Talented kids under 18 with lots of YouTube traffic need help from their parent to monetize their work using Adsense, because to AdSense terms require age 18 or older. Things have become far more difficult, if not impossible, with the introduction of the new 10,000 views rule in April 2017, discussed below. The Youtube user interface is not really making things any easier. Good reasons for creating a quick how-to guide.
As of April 18, 2017, per this blog post here, and overview here, channels need to reach 10,000 views first, before becoming eligible for a review for joining the Youtube Partner Program, and to show ads. These views must meet the community guidelines and advertiser policies. The latter means you must be free of artificial click generation and other violations of the AdSense program policies.
If you don’t have an AdSense account yet, your kids won’t monetize anything until you get ready to monetize your own YouTube content first. With the new 10,000 views requirement in place that has become much more difficult than before. Your child would probably need to steer traffic to your YouTube by creating popular content to put temporarily on your channel, and drive traffic to it to meet the requirements.
Using AdSense together with a Youtube channel (or certain other so called hosted sites) is the easiest first step towards using AdSense for any other websites your own or self-host. However, we will restrict our discussion here to “hosted account” mode of operation only; this does limit the functionality on AdSense to a bare minimum.
The procedure worked in 2016, but things may have changed since. Other than the new 10,000 views requirement, your kid should probably not attempt to create a personal AdSense account as a minor, to avoid being locked-out from re-associating with a Parent’s AdSense account later.
First we will give an overview of Adsense and Youtube, and then go through the process step-by-step.
Making sense of AdSense
Google AdSense lives here: https://www.google.com/adsense/. You will need AdSense to manage the advertising on your websites or youtube channels, and to collect payments from Google. However, you must be 18 years or older to use AdSense, which is probably why you are reading this.
To be able to receive payments you must make sure that everything is enabled and set-up properly. You will have to go as far as completing an IRS W9 form with your own social security number for personal accounts, or using the information of your business for a business account.
You can only create one AdSense account per payee/social security number, for life. Once disabled, it can be close to impossible to get it back.
YouTube side of business
It’s easy to have multiple channels on YouTube, https://www.youtube.com, which will appear as sub-accounts under one master YouTube account. Keep things organized and simple, and use the same ID as your regular Google account. Next you can use either your default YouTube channel, or create a new one, to upload some content (what you asked your kids to prepare for you,) to connect it to a new AdSense account, and to get admitted to the YouTube Partner Program (after reaching 10,000 views.)
Channels can be locked out from monetization due to violation of terms, in which case you will not be able to join the YouTube Partner Program with it.
Parent’s YouTube channel and AdSense Setup
OK, here are the steps to set things up for yourself. (updated June ’17)
[ ] Create a YouTube Channel for yourself, the parent [ ] Upload your Kid's work of art and reach 10,000 views meeting all policies [ ] Go to the Status and Features page (https://www.youtube.com/features) [ ] Select the proper account and Channel using the top-right menu [ ] Use the Monetization tabs "Enable" button to start the application [ ] Agree to the terms [ ] Get to the Sign up for AdSense step, and click "Start" [ ] Click on the "Next" button to redirect to AdSense, to create an account. [ ] Go through the AdSense setup.
Once your AdSense account and Youtube Partner Program are applications are approved (you should receive an email) you can proceed with linking your child’s youtube channel to your adsense account.
Linking minor’s YouTube channel to Parent’s Adsense
This is much more difficult than it should be. It did not work well when performed from my kid’s computer. It is best to close all browser windows, start with a clean new browser window.
Note that any earnings your Kid could see in any previously existing under-age YouTube-AdSense association will be gone once you have switched to Parent’s AdSense association.
The steps below were confirmed in 2016, but may have changed. YouTube’s instructions on associating an AdSense account to a YouTube account can be found here.
[ ] Logout (https://accounts.google.com/logout) [ ] Login into your Google account [ ] Go to YouTube.com (if you have multiple channels, select any one of yours) [ ] Add your kid's YouTube channel in the top right drop-down menu (Add account) [ ] Have your Kid log-in [ ] Go to Creator Studio (using button in top right user icon drop-down menu) [ ] Go to Channel submenu on the left, and Status and Features [ ] Enable monetize, if it's not enabled yet [ ] Go to "View monetization settings" in the Description of Monetization < > Next step depends on whether you already had associated an AdSense account (Y), or not (N): <N> In case you did not, you should see a "Next" button to redirect to AdSense to link an account; click on it <Y> In case you did, you should see "Review or change AdSense association"; click on the link, and then on the next page click button "Change", followed by the button "Sign in", or "Yes" to agree signing in to the account mentioned. [ ] Finally once you are signed-in, confirm your ID on the top right, which must be yours, not you kid's, and if OK, press button "Accept association"
Don’t forget to have monetization enabled on the channel and on each video: In video manager, Edit “Info and Settings” and click on “Monetization” tab and slide the “Monetize with Ads” slider.
Getting an AdSense account is easier than keeping it active. Kids need to be mature and disciplined enough to follow the AdSense Rules to the letter, in particular refraining from clicking on their own Ads, or even encouraging their friends to click on the Ads.
Google is notoriously strict in enforcing the rules, analyzing traffic and behavior, and suspending or shutting down accounts due to non-compliance without spelling out the exact cause for their action. The first time you will probably get suspended and given only one more chance. The second time your account will be shut down, basically for life. You have been warned.
- Youtube Creator Academy with various information including Making money on YouTube but not much information about linking to AdSense.
- About the YouTube Partner Program and Overview of the YouTube Partner Program
- Setup AdSense Account
- Google AdSense Forum for your questions.
Please leave a note below if you find out that the procedure has changed.
updated 20161126; 20160629; 20170128, 20170504; 20170605, 20170610
photo: CCBY-SA2.0 flickr.com/photos/nicmcphee