Chennai: YouTube is adding more advertisements to the content on its platform but will not be sharing that income with the content creators.
In an update to its terms of service on Wednesday, Google-owned YouTube said it now has the right to play ads on content of smaller creators not part of its YoutTube Partner Program (YPP), and such creators will not be eligible for a cut of the ad revenue. Prior to this, YouTube played ads only on content coming under YPP and only such large creators (who meet set thresholds of subscriber count and views) are entitled to a share of the revenue.
“Starting today we’ll begin slowly rolling out ads on a limited number of videos from channels not in YPP. This means as a creator that’s not in YPP, you may see ads on some of your videos. Since you’re not currently in YPP, you won’t receive a share of the revenue from these ads,” Google said in a blog post.
The revised terms are effective November 18 in the US, but will go live in India only in 2021.
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YouTube did not respond to TOIs queries on the nature of the new content it plans to advertise on. Additionally, YouTube also updated its terms to say payments from YouTube to creators will be considered “royalties” from a US taxation perspective. It did not specify the impact of this change for content creators outside the US.
“Creators outside of the US will be asked to provide US tax information in Google AdSense sometime in 2021 to determine whether any US withholding taxes will apply to their payments,” a spokesperson for Google told TOI.
“Google may begin withholding taxes on payments made to creators starting sometime in 2021 if any withholding taxes apply. More details will be provided to creators outside the US closer to the roll-out in mid 2021.”
“This seems to be a part of YouTube’s strategies to further monetise its platform, and may act as a bit of discouragement to content creators who are just starting off and are not part of the YPP,” Prantik Mazumdar, managing partner of digital marketing agency Happy Marketer, said.
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While this won’t have a negative impact on the earnings of smaller creators (since they weren’t receiving any ad revenue to begin with) it will impact overall viewing experience for followers. The change in policy will also affect advertisers who advertise on Youtube, Dhiraj Gupta, CTO of fraud detection company mFilterIt said.
“By going back on its own policy which it placed a couple of years ago, Google is effectively making advertisers pay for ads that will run on ‘long tail’ low-quality videos,” he said.
The decision was met with discontent from US YouTubers on Twitter, who were disappointed that the tech giant was choosing to make money from their content without sharing revenue.