Video has long been a priority for all website owners. They can increase engagement. Videos educate website visitors in ways that text, audio alone, or still imagery cannot. They can even help you rank higher in search. Although YouTube built its platform by making it easy to upload and embed video on your website, that may change for your organization soon.
YouTube Monetization Policies
YouTube Advertising is something that many have experienced but few, besides marketers, think about. Marketers use YouTube ads to reach new, potential audiences. Meanwhile, YouTube watchers may only consider ads the cost of watching free videos. For video creators, YouTube ads are often not even a thought unless the video creator are prolific enough to share in advertising profits.
Many in the health industry find themselves in the final group. Health systems across the country use YouTube for their patient testimonials, surgery preparation and information, facility walkthroughs, marketing materials, and scores of other topics. Some of these videos are embedded on a hospital website, some are shared on social media, and some solely live in the YouTube account.
This has worked well for some time, as it offered reliability and ease of use and no advertising interrupting important content. For years, YouTube has only put ads on the videos of their partner accounts (those who share revenue) or videos containing a partner account’s content (for example, a video that features another person’s copyrighted music).
However, that may all be changing soon.
Update to YouTube’s Terms of Service
In November of 2020, YouTube updated its Terms of Service for the United States. One of the updates they made concerns monetization:
Right to Monetize
You grant to YouTube the right to monetize your content on the Service (and such monetization may include displaying ads on or within content or charging users a fee for access). This Agreement does not entitle you to any payments. Starting November 18, 2020, any payments you may be entitled to receive from YouTube under any other agreement between you and YouTube (including, for example, payments under the YouTube Partner Program, Channel memberships, or Super Chat) will be treated as royalties. If required by law, Google will withhold taxes from such payments.
Essentially, YouTube has given itself the right to run ads on any video uploaded onto the platform. They can do so as they please, and that does not entitle you to funds or revenue unless you have a specific agreement or partnership with YouTube. If you have one of those partnerships, those payments will be considered royalties.
What does this mean for your user’s video experience?
As the video creator and account owner, YouTube does not need to alert you that they are running ads on your videos. And these ads will be visible on your videos on the YouTube platform, when they are shared on social media and wherever you have them embedded. That means that a user could be clicking through your website and view an embedded video that is multiple years old and see an ad before or during its runtime.
Effective June 2021, YouTube has rolled out this Terms of Service globally, and this is a scenario that may become increasingly common.
Solutions in the YouTube Partner Program (YPP)
Luckily, there’s an option to either disable advertising on your videos or control the verticals of ads running on your videos and share in the revenue. To do this, you need to look at the YouTube Partnership Program (YPP).
The YPP exists primarily to help content creators control their copyright, access the Creator Support Team and collect revenue for their videos. As a part of this last item, YPP members can control what types of ads run on their videos. This control extends to demonetizing (disabling ads) the channel as a whole. These options only exist through the YPP.
How does my healthcare organization join the YPP?
To join the YPP, you must qualify for the following requirements:
- Follow the YouTube Monetization Policies
- Live in a country or region where the YPP is available (the entire USA is an included region)
- Have more than 4,000 valid public watch hours in the last 12 months*
- Have more than 1,000 subscribers*
- Have a linked AdSense account
*To check your public watch hours and subscribers, visit Studio.YouTube.com, click on the Monetization link in the navigation column. On that page, will be two meters to let you know if you have passed these requirements.
If you pass the requirements, you can apply for the program and, if/when YouTube accepts you, you’ll then have access to the advertising/monetization settings for your account. Typically, this review process takes one month.
What if my organization doesn’t meet YPP requirements?
If you don’t currently meet those requirements and are concerned about advertising on your healthcare organization’s videos, you may want to work towards qualifying for the YPP requirements to avoid ads entirely. It is unclear how widely YouTube will be running ads on non-YPP videos, and it may never become a problem. But if it does, if staying on YouTube is a priority for your organization, the only way to disable ads altogether will be through the YPP.
Video marketing continues to grow in use and effectiveness for many healthcare marketing teams. If you’re a Geonetric client and need help navigating your video strategy, we’d be happy to help – reach out to your client advisor or account strategist. If you’re not a client and your current agency isn’t supporting you, we’d love the opportunity to work with you. Contact us to talk about your needs!