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.
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.