Man talking(l+r), Monetize Videos button on keyboard(c)

nialowwa/Shutterstock @dysoneliasfrank/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘I would LOSE IT’: College student says professor monetized his lectures

'As if college couldn’t get any more frustrating.'


Allyson Waller


Posted on Feb 15, 2024   Updated on Feb 15, 2024, 10:16 am CST

In the age of remote learning, educators are continuing to find inventive ways to share lessons with their students. But in doing so, there’s a chance they may fall privy to the many caveats that come with uploading content to the internet. At least that’s what one professor seems to have experienced after sharing their lessons on YouTube.

TikTok user Elias (@dysoneliasfrank) shared in a video posted Monday that one of his professor’s video lessons were monetized on YouTube.

“As if college couldn’t get any more frustrating, my … professor monetized his lectures,” Elias said in the video. “Are you sh****** me?”

Elias showed viewers a look at his computer screen where he was watching a video on YouTube titled, “Ch1 2 PSY101.”

As of Wednesday evening Elias’ video has garnered more than 760,000 views. The Daily Dot reached out to Elias via TikTok comment for further information about his video. In response to The Daily Dot’s inquiry, Elias pointed out that YouTube seems to monetize all videos and that it’s not necessarily a user opting into showing ads. He also mentioned that he felt no ill will toward his professor.


♬ original sound – Elias

Google, which owns YouTube, mentioned on one of its user support pages that “ads may appear on your uploaded videos even if you haven’t monetized the videos yourself.”

According to the website CreditKarma, using Google Adsense for YouTube allows advertisers to run ads on your channel and helps you monetize your content. The rate advertisers pay can vary, with some paying 10 cents to 30 cents per view. For example, according to Influencer Marketing Hub, an influencer who makes 18 cents per view could make $18 per 1,000 views.

Inside HigherEd reported that a little over 50% of collegiate faculty preferred to teach in person, a noticeable dip from 73% of respondents who preferred on-site instruction in 2019.

Commenters on Elias’ video pointed out that it’s likely the professor did not intentionally opt to have ads shown on their video.

“Just because the video has ads doesn’t mean his channel is monetized,” user @souremperor said. “To be in the YouTube partnership program a.k.a. money from ads you need 500 subs.”

Other commenters also noted, however, that the optics of the situation wasn’t necessarily the best in their eyes.

“[It’s] like the professors that write and publish their own required textbooks,” user Zach Tarwater (@mamaclass) said.

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*First Published: Feb 15, 2024, 5:00 pm CST