What YouTube’s New Advertising Policy Means for Brands and Content Creators
YouTube has grown up a lot since the video hosting platform wasfirst launched in 2005. Its high-quality streaming and intuitive interface helped it grow much faster than rivals such as DailyMotion and Vimeo. With Google’s purchase of the site in 2006, YouTube firmly established itself as the dominant force in online video. A whole world-spanning culture has spmng up around YouTube’s content, with content creators from North America to East Asia making big bucks through its advertising and revenue-sharing options.
In recent times, YouTube’s rapid ascent has been rocked by a few scandals involving content shared on the site. PewDiePie, one of the platform’s most popular vloggers, attracted outraged headlines thanks to an ill-considered stunt in which he hired unwitting participants through Fiverr to hold up offensive signs on screen. Even worse headlines plagued YouTube in the British tabloid press following terrorist atrocities in Manchester and London, with publications such as The Daily Mail and The Sun noting that advertisements for big-name brands appeared alongside videos promoting terrorism.
Advertising is the primary source of income for YouTube. Google and YouTube’s parent company, Alphabet, doesn’t disclose precisely how much revenue each of its subsidiaries makes, but it’s thought that YouTube generates around $10 billion a year, with most of that coming from advertising revenue. It’s therefore unsurprising that YouTube has been keen to minimize the damage these scandal have done to its brand. The most important step YouTube has taken is to allow advertisers to select the type of content their advertisements will be associated with. This has huge consequences for both advertisers and content creators.
The biggest impact has undoubtedly been felt by content creators in niches which brands would rather not be associated with. The range of content which falls into this category is huge, but basically any content which could be deemed offensive will find it more difficult to generate ad revenue going forward. This includes popular content curators who swear freely in their videos, such as the mentioned YouTube superstar PewDiePie.