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YouTube toughens rules regarding which videos are eligible to get ads

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3D-printed YouTube icon
A 3D-printed YouTube icon is seen in front of a displayed YouTube logo in this illustration taken October 25, 2017. -- REUTERS

SAN FRANCISCO — YouTube on Jan. 17 announced ramped-up rules regarding when it will run ads with videos as it scrambled to quell concerns by brands about being paired with troublesome content.

“There’s no denying 2017 was a difficult year, with several issues affecting our community and our advertising partners,” YouTube vice-president of display, video and analytics Paul Muret said in a blog post.

“The challenges we faced in 2017 have helped us make tough but necessary changes in 2018.”

Channels at YouTube will need to have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time within the past year to be eligible for ads, according to Mr. Muret.

Previously, channels could be eligible for ads as part of a YouTube Partner Program by racking up 10,000 views or more.

“We want to take channel size, audience engagement, and creator behavior into consideration to determine eligibility for ads,” Mr. Muret said.

YouTube will closely watch for spam, abuse flags and other signals to make sure channels are remaining within the Google-owned video-sharing platforms policies regarding content, according to the post.

Mr. Muret said that manual reviews of video will be added to a Google Preferred system that brands use to place ads with popular YouTube content to better vet videos.

YouTube is also providing advertisers simpler controls regarding where ads appear and transparency including safety checks by outside parties, says Mr. Muret.

The changes were expected to affect “a significant number” of channels that can get ads.

The moves came as YouTube strived to assure companies their ads would not appear with offensive or inappropriate videos.

“While we took several steps last year to protect advertisers from inappropriate content, we know we need to do more to ensure that their ads run alongside content that reflects their values.” — AFP