Brittany Gates

Reporting video games and tech news from an entrepreneur angle

YouTube Ad Guidelines Update Angers Creators

youtube ad guidelines update
With the upcoming changes to the advertiser-friendly content guidelines, creators now find themselves having to make difficult choices regarding their speech and actions.

The YouTube ad guidelines update angers creators. Due to a recent change to the advertiser-friendly content guidelines, which you can read here, creators complained on social media. Their complaints focus on how their speech and actions can easily demonetize their videos now. As a YouTube creator myself I understand this outrage. And it’s unfortunate YouTubers have to watch what they say and do just to receive ad revenue from their work. However, I understand YouTube’s position and why the company is making changes to keep advertiser dollars rolling in. And I will breakdown why this is happening using an entrepreneur viewpoint.

YouTube Ad Guidelines Update Details

The YouTube ad guidelines update of November 2022 is to provide “both clearer language, specific guidelines changes, and changes to ad suitabilities.” These changes tell creators what actions will trigger their video to get demonetized, which used to be unclear in the past. There was a rule that creators shouldn’t include any cussing or violence or anything “problematic” within the first 15 seconds of the video. Because if a creator did that would trigger demonetization. Now, with the new policy updates, YouTubers know they cannot do or say anything problematic within the first seven seconds of a video.

Even after waiting to do so after seconds eight and beyond doesn’t provide protection against demonetization. If a creator cusses too much through the video, or shows gory images and/or video from a news cast or a video game, they can lose ad revenue. And this revelation upsets many creators. They will have to watch their words and actions if they want their share of the YouTube ad revenue.

And I completely understand why. It’s difficult to censor yourself when discussing difficult topic. Especially if these topics are relevant to your channel’s theme. And it’s worse when big media networks can discuss those topics without any censorship and without worry of losing ad revenue. Even if they had to worry, those networks already have other advertiser deals that will provide a nice payday.

Why Did The YouTube Ad Guidelines Update Happen?

In my opinion, the YouTube ad guidelines update happened because YouTube is beholden to the advertisers. These companies pay the platform’s bills. Thus, the advertisers dictate what types of content they want to showcase their products and/or services. I know there are many people who want to blame YouTube’s CEO, Susan Wojcicki, for these changes. However, she is a woman who likes to make money. She was the first product manager of Google Ad Sense. And she was tasked with monetizing YouTube which she did, which lead to her becoming the CEO. I say all this because I believe if Susan Wojcicki could convince advertisers to advertise on “problematic” videos she would. She can’t. Thus, YouTube has to have these guidelines to protect their bottom line.

And that’s the biggest reason for the advertiser-friendly content guidelines. Because YouTube wants every creator who wants to make ad revenue for their work to product content advertisers find inoffensive. Because if YouTube can’t sell an ad on a particular video then the platform doesn’t make money. Actually, it loses money from hosting that video. Thus, the creator doesn’t make anything and will probably suffer less reach and promotion on the site.

So What’s A Creator To Do?

Here’s what a creator can do: Create a two-tiered system. Upload a censored video to their channel and then tell their audience if they want to see the uncensored version to sign up for a membership. Then upload the uncensored video to their channel that’s only for members. YouTube has that option.

I know this makes for more work for content creators but I think this is a good way to exist on the platform. However, this is only for creators who cover sensitive topics.

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