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No more Disney knife fights on YouTube: ad-friendly guidelines extend to new content


If you use YouTube at all, you’re probably aware of the so-called ‘adpocalypse’. In summary, after controversies earlier in the year, many brands became uncomfortable with the content their ads were appearing on, and YouTube made a ton of changes in March to allay their concerns. Many content creators felt those changes harmed their income, and they let YouTube know. YouTube have now issued an update.

Content creator? Be a rebel and make a video about one of the best sex games on PC.

YouTube say March’s changes and their own “thousands” of conversations with brands have done much to restore advertiser confidence in the platform. “As a result, many advertisers have resumed their media campaigns on YouTube, leading creator revenue to return to a better and more stable state.”

I wonder how many creators share that view – no doubt we’ll learn, in the next slew of videos. Another major complaint of creators has been the opacity of what YouTube considers ‘ad-friendly’ content, and YouTube acknowledge this:

“One thing you’ve been clear about is your desire for more detail and clarity around our advertiser-friendly guidelines. In response to this feedback, we’ve updated our overall guidelines to provide more detail than before.”

You can find the updated guidelines here. They’re much more detailed than before, and your favourite gaming channels can take some heart from the new guidelines on violence:

“Violence in the normal course of video gameplay is generally acceptable, but montages where gratuitous violence is the focal point is not.”

Hopefully this will enable COD YouTubers to keep making a living.

The new guidance on ‘controversial issues and sensitive events’ still seems pretty restrictive for YouTubers who discuss politics or current affairs, and excessive swearing is also deemed ineligible for advertising.

YouTube further say “we’ve heard loud and clear from the creator community and from advertisers” that the guidelines need to expand to cover a few additional types of content. Accordingly, guidance on three new categories has been added: hateful content, incendiary and demeaning content, and inappropriate use of family entertainment characters. So no more Disney characters shanking each other.

Finally, YouTube announced a new course in their creator academy to give additional tips on making content appeal to “a broad range of advertisers, if that is your goal.”

You can read YouTube’s announcement in full here.