On November 18, YouTube updated its terms of service. The update is short, but it contains one crucial change that may fly under a lot of radars because let's face it, who reads the terms of service. Under the second point, the terms read: "ads can now appear on videos from channels not in the YouTube Partner Program (YPP), and we will begin gradually placing ads on brand safe videos."
This means that unlike before, when only videos monetised by their creators would display ads, YouTube will now show ads ahead of a video regardless of whether its creator is a YouTube partner or not. This doesn't only shove more potentially annoying ads your way, it also strips YouTubers of the decision whether or not to show an ad in the first place—creators who make money via Patreon instead of relying on the notoriously finicky YouTube ad revenue often make it a point to disable ads for their viewers as thanks for their support.
"This is part of our ongoing investments in new solutions, like Home Feed ads, that help advertisers responsibly tap into the full scale of YouTube to connect with their audiences and grow their businesses," the update reads. As before, creators can apply to become partners if they meet YouTube's partner program eligibility criteria, such as an accumulated 4,000 public watch hours over 12 months and a 1000+ subscriber count.
The changes are currently being rolled out for US channels, while the terms of service will apply in all other territories from mid-2021.