YouTube bans content creators from tying up with advertisers without intimating the co

By Pritha Dasgupta

KOLKATA: YouTube, the world’s largest video-sharing website with over one billion subscribers, has banned content creators from directly tying up with advertisers and mandated its users to disclose commercial tie-ups before uploading a video.

The Google-owned website recently revised its advertising policy to block “graphical title cards” or video overlays of sponsor logos or product branding unless YouTube is paid for the advertisement. “In other words,YouTube is making it mandatory for content creators to include Google ad sales teams in each and every deal and buy media through them,” said a content creator asking not to be named.

Online ecommerce platform Snapdeal, for example, has sponsored a number of video content by stand-up comedy group AIB (All India Bakchod) through an independent deal not routed through Google. That may not be possible now, a senior ad executive said.

A Google spokesperson said that these policies are not new but were misinterpreted by content creators who therefore flouted the guidelines.

YouTube, however, allows content creators to earnrevenues fromsponsorships like simple product placements, text banner ads embedded in the content and content solely created arounda brand.

“For such content, creators can make 100% revenues and we won’t charge anything,” the Google spokesperson said. “But for 30-second to one minute ad or full-fledged graphic banner ads embedded in their content they willhave a share a percentage of revenue withYouTube.”

That means AIB’s tie-up with search engine Askme for its content titled ‘Ask AIB any questions’ may not be impacted by the change inYouTube’s policy. However, the deal between comedy groupTheViralFever(TVF)andpropertyportalCommonfloor. com for YouTube fiction show‘PermanentRoommates’ in which the protagonist searches for a property through describing various features of the site, could be impacted.

The Google spokesperson said one reason YouTube decided to sternly implement its policy was allowing such ads could create channel conflict. “For instance, we serve a Honda ad before the content starts playing, and they’re plugging ‘brought to you by Toyota’. It is a bad experience for the users seeing two ads back to back,” the person said. Media planners said the website has finally woken up to the potential of branded content and how much revenues content creators are reaping from it. “It is apparent that YouTube has spotted an advertising revenue leakage for them and has taken a business-oriented call,” said Rajiv Dingra, founder and CEO at WATConsult, part of the Dentsu Aegis Network.

“We are expecting initial resistance from advertisersinthebeginning.Whilecontent creatorscangoto other platforms and start creating their base, they will find it difficult to monetise them till advertisers get a similar traction like YouTube,” Dingra said.