Understanding Watch Hours Decrease on YouTube

Noticing a decrease in your YouTube watch hours can be concerning, especially when you're working towards meeting the platform's monetization criteria. Here's an explanation of why this might be happening and how watch hours from promotions, such as those conducted through Sprizzy, are calculated by YouTube.

Watch Hours and YouTube Monetization

As part of its monetization criteria, YouTube requires channels to accumulate 4,000 watch hours within a rolling 12-month period. It's important to note that watch hours gained through promotions, including those run via Sprizzy and Google Ads, do not count towards these 4,000 hours. This policy is designed by YouTube to ensure that channels cannot "buy" their way to monetization.

Why Are My Watch Hours Decreasing?

The decrease in watch hours can be attributed to how YouTube calculates them. YouTube tracks watch hours on a rolling 12-month basis, meaning that watch hours accumulated more than a year ago will not contribute to your current total. If new watch hours are not being added at a rate faster than older hours are dropping off, you'll notice a decrease.

Improving Your Watch Hours

While the exclusion of promotional watch hours might seem like a setback, there are strategies you can employ to improve your watch hours organically:

  • Consistent Content Creation: Regularly upload new content to keep your audience engaged and attract new viewers.
  • Engage With Your Audience: Interact with your viewers through comments, live streams, and community posts to encourage more watch time.
  • Optimize for Viewer Retention: Analyze your YouTube analytics to understand what content resonates with your audience and focus on creating more of it.

Building a subscriber base and producing content consistently are key factors in increasing your watch hours. As your channel grows and you continue to engage your audience, you should begin to see an improvement in your watch hours, moving you closer to meeting YouTube's monetization requirements.


Experiencing fluctuations in watch hours is a common part of the YouTube journey, especially when considering the platform's rolling calculation method. By focusing on genuine engagement and consistent content creation, you can build a solid foundation for increasing your watch hours and achieving your monetization goals. Remember, Sprizzy is here to support your YouTube growth through effective promotions that enhance your visibility and subscriber engagement.