back to article YouTube is going to splash adverts all over your videos, and won't pay creators unless there's a big enough audience

YouTube has started rolling out adverts on all videos uploaded on its content-sharing platform, and won’t give creators any ad revenue until they get popular enough. The Google-owned biz updated its terms of service to include a “right to monetize” clause: “You grant to YouTube the right to monetize your Content on the Service …

  1. Vimes

    Adverts already seem to appear at entirely random times in some cases.

    I wonder if anybody has bothered to ask the advertisers if they honestly think that pissing off youtube users is a good way to generate new business?

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
      Unhappy

      I think a more important question to ask the legitimate advertisers is if they like being associated with scams.

      Most of the ads on youtube are out-and-out scams, that would never be allowed on UK TV. Even as not some sort of protest against online ads, I advise friends and family to ignore all ads on YouTube, and assume they are scams - it's the safest option.

      YouTube obviously doesn't care, but I don't know how they get away with it.

      1. Wade Burchette Silver badge

        Far too many advertisement companies don't care about scams. As long as they get paid, the ad runs. This is why malvertising is such a big problem.

        1. poohbear

          That is why ad blockers are such a big problem.

          Mea Culpa.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not the advertisers backsides feeling the heat

      I fear "why should they care" may be the prevailing attitude. They may not even be aware that's where their ads are landing, depending on how their targeting their campaign. I expect this might be Alphabet/Google/YouTube following the colder winds that the incoming EU antitrust cases represent and cynically betting they can just max short term revenue and change the policy once the inevitable boom gets dropped on them in the courts.

      It will probably expose YouTube to more litigation, both for monetizing problematic content, and for monetizing content without explicit consent. Probably not going to be a popular decision, but I suspect people on the advertiser side didn't ask for this change. I also expect Alphabet doesn't care that much, and will do whatever it wants in the mean time.

      1. UCAP Silver badge

        Re: Not the advertisers backsides feeling the heat

        I suspect that insert ads into someone's content without their explicit permission (and Youtube's T&Cs are not explicit permission in many jurisdictions) is probably going to subject Youtube to numerous actions for breach of copyright. Basically they are changing someone's content without their permission. Could get very expensive for Youtube, and open the doors to a competitor!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Google... "Do All Evil"

          "I suspect that insert ads into someone's content without their explicit permission...breach of copyright"

          First, Google... Copyright? That's 100% the point of this "change". Streamers that were monetized years ago but are now demonetized or were NEVER monetized due to the lack of acceptance into the "Partner Program" or the content material was "unacceptable" will now make Google $$$. If streamers were never monetized, which I'm sure Google is greedily hoping, that will be 100% pure profit.

          Funny, when MegaCorps. threatened to stop using YouTube for sponsorship due to small "hate" channels, Google changed the partner program so that small, less viewed channels couldn't make money. Now _ANY_ channel including hate channels can make money, however, only Google gets the CA$H now. Factually, not essentially, this move now rolls back all "promises" made to MegaCorps. to stick with YouTube.

          "Could get very expensive for Youtube..."... all these evil deeds will outweigh the good deeds... wait... what good deeds?

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      time to leave youtube then

      There's already an alternative for Twitter (Parler)

      There's probably going to be an alternative for Facebook if anyone wants it [I heard about one recently, could not remember the name]

      There may already be an alternative for youtube.

      It may simply be time to ABANDON the arrogant google+facebook+twitter monopoly and go elsewhere until they start treating customers like CUSTOMERS instead of "revenue generating units"...

      1. Naich

        Re: time to leave youtube then

        Parler is not an alternative to Twitter. It's basically full of nazis and set up as a platform for it's "influencers" - https://www.wired.com/story/parler-app-free-speech-influencers/

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: time to leave youtube then

          Parler is also funded by the Mercers, the same people that financially backed Cambridge Analytica.

          https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20201116/01141545710/what-if-cambridge-analytica-owned-own-social-network-ca-backer-rebekah-mercer-admits-shes-co-founder-parler.shtml

          Total hive of scum and villainy.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: time to leave youtube then

            No surprise that right wing morons flock to a rightwing propaganda site that bans "leftists", yet claims to be for free speech, and is bankrolled by the biggest rightwing political hacks out there.

