Making Money

YouTube Delivers a Bombshell and Slashes Video Creator Revenue

YouTube Creators Are Not Happy with Ad Revenue
Written by L. Scott Harrell

YouTube has updated its user policies to prevent the use of in-video image overlays that promote brands who have not purchased a YouTube advertising package.

According to an article in Digiday.com:

YouTube has quietly amended its ad policies to block “graphical title cards” from sponsors aiming to promote their brands and products on YouTube channels, according to a revised FAQ document in YouTube’s help and support section. Video overlays of sponsor logos and product branding are no longer allowed — unless the sponsor pays Google to advertise on that channel.”

Many popular channels and video entrepreneurs make money on YouTube by selling video sponsorships and one of the most popular ways to create an effective call to action is to create an image overlay, or annotation, and hyperlinking it to the sponsor’s website or landing page.

This is apparently no longer allowed per YouTube’s terms of service.

Seeking clarification, YouTube has updated it’s “Paid Product Placement” help page to include the following:

The sponsor wants to have a title card before the video with their brand name and product information. Is this ok?

“We allow text-only title cards where there is Paid Product Placement for the purpose of paid product disclosure only. Graphical title cards, including the use of sponsor logos and product branding, are prohibited unless there is a full Google media buyout on the Partner content by the sponsor. You can contact your Partner Manager for more information and assistance.”

So, brand logos are out but you can still use clickable text annotations. Meh.

My best guess is that the “YouTube Elite” and multi-channel networks (MCNs) are going to be livid and move to other brand-friendly video hosting platforms like upstart Vessel or Vimeo and hopeful channel startups will find the premise of YouTube stardom much less appealing now that a huge chunk of potential future revenue has been carved out.

But, seriously, can you really blame Google for wanting to increase revenue in return for the commercial use of their FREE video hosting service??? YouTube typically keeps about 45% of total advertising revenue and shares 55% with it’s creator and MCN partners.

I’m really not surprised by YouTube’s move to recapture this lost revenue- though, I thought it would have come much sooner.

What do you think? Are you angry by this move or does it seem like a logical conclusion? Will this affect you personally or will you make different choices about where you will host your video?

Be heard! Tell us in the comments below.

About the author

L. Scott Harrell

L. Scott Harrell is the Executive Editor of Vtrep.com. He is also a serial entrepreneur and top tier business development professional who speaks leadership, startups and digital media masterfully. Scott can be reached via email: editor@vtrep.com

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  • junglekid2

    According to http://www.businessinsider.com/youtube-still-doesnt-make-google-any-money-2015-2 You tube wasnt making any money back in 2015 so 1 Billion viewers was not doing it for them,the actually need profits and this is a step in that direction