According to a recent change, it seems that unless the video’s creator is enrolled in YouTube’s Partner Program, they will not be able to add clickable links at the end of videos. YouTube has since confirmed these changes and in a statement, it reads, “This update is meant to curb abuse and does not affect current YouTube partners or existing end cards. Additionally channels do not have to actually monetize any videos as part of this requirement.”
Basically if you’re already part of the YouTube Partner Program, then this change won’t affect you. However if you’re a small channel that’s still growing or if you have no intention of being part of the Partner Program, then you won’t be able to add clickable links in videos. This can be troublesome especially when you consider that to be part of the program, you will need at least 10,000 channel views and be approved as well.
This will no doubt hamper the efforts of smaller channels, and while external links can still be added to YouTube’s description section, it’s not quite the same as being able to click it while in the video itself.
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