            Idiots getting played...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: time to leave youtube then

          Den Troll nicht füttern, bitte. They're best left alone, they get bored and eventually sod off.

      2. 759b954e-617b-408b-a2b1-f5a42c3688d4

        Re: time to leave youtube then

        The best alternative to both Twitter and Facebook is Mastodon.

        Not sure about a good alternative for YouTube though.

        1. Marty McFly Silver badge
          Holmes

          Re: time to leave youtube then

          Odysee is an alternative to YouTube. https://odysee.com/

          I think it will even import content from your YouTube channel - so it is easy to migrate over.

          1. Celeste Reinard

            Re: time to leave youtube then

            That name goes even much better with this classical scholar. Thanks.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: time to leave youtube then

          Peertube.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: time to leave youtube then

          Pornhub

    4. DS999 Silver badge

      What ads?

      I never seen them in Firefox with uBlock, or in Safari on my iPhone with Firefox Focus adblocker. The only time I see an ad on Youtube is if I accidentally watch one on my iPhone in the Facebook app, since of course you can't install a blocker for it.

      If you see ads it is your own fault for using something that sucks like Chrome.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: What ads?

        I got the impression they were going to insert the adds into the video. A little harder to stop.

    5. illiad

      only thing worse...

      the only thing worse is that youtube is now being used as a picture album, tiktok promotion, and Reddit TEXT VIEWER(with picture thumbnail)!!!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sure. When I'm watching a 30-second video of someone's gran's 75th birthday party....a blipvert of Doritos is just what it needs :/

    1. mrfill

      It could be worse - might be an advert for Dignitas...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There are adverts on YouTube?

    Blocked.

    All blocked.

    I support my favourite content providers via other, more direct, means. Such as merch purchases.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There are adverts on YouTube?

      Exactly this. I use Firefox and Ublock Origin both on my laptop and Android phone. If I follow a channel on YouTube I feel deserves recompense for its content, then they invariably have a Patreon account or similar that I can use to give them support.

    2. cookieMonster
      WTF?

      Re: There are adverts on YouTube?

      I have a pi-hole installed at home, and was watching YouTube via their app, earlier this week I noticed a constant flood of ads every few mins, much more than normal.

      I was surprised to say the least, initially I thought the pi-hole had crashed or something. Out of curiosity I connected via the web browser (using an iPhone 8 and Adblock installed) and viewed the same video, no ads.

      So I just uninstalled their app, added YouTube bookmark to the browser and now have ad free content again.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: There are adverts on YouTube?

        they use DoH/DoT - so it bypasses pi-hole.

        I have had to insert iptables rules to stop any DNS outside of my approved ones.

        Thinking pfsense is now in order.

    3. Efer Brick

      Re: There are adverts on YouTube?

      Same, browser and android, there's even a tool to filter out those boring invid sponsor messages.

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: There are adverts on YouTube?

        You the "please subscribe to your channel" nonsense? How do they filter that out, voice recognition?

        1. katrinab Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: There are adverts on YouTube?

          Sponsorblock does it, most of the time.

    4. Aussie Doc Bronze badge
      Holmes

      Re: There are adverts on YouTube?

      Same here - uBlock Origin, Ghostery, Privacy Badger, 4K Video Downloader and more.

      Never see ads but I support my favourite channels (usually) via their Patreon stuff.

      As for alternatives to YT, I'm no expert but historically I would suspect that as an alternative steps up to the plate, eventually somebody will say "We can make money here" and the cycle begins again, unless there is a decent open source/forked type of equivalent ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  4. Cincinnataroo

    Time to take action?

