A Letter to Youtube: On Monetization

I recently uploaded some original compositions to youtube. Monetization (the non-soul-selling kind**) of my blog and youtube channel supports my Starbucks habit, albeit poorly, but any number is larger than zero (except the negative and imaginary kind, but let’s not go there….)

The little dollar sign on my video manager taunted me and sang siren songs, so I clicked it to enable monetization.  Youtube chose not to believe me, though, which was unfortunate, silly…and wildly inappropriate.

So I submitted an appeal. Here is what it looked like:

On 02/07/15 20:08:13 *******@gmail.com wrote:
full_name: Robin Anderson
email_prefill: ***************
artist: Robin Anderson
song: Songs on Teaching: Principal’s Perspective
composer: Robin Anderson
lyricist: Robin Anderson
publisher: Unpublished
music_label: independent
label_relationship: artistislabel
comm_use_rights_details: I allow myself commercial use rights for my
static_subject_line: YouTube Partner Support – Monetization Claim
video_id: jqoORI_iQGk

Here is what I SHOULD have said:

Dear Youtube. Dear, foolish youtube. I wrote this music of my own accord, by myself, in the privacy of my home studio. The melodies and harmonies are a result of six years of higher education, seven years of teaching, and two degrees in music. The witty, ironic ideas in these songs emerged from the depths of my torrid soul after two traumatizing, tumultuous years in public education that left me scarred for life. I penned my thoughts, willingly committed myself to an exposed state of vulnerability so that I can perpetuate my art. I contribute to society by creating something completely original, by reaching out musically in whatever small yet crucial way I can so that I can satisfy our base, instinctual need to connect with other humans, and so that someone, somewhere will know they are not alone. It is apparent, based on the sheer number of monetized material available on your platform, that your intents are honorable. I’m sure you mean well by allowing “meme-o-holic1998” to run ads on a top-forty hit that clearly has not been ripped off the radio. Or by letting “amateurphotogal4eva” run a poorly-timed slideshow to God Bless America using images that have clearly NOT been plucked off of google. Not at all. In fact, I’m sure you don’t mean to crush the spirit of every well-meaning original artist out there when you prohibit them from cashing in on their 1.70 a month for work they willingly submit for free so that the world can be a better place.

However, do not be mistaken. Every time you restrict a composer from monetizing their original music, a music teacher dies. DIES. Don’t be a douche. Save the music.


…..There wasn’t a field for that, though.

Their response:

Hello Robin,
Thank you for confirming that you own the rights to commercially use all video material. Your video has been approved for monetization.

We look forward to the next video you submit for monetization.


The YouTube Team


Thanks, Youtube. Maybe my “next video for monetization” won’t involve the sacrifice of a music teacher’s life so that your neighborhood starving* artist can pay for half a cup of coffee. Oh, and you’re welcome for the original art.


A Disgruntled Music Maven, listening to a monetized Wicked playlist and chanting the personal mantra “Nothing’s Gonna Bring. Me. DOOWWWNNN!” (ah-hahahahaaaa)


** I’m wondering now if there is such a thing…
* I’m not really starving, but the sentiment still stands…

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