YouTube Toughens Rules Regarding Which Videos Get Ads

YouTube on Tuesday announced ramped-up rules regarding when it will run ads with videos as it scrambled to quell concerns by brands about being paired with troublesome content.

“There’s no denying 2017 was a difficult year, with several issues affecting our community and our advertising partners,” YouTube vice president of display, video and analytics Paul Muret said in a blog post.

“The challenges we faced in 2017 have helped us make tough but necessary changes in 2018.”

Channels at YouTube will need to have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time within the past year to be eligible for ads, according to Muret.

Previously, channels could be eligible for ads as part of a YouTube Partner Program by racking up 10,000 views or more.

“We want to take channel size, audience engagement, and creator behaviour into consideration to determine eligibility for ads,” Muret said.

YouTube will closely watch for spam, abuse flags and other signals to make sure channels are remaining within the Google-owned video-sharing platforms policies regarding content, according to the post.

Muret said that manual reviews of video will be added to a Google Preferred system that brands use to place ads with popular YouTube content to better vet videos.

YouTube is also providing advertisers simpler controls regarding where ads appear and transparency including safety checks by outside parties, according to Muret.

The changes were expected to affect “a significant number” of YouTube channels eligible to run ads.

YouTube late last year pulled 150,000 videos of children after lewd comments about them were posted by viewers and went public with a vow to greatly increase the ranks of workers focused on rooting out content violating its policies.

The moves came as YouTube strived to assure companies their ads would not appear with offensive or inappropriate videos.

“We are passionate about protecting our users, advertisers and creators and making sure YouTube is not a place that can be co-opted by bad actors,” Muret said.

“While we took several steps last year to protect advertisers from inappropriate content, we know we need to do more to ensure that their ads run alongside content that reflects their values.”

AFP

Google Deploys 10,000 Staff To Police YouTube

Google is to deploy a staff of 10,000 to hunt down extremist content on its YouTube platform following recent criticism, the video-sharing site’s chief executive told Britain’s Daily Telegraph Tuesday.

Susan Wojcicki admitted in the broadsheet that “bad actors” had used the website to “mislead, manipulate, harass or even harm.”

British Prime Minister Theresa May has put pressure on internet giants to root out online radical material following a spate of terror attacks, while YouTube last week pulled 150,000 videos of children after lewd comments about them were posted by viewers.

Wojcicki claimed that her company had developed “computer-learning” technology to identify extremist videos, and that it could also be used to identify content that risked children’s safety.

“We will continue the growth of our teams, with the goal of bringing the total number of people across Google working to address content that might violate our policies to over 10,000 in 2018.”

Last week’s move to take down suspect content came after a British newspaper reported that ads for big-name brands were displayed alongside videos of children or teens which, while innocent on their own, drew viewer comments that seemed paedophilic in nature.

Media reports indicate the situation made advertisers skittish, with some halting YouTube advertising.

AFP

Warner And YouTube Renew Licensing Deal To Keep Music Streaming

Warner Music Group extended the licensing deal with YouTube, ensuring the label’s songs remain on the web’s most popular destination for streaming music.

The deal includes recording and publishing rights. A Warner spokesman confirmed the authenticity of the memo.

Record labels have been at odds with YouTube over the revenue they share for advertising on user-uploaded videos that feature copyrighted music. But YouTube is such a major destination for music fans that the labels have to tread carefully in negotiations.

“We secured the best possible deals under very difficult circumstances,” Cooper said, according to Variety. “Our new deals are also shorter than usual, giving us more options in the future.”

The deal “continues to capitalize on the growth in advertising revenue we’ve paid to the music industry,” YouTube said in a statement.