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Bad news for Youtubers who participate in paid product placement. You know that sponsor ad spot you’re getting paid to roll in your videos? Yeah, Google now wants a cut of that. You’re reading it right, Youtube wants only Google ran ads and a cut from sponsors otherwise if you use video overlays for product placement. This model isn’t new, it’s a revision of a policy put into effect late last year.

According to Google, the reason is to avoid conflicts and preventing users from being bombarded with advertisement. For example, let’s say Google serves up an ad for Ford, but your video is sponsored by Nissan. These two car firms are competitors and this looks bad on Youtube’s end if Google allows this to go unchecked. While their reasoning makes sense, this will potentially hurt content creators, the ones who provide traffic to Youtube. If there ever were an example of the phrase “double-edged sword”, this would be it. Google wants to keep their sponsors happy, content creators who are sponsored are obligated to show their own support. Without content, Youtube has no audience. The days of simple low res videos are gone, several high tier Youtubers use the platform as their day job.

We’ve all watched our fair share of Youtubers and have become accustomed to ad segments throughout the video. This is especially true for tech Youtubers who begin their video intros showcasing their sponsors during large events such as CES. From top tier tech firms such as Intel to silly ones like Dollar Shave Club, popular Youtubers like Linus Sebastian of Linus Tech Tips have used their fair share. “This video was sponsored by -” followed by a title card is a very popular method many Youtubers utilize and the one that Google is wanting a percentage off of.

It should be noted that only Youtube partners are allowed to do paid placement. Graphics that are intended for product placement such as a title card or logo are subject to Google advertising – text only spots are fine. Youtube also has added an ad format for cards.

What this effectively means for Youtubers is that unless you consent to giving a portion of your ad sponsor money to Google, it’s against the terms and may result in loss of monetization. In case you didn’t know, Youtube takes in around 45 percent of ad revenue generated from pre-roll ads and other sources. The other percentage gets passed along to partner channels. With Google now wanting a share of sponsorship money, Youtube is becoming less lucrative. These are the same creators that Youtube CEO Susan Wojcicki dubbed the “lifeblood of Youtube.”

Once upon a time, the site known as Youtube, home to millions of viewers and more than a couple cat videos, didn’t exist. As you could imagine, there is already a call for someone to make the next big video sharing site. Perhaps this is the push for someone to make it a reality. Other video sites do co-exist with the video giant, but all seem to lack the same momentum that Youtube has. If not for another platform, this could be the push for Youtubers to host their videos on their own personal websites.

Are you a Youtuber who is considering becoming a partner with Youtube? Are you already partners and not happy? Whatever your take is, we’d love to hear it in the comment section below!


Anthony Lee

Gamer since the NES era, computer nerd since 2001. Happily in a loving relationship with a happa who has been a gamer since the Sega Genesis era. Who says Sega does what Nintendon't?

  • Elmar Bijlsma

    I can sorta see their point but in I’ll side with the YouTubers on this one.
    The YouTubers are the ones that are getting the deals, based on the audience they receive. for YT to also take a significant share of that is both greedy and authoritarian.
    To pretend these deals might clash with Google’s “well considered ads” is to vastly overestimate the thought Google puts into running these ads in any case. I reckon the person actually running the channel can do a better job then a Google script.

  • TeLin特林

    “As you could imagine, there is already a call for someone to make the next big video sharing site. Perhaps this is the push for someone to make it a reality.”

    I’ve been thinking the same thing for a while..

  • Erud

    While YT can demand a cut, the amount they get should be much less than the 45%.
    For native GoogleAds they already did all the prelim work of finding the client doing all the paper work etc. Work for which they should be rightfully payed.


    When the Youtuber is the one doing the work of finding the sponsor and organizing the deal YT should only get a commission for using their ‘broadcasting’ infrastructure.

  • Marine

    YouTube continues to destroy itself and the people that made it.

  • When a company does something unwise, it spurs new market entrants and competition, which is great. Let the market work its magic.

  • FogHorn

    Really? this is news to me, i didn’t even know youtube ran ads, must be because i have been using addblock for the longest time.

  • Ben Jeanotte

    I’d kinda hate to say it knowing that techraptor does get some ad-revenue, but really it’s not an issue if you use good adblocking software that just vanishes all the ads in youtube. These extensions are readily available on chrome and firefox.

    It still kinda blows my mind that people make money on youtube videos, and that somewhere there are people buying things because of annoying ads on the site, but eh. What’s a competitor going to do? Host everyone’s super HD video for free?

    These demands seem reasonable… I mean youtube has to have tons of hardware to host and broadcast all that. I think it’s fair if they want in on money people make with outside ads.

  • drachnon

    I’m kinda divided on this one on one hand I understand that Youtube doesn’t like to see content creators making ad money where they get nothing when people run adblock.
    On the other hand normal ad deals are so crappy it’s hard for normal youtubers to make good money from it.

    Also from personal experience I can guarantee that if they didn’t use video ads I wouldn’t use adblock on youtube. In fact youtube is probably the only service by Google that’s not in my whitelist.

    Heck I’d even consider buying some sort of subscription service for Youtube if it would mean no ads and is decently priced.

  • Guest

    “Other video sites do co-exist with the video giant, but all seem to lack the same momentum that Youtube has.”

    Well it is things like this that give competitors a market opening to nibble away at YouTube’s market share, which is fine by me.