YouTube Unlocks Ad Space, But There's A Catch
YouTube has recently announced a series of changes for pre-roll video advertising, which will lead to a significant increase in ad space and hopefully, a reduction in costs for marketers.
However, its means of achieving this has raised eyebrows, via a controversial policy update.
What’s YouTube’s Thinking Behind Their New Terms?
The updates hand YouTube the ‘right to monetize’, which means that it can now run ads on all videos hosted on the network. Previously YouTube had only run ads on videos produced by creators who were part of the YouTube Partner Program.
Being enrolled in the YouTube Partner Program gives creators a cut of the revenue. Now, YouTube reserves the right to serve adverts on any video it likes, and it will not pay non-partner accounts for the pleasure.
YouTube’s latest update will allow Google to serve more ads to reach an increased number of eyeballs. Suspicions have also been voiced, that the move may be trying to push more users towards the ad-free, subscription service.
“Ads can now appear on videos from channels not in the YouTube Partner Program (YPP), and we will begin gradually placing ads on brand-safe videos.
This is part of our ongoing investments in new solutions, like Home Feed ads, that help advertisers responsibly tap into the full scale of YouTube to connect with their audiences and grow their businesses.”
How Will Pre-Roll Ads Change?
Previously, pre-roll ads could only be run on videos within the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). The YPP allows for revenue-sharing and presents creators with that chance to make money from their videos.
To be eligible for the program, accounts need to meet the following requirements:
- Follow all the YouTube monetisation policies.
- Live in a country or region where the program is available.
- Have more than 4,000 valid public watch hours in the last 12 months.
- Have more than 1,000 subscribers.
- Have a linked AdSense account.
Now, all videos could have ads inserted into them.
How Does This Impact Advertisers And Brand Safety?
The YPP update should cause legitimate concern among advertisers and brands worried about the potential impact on brand safety. However, YouTube has said all videos that serve ads will have to meet standards set by the Global Alliance for Responsible Media.
Although, given YouTube’s track record with managing gnarly content on the platform, many will no doubt take with a pinch of sale.
In addition to that, the Verge confirmed that ‘ads will still not run on videos from non-partnered creators that centre on sensitive topics. These include politics, religion, alcohol, and gambling.’
YouTube claims it will ensure all content is brand-safe by using machine and human intelligence, while ad suitability is reviewed by the video instead of by the channel. That gives a closer level of control over brand safety.
At the same time, advertisers will also be able to specifically say if they want their ads shown on videos outside the YouTube Partner Program.
While cheap attention clearly will offer appeal for marketers, YouTube’s well-documented troubles managing white supremacists, jihadis and paedophilia on the platform would suggest that diving in headfirst could come with significant risks.
The new YPP terms will be effective in countries outside of the United States in mid-year 2021.