YouTube, in an expansion of its advertising business, will begin serving up ads on channels that will not receive a cut of the revenue.
In a Nov. 18 update to its terms of service, YouTube added a new section that says users grant the service “the right to monetize your Content on the Service (and such monetization may include displaying ads on or within Content or charging users a fee for access).” However, the agreement “does not entitle you to any payments,” the latest TOS says.
The addition of that new provision comes as YouTube said that starting today, “we’ll begin slowly rolling out ads on a limited number of videos from channels not in YPP,” referring to the longstanding YouTube Partner Program that lets eligible channels monetize their content, including getting a share of revenue for ads served against their videos.
For creators who are not part part of the YouTube Partner Program, “you may see ads on some of your videos,” the video platform said. “Since you’re not currently in YPP, you won’t receive a share of the revenue from these ads, though you’ll still have the opportunity to apply for YPP as you normally would once you meet the eligibility requirements.”
In addition, YouTube’s updated terms of service specifies that payments from YouTube to U.S. creators will be considered “royalties” from a U.S. tax perspective, effective Nov. 18, 2020. With that change, some creators may be required to submit tax information in Google’s AdSense and may be subject to U.S. withholding taxes if required by law, YouTube said.
Overall, according to YouTube, “U.S. creators will be generally unaffected by these withholding taxes as long as they provide valid documentation.” For creators outside the U.S., YouTube said it will provide more information about when the change to payments as royalties becomes available in 2021.
In another update to its terms of service, YouTube explicitly says that users may not “collect or harvest” any facial data that could identify an individual.
“YouTube has never allowed the collection of personally identifiable information (including data that can be used for facial recognition) under previous versions of our Terms of Service, but we want to specifically include language around facial data to be even more clear,” the company said in explaining the change. “We take user privacy seriously and want you to feel confident that your data is never being misused.”
YouTube last changed its terms of service on Dec. 10, 2019. That update made smaller tweaks, including providing more details about terminating its user agreement with “bad actors” and adding instructions on how to delete your account.