Africa-Press – Botswana. Unlike neighbouring countries like South Africa and Zimbabwe, YouTubers in Botswana do not have access to the YouTube Partner Program which allows them to monetise their content via a revenue-split model with the video hosting service. In this edition of Decoder, we look at some possible reasons why YouTube does not have this initiative in Botswana.
YouTube has requirements for the geographic location of their content producers, or rather, for the content producers they’ll allow to monetize on their platform. This means that there are countries where creators can monetize their content and there are others where they cannot even if they meet the YouTube Partner Program requirements of 1,000 subscribers and either 4,000 valid public watch hours on long-form video in the last 365 days or 10 million valid public Shorts views in the last 90 days. There are three reasons for this:
First, YouTube doesn’t want to have to deal with certain international laws. Some countries, for example, are under ongoing trade embargos. Even as a global company, Google doesn’t want to risk violating international laws, so they stay away from these verboten countries.
Second, YouTube doesn’t want to have to navigate various tax and payment restrictions in certain countries. It can be difficult to send money in the form of payouts to some areas of the world.
Third, YouTube eliminates certain countries from the list simply because they tend to be hubs of fraud. If 90% or more of the accounts monetizing from a specific country are only earning money because of fake views they buy from view networks, YouTube simply decides to blacklist that country rather than fight, audit, and risk paying people who didn’t earn their money.
This third point comes down to Google’s relationship with advertisers more than anything. Google has to keep its advertisers happy. If an advertiser pays for an ad on their platform, and that ad only gets views from Botswana, that advertiser probably isn’t going to be happy about it. Sure, their views might be very cheap – even penny views in some cases – but the profits from that ad for the advertiser will be zero. This is because the average revenue per user (ARPU) in markets like Botswana is very low as consumers to not have as much spending power as in markets like Europe and the US. Google would rather keep their advertisers happy than have another country on the roster of people they have to pay.
Although YouTube has not officially declared its reasons for not having the YouTube Partner Program, it is very likely to be one of the aforementioned three reasons. As it is clear, most of these reasons are beyond the control of the content creators themselves. In the next edition of Decoder, we will be looking at how creators in Botswana can still monetise their YouTube content even without the YouTube Partner Program.