The creator landscape is changing | Source: Adobe Stock

A new challenge has opened in the ongoing battle for eyeballs on YouTube: a ban on “content with commercial elements” on YouTube Kids.

Following a rollout of updated best practices for kids and family content and a new suite of safety and “digital wellbeing options for younger people” on YouTube and YouTube Kids, the platform is now taking aim at a space that could firmly impact the toy industry.

YouTube’s new Overly Commercial Content Policy provides a clearer look at a notoriously muddy space within the platform.

YouTube Kids | Source: Adobe Stock

Related: YouTube Originals Reveals Global Slate of Kids Content From $100 Million Commitment to Quality Programming

According to the company, content containing paid product placements or endorsements will no longer be allowed in the YouTube Kids app. It is required that creators disclose such relationships, and now, when a creator discloses paid product placement or endorsement in their video through YouTube Studio, the company will remove the videos from the YouTube Kids app automatically.

YouTube considers the following to be overly commercial or promotional:

  • Traditional advertisements for products and services uploaded by creators or brands.
  • Content that incites the viewer to buy a product.
  • Videos focused on product packaging.
  • Videos focused on the excessive accumulation or consumption of products.

This isn’t the first time that sweeping change has blown through the YouTube ecosystem, however, it may expedite the jump to over-the-top (OTT) platforms in a way that the 2019 FTC crackdown on undisclosed partnerships failed to do. In recent years, videos showcasing unboxings, “hauls,” or kids with unusually large collections have been increasingly frowned upon by numerous watchdog groups.

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.