Your Ad Here? YouTube to Implement Stricter Policies On Channels, Advertising And Brand Safety

2017 was a challenging year for YouTube, which saw some advertisers pulling spend from the platform amid fears that their brand would appear beside undesirable content. Advertisers have wanted the platform to provide reassurance about where display ads will appear, and have critiqued Google on their lack of response on the issue. In response to this, YouTube have revamped their policies on advertising and monetisation.

One of the first things YouTube are doing is making changes to YPP – their YouTube Partner Programme. When involved in this programme, uploaders can make money from advertising on their channel. Previously the requirement to join this Programme was to have 10,000 total video views. Now to apply for monetization the channel must have 4,000 hours of overall watch time within the last 12 months and a minimum of 1,000 subscribers.  YouTube have said these requirements were set based on conversations with those who create content on the platform. Following a blog post from Neal Mohan (Chief Product Officer) and Robert Kyncl (Chief Business Officer) they’ve stated that it has always been YouTube’s desire not to stifle those genuine creators who make their living from their YouTube channel, but rather stop those ‘bad actors’ who abuse the platform. They’ve also stated that those who will be most affected by the change to YPP were not making massive amounts of money from advertising.

Another change will affect ‘Google Preferred’ – which is a programme that allows brands to run ads against the top 5% of content on YouTube. This content usually comes from the most engaging and popular channels on YouTube, however previously this content was not vetted. Google will now screen ‘Google Preferred’ content - manually by a select team - to make sure the content is ad-friendly. This will be rolled out in the US in mid Feb and by March in other markets.

In a separate blog post Paul Muret (VP – Display, Video and Analytics) has also stated that YouTube are also currently working on brand safety reporting and on options that will give advertisers more choice and transparency on where their ads will appear, but time will tell how transparent these measures are.

Overall these changes are a positive for both advertisers and consumers. Combined with Mindshare’s stated ambition of ensuring 100% of all ad impressions are tracked for viewability and ad fraud, this will help get us closer to the ambition of having absolute transparency in digital advertising.

Neal Mohan and Robert Kyncl’s blog post:

Paul Muret’s blog post: