Major companies like AT&T, Verizon, and Johnson & Johnson have halted ad spending on YouTube in response to a growing concern that ads are being placed on videos with offensive content. This is putting extra pressure on YouTube/Google to make changes to the way ads are delivered on the platform. Read more below to find out what this means for you and your videos on YouTube.
What initially started in the UK has now spread globally and created a controversial roadblock for YouTube/Google. It began a few weeks ago when London-based media outlets reported that some big brand advertisements were appearing on YouTube videos that contained offensive content. This included videos that were promoting terrorism and anti-Semitism. As a result, the U.K. government, the Guardian newspaper, and the advertising company Havas SA to temporarily pull their advertising away from YouTube.
Last week, this issue spread globally and reached the United States. AT&T, Verizon, Johnson & Johnson, and several other advertisers have all paused their ad spending on YouTube while pressuring the video platform to introduce higher standards for where their ads appear on YouTube. YouTube/Google in response have announced that they have implemented new tools and policies to combat this issue. Specifically, Google announced that that have outlined steps to stop ads from running next to “hateful, offensive and derogatory content.” However, several advertisers are still holding off on placing ads on YouTube again until they get more details and reassurance from Google and YouTube that this issue is fully addressed and resolved.
Advertisers’ biggest concern is over Google’s self-policing process, and this has forced several companies to re-assess their relationship with Google. Companies like Horizon are demanding that new safety measures and precautions be put into place to create a safer environment on YouTube for advertisers. Until Google/YouTube provides advertiser-approved systems to prevent ads from being placed on offensive content, it seems likely that many companies will continue to halt ad spending on YouTube.
There are many implications of this for video creators that rely on YouTube as a source of income. Depending on the type of video content you create, this could unfortunately result in lower payments for your views in the near future. Even if you don’t create content that could be considered controversial or objective, it’s important to remember that there are more daily views on YouTube then there are advertisements to place against those views. If you’ve ever wondered why your videos don’t display advertisements every single time you watch them, it’s because advertisers pay Google each time those ads are watched in full by your audience. YouTube generates billions of views every day, but there aren’t necessarily billions of paid ads to place in front of every one of those views. That means that when a few big advertisers stop spending their money on YouTube advertisements, there are even less ads to put in front of those billions of daily views. This makes YouTube more competitive for all channels, regardless of what type of content they specialize in.
We’ll keep you posted as details develop, but this trend underscores why it’s important to not be solely reliant on YouTube ads to earn money. We encourage all video creators to explore other money-making opportunities like live stream pay-per-view, video-on-demand purchases, and merchandise sales. Additionally, it’s always smart to develop an email marketing list so you can collect email addresses for your YouTube subscribers. This ensures that you can always connect with your fans directly, regardless of what obstacles YouTube may be facing. Quarterlab and its partners offer solutions for all of these additional revenue streams, so if you’d like to discuss this with your account manager please email us for more information.