In a recent statement, Google announced that they’re changing the way YouTube advertising/monetisation works, in a bid to protect advertisers and creators.
Over the past year, a number of advertisers have expressed concerns over the placement of their ads, with hundreds of advertisers actually pulling their advertising in early 2017 when their ads were placed alongside hate and extremist content.
Jump forward to 2018 and Google has announced three significant changes to YouTube advertising, in a bid to re-instill trust in their advertising network.
New Criteria for YouTube Monetisation
In the past, channels were required to reach 10,000 views before they would be eligible for the YouTube Partner Program (YPP), however, it has become clear that additional signals are required to determine if a site should be able to display ads. Instead of basing acceptance purely on views, channels will now be judged based on their channel size, audience engagement, and creator behaviour.
As of January 2018, new channels will need to have reached 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time over the past 12-months to be eligible for YPP. As of February 20, 2018, these changes will also be rolled out to existing YouTube channels that are already part of the YPP.
However, it doesn’t stop there! The platform will also be monitoring signals like community strikes, spam and other abuse flags, to ensure each channel is complying with YouTube’s policies. New and existing channels will be subject to ongoing evaluations, and any channels who breach their community guidelines will be removed from the program. If a channel receives three strikes, their channel and associated accounts will be removed from YouTube indefinitely, which is in accordance with their current guidelines.
These changes are expected to prevent spammers and irresponsible users from gaming the system in order to monetise inappropriate or unsuitable content. While a number of channels are expected to be affected, 95 per cent of channels within the YPP won’t be.
Updates to Google Preferred
Google is also updating Google Preferred, to ensure it’s offering both the most popular content and the most highly vetted.
The channels included in Google Preferred will now be manually reviewed, and ads will only run on videos that have been verified and meet the platform’s ad-friendly guidelines. Channel reviews will be finalised in the US by mid-February, and by the end of March in all other countries where the program is offered, including Australia.
Simpler, More Transparent Controls for Advertisers
In the coming months, Google will be introducing a three-tier suitability system that allows advertisers to reflect on their view of appropriate placements for their brand, while also understanding potential trade-offs.
Transparency over where ads will be running is also a major priority for the tech giant. They are currently in the process of developing third-party brand safety reporting on YouTube, which will help increase advertisers’ trust in YouTube’s network. This program is currently in beta mode with Integral Ad Science, and a beta mode with DoubleVerify is expected to launch soon.