YouTube attracted a lot of attention in 2017, but not all of it was positive. Controversial incidents involving YouTube stars, inappropriate content targeted at children, and extremist and racist channels led to a backlash from advertisers upset about being inadvertently associated with such material.
In order to improve oversight and transparency, YouTube has made three key changes to its guidelines on advertising in videos:
- Channels must have 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time in the past 12 months. This is an increase from the previous minimum requirement of 10,000 views. In addition, YouTube channels with guideline violations will be subject to a three-strike rule.
- An ad hoc, manual review will be used to verify that videos meet ad-friendly guidelines. In the past, this work has been completed largely by algorithms.
- Advertisers will get more control over where their ads appear. A new three-tier system will be accessible to advertisers looking to gain more control over where their ads appear.
These changes will go into effect in the early months of 2018. The subscriber and watch time requirement for YouTube channels is scheduled for February 20, 2018 and is expected to result in dramatic changes as many YouTube content creators will no longer meet the threshold for carrying ads. However, YouTube hopes that these tighter guidelines will result in fewer advertiser issues and reduced support for channels that have advertising mismatches.
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