If you’re like me, you have been getting inquiries as to why your Youtube-hosted corporate videos are being inundated with ads. Whether it’s a corporate video, a short social video, or something highlighting some of your services, it’s all in danger of having ads placed in front of it now.
Why is this a problem?
Aside from the annoyance of having to watch an advertisement, there is a serious risk here. A direct competitor could run ads on your videos. The viewer could end up getting your competitor’s pitch before yours.
When did this happen?
For years, YouTube would only place ads on videos for one of the following reasons:
- The video was enabled for advertising during upload
- The video contains copyright content (such as music)
However, these rules are no longer valid.
The change started covertly back in November 2020 on a YouTube terms of service change broadly announcing that channels outside of the YouTube Partners Program (YPP) will start seeing ads on their videos. The article mentions “limited” ad exposure, but I can tell you from my own experience that this is not the case. The ads are just as prevalent as the rest of YouTube.
Looking at the forum, the terms change was called out by a number of people in the comments who have voiced their disapproval to no avail.
How do you turn off YouTube Ads?
The Terms of Service announcement only applies to those outside of the YPP. So, in order to stop ads from running on your videos, you need to either join the YPP and disable ads, or leave YouTube. The YouTube Partner Program is something that you can apply for, but it has a couple requirements.
- You need to have 1,000 subscribers (not an easy task for small/medium sized businesses)
- You need to have 4,000 valid watch hours in the last 12 months.
Or, you can leave the platform.
If you are considering purchasing subscribers or views, think again. YouTube is able to identify this behavior and has terminated channels because of it. It’s not recommended to purchase traffic or subscribers. If you cannot organically meet the requirements then your best choice may be to find another video hosting platform.
What is the best video hosting platform?
It’s Vimeo. I’m not going to beat around the bush here. Vimeo already offers SO much more than YouTube, especially for embedding options. Here is my unofficial list of why Vimeo is better than YouTube:
- Ability to turn off “Related Videos” display (YouTube’s worst forced-feature).
- You can create a call-to-action at the end of your embedded videos with a clickable link.
- Easily select thumbnails from any point in your video.
- The video encode quality is VISIBLY BETTER.
- 100% customization of embedded player skin, including;
- Ability to turn off the vimeo logo.
- Ability to turn off all sharing, downloading options.
- Custom color options.
- Ability to remove the player skin all together.
- And probably the most useful feature: The ability to replace the video file without changing the URL.
Some of these features cost money but if you work with a video agency then you can just ask them to host the video on their corporate Vimeo account. We host a lot of our clients’ videos on our Vimeo account at no extra cost, as long as the video files aren’t huge. The only tradeoff to using Vimeo is a potential loss in SEO. When googling anything, almost all of the video results are from YouTube. This is partially because YouTube’s video SEO is currently 2nd to none because it is a WAY more popular platform. Since YouTube is owned by Google, it will always be given priority. If someone is specifically searching for your business then your Vimeo video will likely appear, but if they are searching for a related product/service then it will likely be beaten out by YouTube results.
How do I benefit from this dumb YouTube change?
As we mentioned before, you can potentially serve ads to people before they view your competitors’ video on YouTube. This can be done with interests and in-market targeting options through Google Ads. Sure, you wouldn’t want to see ads on your own videos, but this is the new norm for online video marketing and we will see it more and more often. Even if you don’t run ads, I can promise that your competitors will.
If you are interested in running YouTube ads, then click here to learn more about our digital advertising services.
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