How to Generate 3000 Hours of YouTube Watch Time ASAP

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Carla Marshall
January 10, 2024
3000 hours YouTube watch time

Since the YouTube Partner Program launched in 2007, creators have had to hit certain criteria to qualify. In 2023, YouTube lowered the requirements to allow new or smaller creators to access some of the revenue earning opportunities sooner. While creators will still need to hit 4,000 watch time hours and 1,000 subscribers to earn ad revenue on YouTube, they only have to hit 3,000 hours of YouTube watch time and 500 subscribers to access the early route to the program.

That’s right! Now, with just 500 subscribers, 3000 watch time hours or 3 million YouTube Shorts views, along with three public videos uploaded to the platform in the last 90 days, creators can:

  • Access fan funding features such as Super Chat, Super Stickers, Super Chat, and Channel Memberships.
  • Sell their official merchandise via YouTube Shopping.
3000 hours YouTube watch time to monetize

How to Generate 3,000 Hours of YouTube Watch Time

So this is all very exciting news for creators eager to earn money from their content, but it’s all academic if you fall short on those hours. So, how do you start growing those numbers? You start by understanding what watch time actually is.

YouTube watch time is the metric the platform uses to determine the total amount of time viewers spend watching your video. YouTube has repeatedly confirmed that watch time is the top ranking factor and a vital part of its discovery algorithm.

Why is watch time so important? Because it says it all: If people are spending their time watching your videos, that’s a pretty good indication those videos add value. 

If there’s any secret sauce to watch time, it’s keeping viewers engaged to the end (or as near to the end as you can). This is a huge topic, but we have some killer resources for you to access and start building on your success. First, take a look at this video from the TubeBuddy video team to learn the basics. It references growing your watch time hours to 4000, but it absolutely applies to building 3000 hours, too:

If you found that helpful, you’ll love our playlist with must-watch videos about growing your YouTube channel. Bookmark the link and keep returning as we update you with all the latest tips and strategies for success.

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How to Get 500 YouTube Subscribers

Generating those precious watch time hours is a priority, but just as important for entry into the YPP is a solid base of 500+ YouTube subscribers. 

Subscribers are the bedrock of a channel. They are a very visible way of showing your content (and personality) appeal to enough viewers that they are willing to sign up to your channel for regular updates. Subscribers are predisposed to watch your new videos. 

Gaining a subscriber means gaining a champion for you and your content, and while subscriber count in itself is probably less important than it has been in the past, it’s a fantastic indicator of how your content is performing.

Building your subscribers is also a broad topic, like growing your watch time hours, but this video on how to Get 1,000 subscribers quickly is a great start. After all, if you aim for those 1,000 subs, generating 500 should be a breeze.

For other easy steps to your first 500 or 1,000 subscribers, bookmark our handy YouTube playlist or take a deep dive into our blog resources on growing your views and subs.

Building Watch Time and Subscribers with YouTube Shorts

Don’t forget to take full advantage of the gift that YouTube gave creators in 2019: YouTube Shorts. 

YouTube Shorts watch time doesn’t count toward YPP eligibility, but the Expanded YouTube Partner Program has concessions there, too. Shorts-first creators only need 3M Shorts views to qualify, compared with the 10M required for the main YPP. 

Aside from this advantage, with over 50 billion daily views, you should be using Shorts alongside your long-form content to build up your subscriber numbers. Any subscribers you gain from your Shorts content will count towards your goal of reaching 500.

500 subscribers on YouTube to work toward monetization

If you’re on your journey to building a successful journey, be realistic and understand that it will take time and dedication. However, it can be done, and sometimes quicker than you ever expect. Take a look at the guidelines for ‘YouTube Monetization: Everything You Need to Know in 2024’ to make sure you are fully eligible to apply to the YPP so you’re going in the right direction.

Even the small changes you make today can lead to great results in the future. So, start implementing these strategies now, and watch your content and channel thrive.

Stay tuned to the TubeBuddy blog and our YouTube and social channels for the latest news on how to make 2024 your year on YouTube. 
2023 brought many new YouTube features to build your channel, and we know this year will have just as many goodies in store.

meet the your team

Free feature: TubeBuddy AI Agents generate new video ideas, completely customized to you, then help you bring your ideas to life.

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