    Have I got this right:

    * This company by their policies have triggered people to off themselves.

    * Now they want to profit from uploaders while not paying those who did the actual work.

    One guess, they expect to go out of business soon.

    Suggestions:

    * Time to create alternatives

    * Don't post their links

    * Don't upload video to them

    * Play their content through other services without many of the ads.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Camel straws

      There are plenty of other straws but I was curious about how big the "not paying anything to smallest accounts" straw is. According to this site 1000 views earns you about $2 (the amount will vary depending on who those 1000 are). The minimum requirements for a payout would be 1000 subscribers each watching a 5 minute video every week which gets you about $100/year.

      Now look at the alternative. Your budget is $99 per year. With that money you have to buy a domain name, rent a server, set up a web site, sell $99 of adverts and make 52x 5-minute videos. As an individual it does not look like a path to a comfortable retirement.

      Clearly you need economies of scale. What numbers are you going to put into cincinna-tube? 10,000 content makers with an average of $10/year revenue. You get a place to live, food and you can give 50% of your revenue to the content makers. I can really see them working hard for $5/year and you have all the work of distributing content and money and selling adverts (how picky are you going to be about selecting advertisers?). Clearly 10,000 small content makers does not make a viable a business. Increase it to 1,000,000. Now you have a budget to start dealing with checking a million videos per week for revenge porn, death threats, copyright infringement, QAnon and furious content providers angry about unfair DMCA take downs.

      Google have the resources to do a better job. A start-up offering to be less evil would either need a huge pot of gold or to initially cut costs by deliberately doing every awful thing Google has grudging paid lip-service to fixing.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: they expect to go out of business soon.

      I hardly think that Google et al are on their uppers but I'd be overjoyed if this was the case.

      Google/Alphabet has gotten far too powerful. Mind you Zuckface didn't do himself and his shitty company and favours when grilled by US Senators the other day. Steve Bannon needs to be behind bars not having a FB account.

      Both Google and Fartbook need to be broken up. They have far too much control over our lives.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Time to take action?

      this is all noble and it works - but only in theory. Sadly, google and such know very well that the FREE sample fed to junkies works. Feed the junkie FREE samples long enough, and they're yours, for life (their life, not google's). Remember the uproar about cambridge analytica? Those zealots that proclaimed (on twitter, I presume) that they are OUTRAGED and SHOCKED and that they're shutting down their facebook accounts and let's do it all folks, that'll teach them.

      In reality it was a minor, 5 sec fart. Nothing happened, and fb zombies crowd the platform in evergrowing numbers. And I bet those shouting their OUTRAGE, quietly returned to the fb mothership a couple of weeks later.

      The same story with that fb advertising boycott by those "major mainstream brands". Was it this summer? Or last summer, oh, how time flies... That "mass dropout" was supposed to twist fb arm (cynically, it was to make those brand follower cretins believe the brands are truly with them, fighting this evil fb menace, lol). So, how is that arm-twisting going, eh?

      So don't bullshit me about "time to take action" action. You can't, or rather - WON'T live without. You're fucked, and claiming otherwise in public, you desperately try to suppress the voice of reason in your head that that tells you: I lost, they won. Google have you by the balls and by the pussies, they know it and you know it.

      1. 759b954e-617b-408b-a2b1-f5a42c3688d4

        Re: Time to take action?

        Bollocks. You may speak for yourself but you certainly don't speak for everyone. During 2020 I degoogled, defacebooked and demicrosofted. And I won't be going back.

  5. davenewman

    So random adverts will appear over the videos of political parties and candidates - perhaps from their opponents or even right wing nut jobs.

    Or imagine the adverts that could be shown for 30 seconds over a video for a charity campaign.

    1. Alumoi Silver badge

      No worries, political ads... erm, videos, will be extempt. After all, you don't bite the hand that feeds you.

  6. Joe W Silver badge

    I know content creators that actively chose not to monetise their videos. This is a kick into their face.

