YouTube makers are already changing their channels for fear that they will no longer be able to make money as soon as the platform starts setting new limits for child-friendly content.
Some of these changes include completely renaming channels to make them feel less child-oriented, removing popular series dedicated to toys or games, vlogging and specifically moving videos to teenagers. Essentially, this children's content retarget to a slightly older demography that is not covered by the $ 170 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission on alleged violations of children's privacy laws.
Due to the settlement, YouTube must stop collecting data about videos that are aimed at children under the age of 12, and creators who make videos for children – such as unpacking toys or art lessons – must also clear their content labeling as intended for children. For creators, this means that videos & # 39; s they make for children are not eligible for targeted ads that they fear may dramatically reduce their revenue.
Various prominent full-time personalities are already making changes to prevent possible dropouts. Toya from MyFroggyStuff (2.1 million subscribers), Kelli Maple (1.2 million subscribers) and Rob of Art for Kids (1.9 million subscribers) have among other things published all announcement videos about their fans about changes they may expect, including adjustments to both channel titles and content. Their goal is to prevent loss of income by being dragged into the broad new category of children's content from YouTube, which comes into effect on January 1, 2020, while still keeping their fans happy.
"I feel very strongly that we need to make changes to our channel here," Rob says in the video above. “We will only post art lessons that are intended for children 13 years and older. For now I leave all our lessons from the past on our channel, but these can eventually disappear. We will still post lessons (for younger children) on our app and on our website. "
The biggest and most worrying change for makers is no longer able to show targeted ads. These ads are a significant part of what is shown on YouTube channels, Melissa Hunter, executive director of a Family Video Network, a group that works with family bloggers, told earlier The edge. Other changes include not being able to send new video notifications – which can limit the popularity and overall revenue of a video – and turning off responses.
Rob says he supports YouTube's decision, but he also has a separate website and app, with subscription offers to supplement his income. This does not necessarily apply to other makers. Toya, who manages MyFroggyStuff, changes both the title of her main channel (along with the names of secondary channels), the style of her thumbnails (which usually contain pictures of dolls), and even how she describes things (ranging from "Toys & # 39; To & # 39; thumbnails & # 39; to ensure that the content is considered suitable by YouTube for all advertisements). Maple, who was aware of the changes to Toya's video, uploaded her own statement on YouTube and stated that similar changes would be made.
"We will add more lifestyle stuff," Toya told her fans during a live stream. "We are going to vlog a little more, we are going to talk about her … so yes, vlogging and everything is on the table."
It is a shift for some of her fans who are younger, although Toya said that a large part of her audience consists of adults, based on information she sees on her internal dashboard. Toys can be labeled by YouTube as something that focuses on children, but thanks to the regular acceptance of things like comic book culture and interest in collecting figures, she added interest outside.
Many makers who make child-friendly videos specifically have left other jobs to work full-time on their YouTube channels. In recent years, advertisers concerned about controversial content felt safer with family-friendly videos, making these channels one of the most lucrative on YouTube. Now, in the wake of the FTC scheme and the ongoing restrictions that apply to videos that contain or are aimed at children, that is changing.
It is not only family bloggers and makers who are concerned. Gaming makers are also concerned that YouTube's announcement implies that videos with kid-friendly games, such as Minecraft or roblox – their advertisements may also be limited. It is a possible dent in a huge market. More than 311,000 in 2018 Minecraft videos & # 39; s were uploaded, resulting in more than 45 billion views according to analysis agency Tubular Insights.
YouTube is still figuring it out, but it seems that game makers don't have to worry. Then & # 39; DanTDM & # 39; Middleton, one of YouTube's most popular gamemakers, says he's been told by YouTube that & # 39; video & # 39; s are not judged on which game you play (e.g. Minecraft, Roblox, Fortnite), "Adding that a" family-friendly video is not the same as & # 39; for children & # 39 ;. "YouTube reviews video by video to see if the content is targeted at children, but it will not be based on a specific game title.
YouTube has still not specified exactly which types of video & # 39; s affect this or which makers should plan ahead. CEO Susan Wojcicki has tackled the rocky road in a blog post for makers who have noticed these changes "will have a significant business impact on makers of families and children."
Toya and Rob are two of those makers who are preparing for a significant impact on their business, and the only thing left to do is run.
"For us who have YouTube as a career, that's a bit of a disadvantage," Toya said.