Upcoming YouTube policy changes might decline creator revenue

It has been reported that YouTube is going to roll out policy changes in the coming January 2020. Video creators all over the world are now concerned because their revenue might get adversely affected by this.

Some concerns were raised by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding YouTube’s compliance under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) so YouTube has to settle it by aligning with some changes.

Frankly, the number of changes to be followed is huge but the change that specifically relates to revenue has to do with how ads will be served.

Serving personalized ads to children is not permissible under COPPA so from now on, in accordance with COPPA, YouTube will stop serving personalized ads on content that is made for kids. The company advises creators that their revenue may go down as a result of these changes:

“If applicable, this may result in a decrease in revenue for some creators. Note that we will continue to serve non-personalized ads (ads that are shown based on context rather than on user data) on content that is made for kids.”

Video creators are concerned regarding the uncertainty on how YouTube will determine which videos are intended for kids and which are not. To be practical, there will be always some kid-specific channel but that is not enough so it is rational to believe that YouTube will run some machine learning model to identify videos on its own.

There will be a chance that some content gets flagged as for kids but in reality which is not. This can cause ad revenues to decline hugely.

Though YouTube provided a handful of examples of what is likely to get flagged as a kid’s content, it is still not clear.

According to YouTube, content that is “made for kids” has concerned more about,

  • Children or children’s characters.
  • Popular children’s programming or animated characters.
  • Play-acting, or stories using children’s toys.
  • Child protagonists engaging in common natural play patterns such as play-acting and/or imaginative play.
  • Popular children’s songs, stories or poems.