×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

YouTube Sets Stricter Requirements for Creator Partners in Response to Advertiser Concerns

YouTube is making its creator revenue-sharing program more restrictive and will start manually reviewing all videos in its Google Preferred premium advertising program — steps designed to assure advertisers that their messages won’t show up in disturbing or inappropriate videos.

Starting Tuesday, new creators applying to the YouTube Partner Program will need to have accumulated 4,000 hours of video watch-time for their videos within the past 12 months and have 1,000 subscribers to be eligible to earn advertising revenue from their channels.

Previously, the minimum threshold to participate in the revenue-sharing program was 10,000 views. But according to YouTube that didn’t provide enough information to weed out “bad actors” like spammers and impersonators.

In addition, YouTube said all videos in Google Preferred — representing the top 5% most-viewed channels — will be reviewed by human moderators before they’re monetized. YouTube also is rolling out a three-tiered “suitability system” for advertisers to select their level of comfort with content they’re buying ads against.

YouTube unveiled the new rules less than a week after YouTube cut business ties with top creator Logan Paul, including booting him from Google Preferred, after he posted a video showing the dead body of someone who had died by suicide.

But YouTube said the moves were not in response to Logan Paul’s controversial video, with a rep saying it has been making continuous updates to the platform in response to advertisers’ concerns. Last month, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki announced that the platform would tighten up controls to “ensure ads are only running where they should.”

Over the course of 2017, YouTube was hit by advertiser boycotts over inappropriate content, including terrorism videos and content with young children targeted by pedophiles. As YouTube moved to to enforce stricter ad policies, some creators complained that their ad revenue fell; in response, YouTube has said it is working to improve the accuracy of videos deemed advertiser-unfriendly.

“These higher standards will also help us prevent potentially inappropriate videos from monetizing which can hurt revenue for everyone,” chief product officer Neal Mohan and chief business officer Robert Kyncl wrote in a blog post Tuesday.

YouTube will retroactively implement the partner program requirements for existing creators on Feb. 20. That means channels that fall below the thresholds of 4,000 hours of watch-time in the past year and have fewer than 1,000 subs will no longer be able to run ads on their videos.

According to YouTube, the new requirements shouldn’t have a big impact on creators who make a living on the platform. According to YouTube, 99% of existing creators affected by the changes have been making less than $100 per year; around 90% have earned less than $2.50 in the past month. YouTube also said the creators who will remain part of YPP represent more than 95% of YouTube’s reach for advertisers.

The changes to the YouTube Partner Program changes are designed to give YouTube more time and data to determine whether a channel adheres to the site’s community guidelines and policies, according to Mohan and Kyncl.

Still, YouTube’s brand-safety challenges will continue, the execs acknowledged.

“While this change will tackle the potential abuse of a large but disparate group of smaller channels, we also know that the bad action of a single, large channel can also have an impact on the community and how advertisers view YouTube,” Mohan and Kyncl wrote, adding that they will seek input from creator partners on how to address that issue.

For Google Preferred, channels included in the program will be “manually curated and ads will only run on videos that have been verified to meet our ad-friendly guidelines,” Paul Muret, YouTube’s VP of display, video and analytics, wrote in a separate blog post. YouTube expects to complete manual reviews of Google Preferred channels and videos by mid-February in the U.S. and by the end of March in all other markets.

YouTube also has begun working with third-party vendors to brand-safety reporting on YouTube. The platform is currently running a beta test with Integral Ad Science (IAS) and plans to launch a one with DoubleVerify soon. According to Muret, YouTube also is in talks about partnerships with OpenSlate, comScore and Moat.

YouTube also provided comments in support of the changes from advertisers and agency partners, including Dentsu Aegis Network, Clorox, and candy maker Mars.

“We are encouraged by the steps YouTube is taking to address brand safety on their platform, enabling brands to confidently leverage the power of this major video platform,” Nick Brien, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network, said in a statement provided by YouTube.

Even with the advertiser issues YouTube experienced in 2017, the Google-owned video platform said the number of channels earning more than $100,000 annually was up over 40% year over year.

More Digital

  • Netflix Claims 'Fortnite' Is a Bigger

    Netflix Claims 'Fortnite' Is a Bigger Competitor Than HBO

    It may be mostly gamesmanship, but Netflix says it’s not really focused on rival streaming-video services from Amazon, Hulu, Disney, WarnerMedia or other big players as much as improving its own service to win share of consumers’ attention. “We compete with (and lose to) ‘Fortnite’ more than HBO,” Netflix told investors in its quarterly letter [...]

  • Netflix - Apple TV

    Netflix Turns in Record Q4 Subscriber Gains, Price Increase Weighs on U.S. Forecast

    Netflix is beating Wall Street expectations for international subscriber growth — but its recently announced price increase in the U.S. may have put a damper on its momentum in the States. For the fourth quarter of 2018, Netflix reported 1.53 million paid net adds in the U.S. and 7.31 million internationally, to end the year [...]

  • Bird Box

    'Bird Box' Has Been Watched by 80 Million Subscribers, Netflix Says

    Netflix used its Q4 2018 earnings report Thursday to give us a rare update on some of its audience numbers: The company estimates that its horror-thriller “Bird Box” will be viewed by over 80 million member households in the first four weeks following its release. “We are seeing high repeat viewing,” company executives wrote in [...]

  • Crackle Latin America

    Sony Shuts Down Crackle Latin America Business

    Sony Pictures Television is folding the Crackle Latin America subscription VOD service, which has 400,000 subscribers across 17 countries, after concluding the business isn’t economically viable. Crackle Latin America first launched in April 2012 as an ad-supported streaming service — like the U.S. version of Crackle — before switching in 2016 to a subscription video-on-demand [...]

  • Google Home entryway

    NPR Has Turned 'Wait Wait... Don’t Tell Me' Into a Game for Smart Speakers

    NPR has turned its popular “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!” news quiz show into an interactive game for smart speakers: Owners of speakers powered by Google’s Assistant or Amazon Alexa will be able to play along to questions about the news of the week. Just like the radio show, the quiz is being hosted by [...]

  • WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01

    BritBox Subscribers Hit Half a Million

    The number of subscribers to BritBox has hit 500,000, the streaming service said Thursday. The platform, launched as a collaboration between BBC Studios and ITV, is designed to offer U.S. and Canadian viewers the best of recent and classic British television content. The streaming service launched in the U.S. in March 2017 with a host of [...]

  • Andy Yeatman - Moonbug

    Andy Yeatman, Former Netflix Head of Kids Content, Lands at Startup Moonbug (EXCLUSIVE)

    Andy Yeatman has joined children’s entertainment startup Moonbug Entertainment to oversee North America operations, after he exited Netflix a little over a year ago. Moonbug, dual-headquartered in London and L.A., has set out on a mission to acquire “fun and safe” kids’ entertainment properties and develop new content and businesses based on them. Yeatman, as head [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content