YouTube Expands Monetization To Select Videos Containing Drugs, Sexual Humor, Profanity

By 04/01/2021
YouTube Expands Monetization To Select Videos Containing Drugs, Sexual Humor, Profanity

YouTube has announced several updates to its Advertiser-Friendly Content Guidelines that it says will enable more content to become eligible for full monetization after listening to feedback from creators and marketers alike, the company said.

First, YouTube shared in a support page post that it will expand full monetization (which touts a green icon in YouTube Studio) to content that contains “violent interactions with law enforcement, recreational drugs and drug-related content, or sensitive events” — though only when those videos are being used for the purposes of education, news, or documentaries. Previously, these types of videos were not eligible for full monetization.

Furthermore, YouTube also said it is expanding monetization to content “where non-graphic, objective discussions of controversial issues are in the video.”


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Next, in the realms of sex and profanity, YouTube said it will allow monetization on videos that discuss adult themes when “delivered through the context of humor” (such as romance or dating jokes) as well as on videos that feature the usage of moderate profanity — including the words ‘sh-t’ and ‘b-tch’ in the first 30 seconds of a video. Before, using profanity in the first 30 seconds of a video could result in demonetization.

Finally, YouTube says that it has added more examples to its Advertiser-Friendly Content Guidelines in the ‘Adult Content‘, ‘Harmful Or Dangerous Acts’, and ‘Firearms-Related Content‘ sections to clarify its evolving policies.

YouTube first furnished a rare and robust window into its these monetization guidelines last June, as an update to its Self-Certification program, which helps the platform make decisions about monetization faster and with greater accuracy by having creators rate the ad-friendliness of their own videos. The publication of these guidelines marked its biggest bid for transparency since the 2017 Adpocalypse sparked ongoing conversations about ad eligibility.

“This is the first time that any content-centered platform has been this transparent,” YouTube ads policy manager Conor Kavanagh said at the time, noting that the policies would continue to evolve. “We’re going all in on transparency, and really this is only going to be the beginning of the publication of these guidelines.”

You can check out a rundown of how YouTube’s ad-friendly guidelines have evolved in recent years right here.

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