    1. Long John Silver
      Pirate

      Not everyone participates in tacky rentier economy

      There are two approaches to creative activities (including cat videos).

      The first is based on supposition of an originator being internally driven: an urge which must be satisfied. On this view no monetary value is associated with the product, particularly if it is digitally represented and thus cannot be subject to market economics based on scarcity. There is no expectation that other people will like it at all; rejection may be because the 'content' is inherently mundane or because it is as yet too challenging: only time will tell. 'Driven' people have throughout history been midwife for major cultural advances in the sciences, technology, humanities, literature, music, and visual arts.

      Leonardo da Vinci exemplifies driven innovation. He did not start out with personal wealth to indulge his intellectual fantasies. In order to gain support for his activities he had to begin with small projects bringing his talents to recognition, accruing reputation, and gaining entrée to sources of patronage for bigger schemes. Once completed, his works brought in no continuing stream of income but stood as examples to consolidate reputation.

      The other approach derives from the spurious notion of 'intellectual property' and generation of continuing income from completed works: rentier economics.

      As an aside it is noteworthy that academia operates primarily in a patronage ethos. Published works are seed corn for others to take forward. The only restriction on 'derivation' is that it must be accompanied by attribution of source which is basis for reputation: plagiarism is a cardinal sin. Academic output is rapaciously monetised by publishers assigned distribution 'rights' but these cannot control, and draw rental from, 'derived' works. Rental income does not feed back into financing academic projects. Inevitably, publishers across the range have striven to have legislation (and case law) give them ever tighter control over what they distribute; for instance, fonts, text layout, and images are 'owned'; thus in a 'derived' work the author cannot merely replicate a table of figures as represented in the original without gaining permission.

      Most of the rest of culture is nowadays wholly mired in rentier economics. This has disastrous effect by greatly restricting 'derivation' for many decades and thereby stultifying original impulse.

      YouTube exemplifies the parlous state of modern culture. Instead of paying rent, YouTube's visitors subject themselves to bombardment by advertisements; these are crafted for the individual if silly enough to engage with Google's tracking mechanisms. Setting aside people posting to YouTube without thought of drawing income, YouTube is an instance of meretricious 'entitlement', i.e. 'rights' based, culture at its worst. Notably the recorded music industry posts 'content' and seeks to prevent visitors from using their end-device's inherent capability of keeping a copy. The industry has its cake and eats it by virtue of free posting and a share of Google revenue; nobody forces it to place its 'content' in what de facto is a public forum.

      Yet, in many away, YouTube is a brilliant conception. It demonstrates the feasibility of self-publication culture. There is a downside too arising from overzealous, allegedly biased, censorship not restricted to blatantly obnoxious material. The upside is ready means for people to acquire reputation. Regardless of receipt of income from YouTube they are well placed to solicit voluntary patronage (the opposite of rentier 'entitlement') funding further works.

      It costs immense sums to support YouTube's network of servers. Thus a source of finance is necessary. However, for the discerning not seeking a 'quick buck' from paltry effort it is becoming viable to post free of charge on a number of burgeoning distributed peer to peer networks. Commercial publishers, of which YouTube is one, are set to go the way of the dodo. Cottage industries shall emerge to offer added value services relating to publication but none of the 'content' going through their hands shall be owned by them; that doesn't prevent them gaining a share of attribution to support market/brand reputation.

      [The above released under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 international licence].

  7. JohnMurray

    Watched one 20-minute youtube video last night. It started with a video, had another after 10 minutes, and another 5 minutes later.

    I went out to McD for a coffee, and got told by a slightly un-nice policeman that going-out for a coffee at 2200z was not a reasonable excuse for breaking lockdown.

    1. ClockworkOwl
      Black Helicopters

      Meal deal...

      Should have had a salad with it..!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I hope the McCoffee is significantly better where you live, cause from my experience going for a Coffee at McD under any circumstance should be sufficient to have you monitored by professionals.

