- YouTube reverses monetising video policy for advertisers and content creators
- “We will enable ads for content discussing the coronavirus on a limited number of channels,” says YT CEO
- Self-certification implemented and applied to a limited number of channels
Google’s YouTube has reversed a previous policy on monetising video content related to the coronavirus outbreak, acknowledging the need for news organisations and creators to produce sustainable quality videos.
The social media giant’s previous policy was that it did not allow the monetisation of videos that included more than “a passing mention” of coronavirus based on Google’s policy around “sensitive events” that prevents the company from capitalising on issues like the global outbreak.
As the coronavirus crisis grows around the world, YouTube chief executive Susan Wojcicki addressed creators and artists regarding the uncertainty with the firm understanding the importance of helping its users find authoritative sources of news and information.
In a blog post, she said: “We’re using our homepage to direct users to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other local authoritative organisations around the world to ensure users can easily find updates.
“We’re also donating advertising inventory to governments and NGOs in impacted regions, who are using it to spotlight timely, helpful information.”
With more than two billion users, which amounts to nearly one-third of internet users and a significant market capture of 18-34 year olds watching across over 100 countries in 80 languages, the online video service has one billion hours of content watched daily. It affirmed its top priority is to provide information to users in a responsible way.
Wojcicki added: “We’re also raising up authoritative sources in search and recommendations and showing information panels on relevant videos.
“YouTube will continue to quickly remove videos that violate our policies when they are flagged, including those that discourage people from seeking medical treatment or claim harmful substances have health benefits.
“Finding trustworthy content is especially critical as news is breaking, and we’ll continue to make sure YouTube delivers accurate information for our users.”
Source: YouTube Creator Blog
YouTube’s monetisation policies have been controversial, as some viewers and lawmakers have expressed concerns that they help the spread of widely-shared coronavirus misinformation, while creators have historically voiced concerns regarding inconsistent criteria for banning content.
In 2019, YouTube ads generated $15.15 billion in revenue, with $4.72 billion in the fourth quarter alone, which fell short of some predictions.
Google reiterated that videos must meet guidelines that make them suitable for ads, for example excluding inappropriate language, violence, adult or hateful content.
The revised YouTube policy will apply to a limited number of channels, including some from creators who “self-certify” and a range of news partners. News partners will include many of the same featured in YouTube’s “news” section, a Google spokesperson said, declining to provide specifics, in a report from CNBC.
With YouTube’s “self-certification” program, creators can tell YouTube what content is in a video, then automated systems decide whether it can have ads on it. If a creator disagrees, they can request a human review. Google didn’t immediately say how long this process can take for a creator.
Wojcicki added: “In the days ahead, we will enable ads for content discussing the coronavirus on a limited number of channels, including creators who accurately self-certify and a range of news partners.
“We’re preparing our policies and enforcement processes to expand monetization to more creators and news organisations in the coming weeks.”