YouTube's new audio ads were designed for music and podcast fans

Ruben Fields
November 19, 2020

YouTube on Wednesday, announced a big change to its monetization policy where it will now show ads on more videos but won't give the creators of that video the revenue generated from those ads as they are not a part of the YouTube Partner Program (YPP).

YouTube has launched audio ads, its first ad format for listening on YouTube, to help advertisers reach their audiences with audio-based creative made for that listening experience.

This is also destroying the whole concept of purposefully deciding not to participate in the Partner Program specifically for offering ad-free videos on your channel.

While helping advertisers is a nice spin, let's be honest, why would a company want to help its advertisers?

The platform did not specify the videos or the creator types that will be affected by the decision.

Creators need to have at least 4,000 public watch hours in the last 12 months and over 1,000 subscribers on their channels to become eligible for the YouTube Partner Programme. YouTube Music has more than 70 million official tracks, more than any other music service. Payouts to users with monetized channels will now be "treated as royalties from a USA tax perspective", according to the update.

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Direct response advertisers have been flocking to YouTube during the pandemic as they struggle to keep their businesses afloat. The company says that this means it will now withhold taxes from these payments when it's required to do so.

The update also includes an explicit ban on harvesting facial recognition data from the platform. Not only that, the new Terms of Service also makes it harder for viewers to have an unhampered viewing experience.

The company posted a link to the update in vague, without getting into the details of the changes.

Direct response ads on YouTube have prominent CTAs and a bidding system that allows direct response brands to target users more likely to take an action.

YouTube will now have the right to monetize all content on the platform, so even videos of channels that don't participate in the YouTube Partner Program will now serve ads.

The change comes as part of an update to YouTube's terms of service in the USA, which also include a more explicit ban on harvesting facial recognition data and a change to treat creator revenues as tax royalties in the U.S.

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