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!