      1. gerryg

        McD coffee far from awful just not great

        Would I describe McD as my goto coffee? Not at all but I can say it's far from shite and at a reasonable price. After midnight (remember those days?) it's cheap and dependable. The alternative in central London is pony-tailed bearded ones delivering dishwater for around three times the price.

      2. Evilgoat76

        McD coffee has its place... Drain cleaner, engine degreaser...

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "got told by a slightly un-nice policeman that going-out for a coffee at 2200z was not a reasonable excuse for breaking lockdown."

      He was absolutely right. Instead of going for a single ready made cup of coffee, you could have gone somewhere to actually buy the stuff to make your own fresh coffee, instant or otherwise, and that would most likely have been ok. Especially if you were buying milk and sugar too.

  8. MacroRodent Silver badge

    Use Vimeo

    ...if you just want to share a clip with some people. Vimeo has a different business model: you pay to upload to it (aside from very small amounts of data, 500M/week), and no adds.

    1. Captain Scarlet

      Re: Use Vimeo

      hmm never thought about that, I use Youtube a bit for some videos however its cheaper than me hosting it myself.

  9. Samuel Penn

    Somebody has to pay, somehow

    YouTube provide free uploads, hosting, network bandwidth and access to all the software. As much as I hate the ad based model, why shouldn't Google reclaim costs in some way? It may be the creator's content, but that doesn't mean someone else has to provide them a free platform.

    Based on the backlash when Google announced they would start charging for storage for Photos, I guess asking people to pay to upload videos would also get objections.

    Google could provide it all for free, they can definitely afford to, but I don't see that they have a moral obligation to do so.

    1. Noodle

      Re: Somebody has to pay, somehow

      Somebody already does pay. According to the last quarterly press release from Alphabet the revenue from YouTube Ads was over 5 billion dollars for that quarter alone. I don't know what their operating costs are for YouTube, but while I'm sure they're huge I'm also sure its not close to 5 billion dollars a quarter.

  10. iron Silver badge

    > your gonna run ads on MY channel

    Oh poor deluded petal. You uploaded your content to THEIR site so they can do what they like with it. Did you not read the Ts&Cs?

  11. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Google already run ads along side your videos in the up next section or in the video search, trending etc even if you choose not to be part of the monetisation program, but to then tell you that they are going to monetise your videos with in-roll ads even if you chose not to be in their program is just a money grab. I suggest that all those who don't want to get monetised should start their videos with a statement such as 'Hey Google Fsck you, you money grabing c*nts im gonna punch you in the face' so their videos are ineligible to be monetised under Googles own rules and swearing and violence.

    Personally I use the Youtube vanced app and Firefox with Ublock origin to block ads on Youtube as it was getting unwatchable already with the number of ads they were showing. But if there is a channel which I want to support, I play their video playlist without an ublock running overnight in a new private browser window to give them some ad revenue.

  12. grizewald
    Facepalm

    This will drive good content away from YouTube

    At the moment, ads are only added to content created by YouTube Partners who chose to monetise their content. That means that there's a limited number of videos which can have ads placed and also means the price per ad is much higher than it would be when they start placing ads on all content.

    The effect of that on the partner creators will be to dramatically reduce the number of ads which they can earn from and dramatically reduce the income per ad.

    Partners have seen their ad revenues drop year by year and this change will be the final nail in the coffin as it is likely to cut partner incomes to a tenth of what they are now.

    Quite a few of the channels I watch regularly are now making moves to re-home their channels on other platforms.

    So, in the name of greed, all the good content will end up leaving YouTube and all that will be left is the dross, punctuated with so many mid-roll ads that nobody will bother watching.

    It's the partners who helped YouTube grow and this is how they are rewarded? Let the exodus begin!

    1. ForthIsNotDead Silver badge

      Re: This will drive good content away from YouTube

      So, in the name of greed, all the good content will end up leaving YouTube and all that will be left is the dross, punctuated with so many mid-roll ads that nobody will bother watching.

