You’ve probably never tried it, but if you’re familiar with independent wrestling, you probably understand how difficult it is to run and maintain a promotion. You have to keep your eye on several different angles and, unless you can recoup all your losses off ticket sales, you need to try to find every stream of revenue you can.
Over the past few years, a lot of companies have depended on YouTube and YouTube ads for a nice, reliable chunk of change. To say nothing of how big-business the WWE YouTube account is for that company. This week, making money off YouTube just became exponentially more difficult for every pro wrestling company in the world.
In late March, YouTube announced they were making a move to protect advertisers by changing their parameters for which accounts and videos their partners’ ads will appear on. As part of that move, YouTube has decided to categorically reclassify professional wrestling as not being suitable for advertisers, and is listed as restricted content. One of the first companies to comment on this change was AIW, out of Cleveland.
They stated that their ad revenue stream from their YouTube page took an immediate and major hit, dropping from a few hundred dollars down to $11. Beyond Wrestling, which makes a significant amount of money off YouTube views, confirmed the change and put into perspective just how heavily they were impacted as a result.
This change is affecting pro wrestling accounts and companies across the board, all the way up to WWE and Impact Wrestling. Even pro wrestling reporting sites are being hit by this. Essentially, if the word “wrestling” is associated with anyone’s YouTube account, their videos are being classified as restricted and not advertiser friendly.
YouTube’s initial announcement of the change stated that content creators will be able to appeal their classification. Hopefully these companies can all successfully appeal the move and get their income back up to original levels again. It’s certainly disheartening for these promotions, and for pro wrestling fans in general.