SAN BRUNO, CA: YouTube is tightening the rules around monetization on its video platform as it seeks to reassure advertisers who have been spooked by reports over the past year about their ads appearing next to inappropriate content.

The threshold for participation in the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) has been changed from 10,000 lifetime views to 4,000 hours of watchtime within the past 12 months and 1,000 subscribers.

In a blog post, Neal Mohan, Chief Product Officer and Robert Kyncl, Chief Business Officer, explained that the higher thresholds would not only make it easier to identify creators who contribute positively to the community and help drive more ad revenue to them, they would also “help us prevent potentially inappropriate videos from monetizing which can hurt revenue for everyone”.

At the same time, YouTube announced that its staff of content moderators would be screening every video in Google Preferred, the company’s premium offering for marketers.

This process will be set up by the middle of February in the US and by the end of March in other countries, Bloomberg reported.

Further, a three-tier suitability and brand safety reporting system is intended to give advertisers more control over the content they think is suitable for their ads to appear next to.

While the industry was broadly welcoming of these steps, some felt they didn’t go far enough, while others raised questions about the staffing of Google Preferred and what the three-tier system will actually look like.

“Making YouTube more accountable and easier for a marketer to buy with trust is great, but marketers need to make brand safety a clear component of their media briefs and avoid a race to the bottom on media prices,” Tom Denford, chief strategy officer at media consultancy ID Comms, told Marketing Week.

“Marketers need to be explicit in briefs to their media buying partners that environment is important and they will be willing to pay a fair price to avoid crappy media placement.”

Sourced from YouTube, Bloomberg, Marketing Week; additional content by WARC staff