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  • Lawrence Ng

YouTube Kids, More Content With More Ads or Less Content With Less Ads?

Recently, YouTube announced that it will demonetise channels that have predominantly low-quality videos that are meant for kids. These include videos that are "heavily commercial or promotional" and "encourage negative behaviors or attitudes". James Beser, Director of Product Management, Kids and Family, explained the platform's standards for high-quality content. These types of content should promote one or more of the following principles: being a good person; learning and inspiring curiosity; creativity, play and a sense of imagination; interaction with real-world issues; diversity, equity and inclusion.

Credit: Christian Wiediger via Unsplash

In a post, it was also mentioned that if an individual video goes against these principles, it may see limited or no ads. The aforementioned principles also determine which content YouTube recommends to users on the main YouTube platform. This means that low-quality content that doesn't violate the website's Community Guidelines will be recommended less. YouTube also decides on what channels to remove from YouTube Kids with these guidelines. A few examples of these are content that is heavily commercial and encourages negative behaviours, among other things.

Current policies of the video-sharing platform prohibit videos that exploit or endanger minors on the site, which are taken down "as quickly as possible". YouTube's policies have been updated to cover mature content meant to target minors and families. This includes videos with sexual, violent, obscene or other mature themes.

YouTube Kids is separate from the main YouTube website and has specific content policies. On the kid-centric platform, there are fewer channels and videos available. The company has raised its standards for which channels and videos can be on YouTube Kids, dramatically reducing content on the platform. For instance, overly commercial content from YouTube Kids such as those that mainly fixate on product packages or directly encourage children to spend money are not allowed.

YouTube didn't clarify what it meant by "product packages", but it probably has something to do with unboxing videos, which YouTube Kids doesn't have much of. As of writing, only 20 results came up when we searched the word "unbox" on YouTube Kids. Surprisingly, six of them were about gadgets like smartphones.

We also looked at the difference between kid-centric videos on the main YouTube website and on the YouTube Kids platform. On the usual Youtube platform, we see quite a significant amount of advertisements on content that were made for kids. Some of these ads are probably meant for parents, considering that they were about smartphones and E-commerce platforms. But on YouTube Kids, we did not see ads at all and this could also be the reason why we are seeing less content. Many of these YouTubers are driven by ads revenue, brand partnerships and product sponsorships. With YouTube's policy in place, we might see a significant drop in content on Youtube Kids and that might make it unattractive for young viewers to tune in.

What are your thoughts on YouTube's new policy on kids' content? Would you prefer to have more content but more ads? Or would you prefer less content but less ads for your kids? Let us know on our Facebook page.


Written by Sophia Lopez

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