Everything creators need to know about YouTube’s new policy on kids

On January 6th, YouTube made changes that will impact many of the platform’s biggest content creators. The changes mean YouTube will disable behaviorally-targeted advertising (and a slew of other features) on content intended for a kids’ audience. 

But if you’re a content creator, you probably already know this. What you might not know is how these new policies are likely to affect you. 

If your content is clearly intended for kids, then you’re going to have to tag it as “made for kids”. After that, behaviorally-targeted ads will no longer serve against your content. It’s too early to fully gauge the impact of this in revenues, but anecdotally we’re hearing about 80% declines in daily revenue in some cases.

If you’re not sure if your content should be classified as “made for kids”, but you make content that appeals to kids, including DIY, gaming, arts & crafts, sports and music videos, then the rules are fuzzier.  Basically, if content includes elements likely to appeal to children—cartoon characters, child actors, simple songs, early education material—then it must be tagged. This determination is frustratingly subjective, and has led to wide outcry by confused content creators.

YouTube says it will police the self-designations using automated scanning tools, and it will automatically tag content if it detects videos that haven’t been correctly classified. It remains to be seen how well this will work, but we’re already hearing reports of whole channels being auto-tagged this way.

Either way, if your content is tagged as “made for kids”, you’re likely to see a revenue drop. But that doesn’t mean that the advertising spend is gone. Advertising to kids is still allowed, and brands still have large budgets they want to direct towards audiences of kids. 

In order to take advantage of these new avenues, there are a few actions you should take:

  • Make it as easy as possible for contextual advertisers to find your content, so that you can start to make up the ad revenue shortfall from YouTube. To register with our KidSafe Video team, contact us here
  • Further develop other revenue streams, such as influencer marketing—if you haven’t already, consider joining the SafeFam program to gain access to brands looking for family-friendly influencers.
  • Consider duplicating or splitting your content on to other platforms that are focused exclusively on kids, tweens and teens, such as Rukkaz. You can contact us on the form on this site.

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