YouTube has experienced explosive growth since it first launched in 2005.
With an estimated two billion monthly users, 73% of American adults now use YouTube. It is one of the most popular online platforms in the U.S., according to Pew Research, with projected revenues of $5.5 billion for 2020.
YouTube’s upcoming changes have thrust the platform into the center of widespread controversy.
What’s Changing in 2020?
It could be said that these changes have been a long time coming.
With such widespread use, critics have claimed that YouTube was not doing enough to protect children. An estimated 81% of parents use the platform to find content for their children, and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission raised concerns about YouTube’s compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
In fact, the FTC hit YouTube with a $170 million dollar fine, claiming that the platform illegally collected personal data from kids. To comply, YouTube agreed to make changes that would no longer serve personalized ads on kid-friendly content. Certain features, such as comments and notifications, will no longer be available for kids as part of the wide-ranging changes implemented on YouTube.
How Does the YouTube Change Affect You?
This change will affect the revenue of content creators on YouTube who offer content for kids, but there’s some uncertainty about what that could mean.
In general, kid-related content involves animated characters, children’s songs, stories, toys, poems or imaginative play. Some products, games, toys or other content that could technically be of interest to kids could fall into a gray area.
Even if the content creator does not flag content for kids, YouTube could still determine that the video content is kid-related and thus ineligible for advertising.
How Can You Prepare for 2020?
The change is scheduled to roll out in January 2020, so be prepared.
You should first determine whether the changes affect you at all. If you don’t have any kid-focused content or products, you may experience little or no effect. Even if it doesn’t affect you directly, this is an opportunity to understand what COPPA is, as well as how it could affect you now or in the future.
Now is the perfect time to revisit the YouTube policies, terms and conditions. Make sure you know the rules to which you’ve agreed.
It’s also a great time to reevaluate your YouTube channel and develop your 2020 content and marketing strategy for YouTube and other channels.