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News: YouTube Terms Of Service Change

YouTube is making changes to its TOS and the change isn’t good for the content creator or content viewer. 

YouTube has announced that it’s making changes to its TOS and part of the change means you will be seeing more ad’s when trying to watch content on YouTube. Today’s post will try to translate what the changes actually mean to the content creators and those who go to YouTube to watch or listen to content. News: YouTube Terms Of Service Change


Changes To The Terms Of Service (TOS) 

YouTube notified those with accounts via email and posted a message on the YT site concerning the changes to the TOS that are in effect as of November 18, 2020, in the USA. The email they sent out is as follows


YT TOS Nov 2020

There are a couple of changes, so let’s go by the numbers.

  • Use of Facial-Recognition Software Restrictions 

This one isn’t that big a deal, as it has always been in place. There is software that exists that can be used to identify people in pictures and video. Per the YT TOS, it has always been against the rules to use that kind of software on anything posted on YT, the changes here just clarify that.  So this one is NOT a big deal.

  • YouTube’s Right To Monetize 

This is the BIG ONE! From this change, YT is now saying that if you post something they reserve the right to show an ad on anything you post on the site. Previously ads were mainly shown on things posted by those on the YouTube Partner Program. To qualify to be on the partner program, your YT channel has to have

  1. Follow all the YouTube monetization policies.
    • The YouTube monetization policies are a collection of policies that allow you to monetize on YouTube. If you’re a YouTube partner, your agreement including the YouTube partner program policies requires compliance with these monetization policies to potentially earn money on YouTube.
  2. Live in a country or region where the YouTube Partner Program is available.
  3. Have more than 4,000 valid public watch hours in the last 12 months.
  4. Have more than 1,000 subscribers.
  5. Have a linked AdSense account.

which means (for the most part) you are a major company, famous, or someone that is known as an “influencer”. If you are part of the partner program, that also means you get paid by YT for the ads that are put on your content.

The thing is now, with this change, YT is basically saying “any content posted that won’t make YT look bad can now have ads, so YT can make money”. That’s why they said in the change “as long as they’re brand safe”. There are 2 issues with this change by YT

  1. You the content viewer will now see even more ads while trying to watch YT.
  2. The people who don’t qualify for the partner program because they just don’t meet the requirement have no say in the ads that are shown, and even worse won’t get paid a dime, only YT will make the money.
  • Royalty Payments and Tax Withholdings 

Of course, the government wants its money. So for those in the USA, if you are getting paid by YT, they will now withhold any tax money based on where you live per federal and state tax laws. Content creators in this situation need to make sure that their info in AdSense is up to date so that they don’t have any issues.

  • YouTube Kids Is Included In These Changes 

Note the last section, if you let your kids watch YouTube Kids, then by default you are agreeing to all of these changes for your kids since you are the grown-up in the room.


Final Thought 

As of now, the YT Terms of Service changes are only in the USA. If you are in any other country, you are not affected by this until mid-2021.  For content users, will seeing more ad’s finally drive you to use other services? For content creators who are not on the partner program, will letting YT make money off your content without getting a cut finally drive you to other services? Only time will tell.



News: YouTube Terms Of Service Change

24 Yrs. of professional experience in Technology. Experience with technology implementation and systems management at numerous 5 Star Hotels, and Stadiums across North America. Head of Tech Geek and More since 2009


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