Tensions between YouTube and its creator community have been high in recent years and there’s still no end in sight. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for “edgy” creators to make money on the platform and get advertiser support. YouTube however reportedly is looking into ways to get those creators more money on the platform.
In a letter to YouTube creators, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki revealed YouTube is currently looking for advertisers that might be interested in advertising with content that is marked with the platform’s yellow icon. The yellow icon indicates limited monetization on more edgy, mature content. It essentially deems the video “not suitable for all advertisers.” Wojcicki is hoping YouTube can find advertisers interested in promoting on these yellow icon videos.
Will advertiser support do anything for edgy creators?
There’s no way to know right now how beneficial this will be. According to Wojcicki, “in its first month, this program resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in ads on yellow icon videos.” So it seems that there are advertisers interested. That isn’t too shocking because there are advertisers that advertise during R-rated programming elsewhere. Likewise, a studio looking to promote an R-rated film might be more inclined to run ads against more mature YouTube content. The video’s viewership could better fit the targeted audience for the film.
However, while edgier content may be getting more ads, YouTube’s algorithm often avoids mature content. Creators with more mature content are less promoted in search results because YouTube is increasingly trying to appear advertiser friendly as a whole. For instance, look at the platform’s Trending section. You’ll likely see content made for general audiences or content made from corporations. So will YouTube change its tune and feel more inclined to promote edgier content if mature content advertisers start coming in? There’s no way to be sure, but we hope YouTube supports all its creators.
Gaming creators could benefit most
Regardless, this program is a step in the right direction and could do creators some good. Specifically, gaming creators could really benefit from advertiser support. There are a lot of games on YouTube that show violence. These videos are often labeled with the yellow icon because of this virtual violence. It is a huge handicap on gamers trying to make a living on YouTube. Wojcicki acknowledges the call for policies that differentiated between real-world and gaming violence. YouTube does say it is working on a new policy that will impose fewer restrictions for gaming violence. That’s good news to hear for gaming creators. First, however, we have to see how many fewer restrictions there will be.