watchtime in just four months of video posts. Alas, we only had about 160 YouTube subscribers.

I complained publicly


The internet is tired of complaints about a lot of things. People don’t want to hear about your issues at the airport. We don’t need a blow-by-blow of your satellite radio renewal disaster. However, there’s still a time and place where complaining can achieve some traction and results. Thanks to you, this is one of those times. After making people on Twitter and Facebook aware of the issue, people started subscribing to our channel in droves. We went from 160ish people to over 400 subscribers in less than 24 hours. As over this morning, we sit at 436. No, we can’t do victory laps because we’ve surpassed 1000 yet, but I’m legitimately humbled by the support and rush to action by friends, followers, and probably some relative strangers on the internet.

Where do we go from here?

We’re going to try really hard to get to 1,000 subs on YouTube. We’re going to try and develop our video strategy in 2018 without becoming some horrible “pivot to video” cliche. We like doing it. We enjoy the entrepreneurial side of building and maintaining WFNY and having a vibrant YouTube channel would be really cool. If you have any ideas, pass them along. If you’ve ever wanted to start your own internet sports video show and want to pitch us on it, we’ll gladly listen and help you promote it via WFNY. You too can split up the pennies we might be able to generate as a result of all the love we put into creating Cleveland sports content across this website, the podcast and YouTube.

OKPants does Cleveland Football Re-brand

I had Aaron Sechrist on the podcast a few times during this Browns season. He talked about taking time out of his busy professional schedule to do a Cleveland Browns re-brand. Well, he did it. He unveiled the colors, logos and ideas for the Cleveland Guardians football team. Check it out.