I’ve been praising faceless YouTube channels. I do recommend starting a faceless channel over tradition vlogging style all the time for the following reasons:
It takes less time to create videos
It takes less time to edit
You’re not in front of the camera
You don’t have to talk
You don’t need fancy & expensive equipment
You can make a lot of money relatively quickly
In a recent post, I went over the 3 easiest ways to start a faceless YouTube channel in 2022.
There is some risk involved, though. Let's talk about this today.
I have had a couple of faceless YouTube channels over the years. In very different niches. During the process of creating videos, I’ve encountered one issue again and again.
Many faceless channels use existing content for their videos. That means they're repurposing copyrighted material, unless they use copyright-free content, creative commons material, or homemade animations, etc.
The majority, though, is copyrighted content, like compilations of other YouTube videos, image slideshows, TikTok shorts, snippets from movies, tv, sports broadcasts, and more.
That’s risky. Copyright infringement is no insignificant matter.
Whenever you have an idea for a faceless YouTube channel, keep this in mind! Can you do it without borrowing other people’s content? If no, you might want to reconsider. Just to be safe.
There is fair use, a legal guideline to use copyrighted material without infringement, but its boundaries are rather vague.
#2 Copyright Strikes
Another part of the copyright equation on YouTube is YouTube’s strike system. Whenever you use copyrighted material (for example, in fair use scenarios), YouTube might still give you a copyright strike after uploading the content. This would mean the video will either be removed or can’t be monetized going forward.
In some cases, sort of a light strike, you “only” have to share earnings with the original creator of the material.
A copyright strike happens a lot with music or scenes from TV shows and movies that might be used in a video. These are easy to spot for the algorithm and will get caught almost immediately.
Lastly, the worst case scenario.
It happened to me.
You have built yourself a somewhat successful and popular faceless YouTube channel with a mixture of homemade and fair use material.
Then, you get an email from YouTube.
“Your channel is no longer eligible for earnings”
Bam! You’re out.
From that point on, you won’t earn a dime anymore. You might be able to reapply to the partner program once you made the appropriate changes to your channel, but it’s no guarantee as these reapplications will be checked thoroughly by YouTube employees.
I had a channel that was making 100 to 150 dollars per month with spikes up to $400 occasionally. In total, I made a few thousand dollars from it.
Then, it got demonetized.
The bottom line
Starting a faceless YouTube channel is a great way to gain traction on YouTube and eventually make some money. It is.
Some of the biggest YouTube channels in the world are faceless channels. But there are a lot of pitfalls.
If you want to succeed with a faceless YouTube channel, do something that doesn’t require other people’s content.
A perfect example for this Flourish data visualization. I’ve explained this here.