      I honestly think Google wouldn't mind at all if it goes under. I think they underestimated the absolutely collosal costs that running YouTube, with its insatiable appetite for hardware and storage resources entails. I may be wrong, but last time I read something on the matter, it was still making a net loss.

      Add to that all the issues of policing content, copyright infringement, and the ever-increasing amounts of disk storage that is required to maintain it, they'd probably be quite glad if they could throw in the towel.

      Some calcs on YouTube's storage requirements here (a few years old):

      https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-total-size-storage-capacity-of-YouTube-and-at-what-rate-is-it-increasing-How-is-Google-keeping-up-with-the-increasing-demands-of-Youtube%E2%80%99s-capacity-given-that-thousands-of-videos-are-uploaded-every-day?share=1

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: This will drive good content away from YouTube

        When have Google needed an excuse to bin a project?!!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    please clarify

    does it mean that I will now see (...) ads in practically all youtube videos, across the board?

    I mean, I don't see any because one of several add ons will block them, but, in principle?

    1. ForthIsNotDead Silver badge

      Re: please clarify

      Yes, it means exactly that.

  14. Zimmer
    Stop

    Copyright - and monetising a channel

    I was under the impression that Youtubers (sounds like a new vegetable seed) who posted copyright material without the holder's permission were not allowed to make ad money from views.

    So, will Google be making sure THEY don't fall foul of their own rule by checking for copyright infringement all the content they will be using to sling adverts to??

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    YouTube has been doing this to the firearm channels for a few months already

    Not being able to get the fun toys they can in America, I enjoy watching some of the youtubers reviewing, and sometime doing silly things (in a safe way) with their guns.

    A year or two ago, YouTube decided that a whole host of their activities would get them demonetized, or even their channels deleted. So a lot of the videos have become quite sterile and not as entertaining or educational.

    Yet YouTube still demonetizes a large nuimber of those vids, and, adding salt to the wounds, in the past few months, the number of adverts has skyrocketed on those same demonetized videos. Money the creators do not get, and Google gets to keep.

    As much as I'd like to support all my favourites through Patreon, I can't afford to support more than one aty any point in time.

  16. Marty McFly Silver badge
    Big Brother

    The death of Big Tech....

    ....will not come as as result of alienating and ostracizing different demographic groups. Big Tech is simply too big to be impacted by any of those groups.

    What will kill Big Tech is their ever-growing hubris.

    The more Big Tech seeks to manipulate and control others, the more the rest of the world quietly walks away. Soon they will awaken wearing the Emperor's New Clothes and wonder how it happened.

    Big Brother icon....because it represents the current state of Big Tech.

    1. Celeste Reinard

      Re: The death of Big Tech....

      I recall a Big Orange collecting about 70.000.000 votes in some election recently that is, give or take a few stitches, the definition of hubris. (Back to the Hoverboard)

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The academic community…

    …who these days use YouTube as a primary teaching vehicle, are not exactly pleased about having ads splattered in the middle of their lectures.

    The French got it right: their schools use self-managed peertube hosts for their audiovisual content.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If something is free...

    ...you and your content are the product being sold.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Youtube - bringing sharecropping back in the digital age.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      I'd agree if the croppers were actually getting a share.

  20. Celeste Reinard

    My Art! ... is going to be ... Stained!

    O My God! My 10 second 'Buy or Die - Don't Argue' video is going to be ralphed all over with adds! And it has attrackted 0 views since I uploaded it about 2 years ago! (Please keep it that way - I can do without all the fame & fortune.) ... (Although I coud do with a nose-job - the last one 30 years ago got it all crooked.)

    1. illiad

      Re: My Art! ... is going to be ... Stained!

      maybe time to get your stuff onto DIGG.COM... plenty of 'good stuff' there, some pics even take you straight to the company website, or amazon listing.. :)

      and there is vimeo.com, and dailymotion.com...

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