YouTube says it will soon monetize ‘edgier content’

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki's final creators letter of 2019 promises more monetization options in the works for creators. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki’s final creators letter of 2019 promises more monetization options in the works for creators.

Image: Aytac Unal/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

YouTube has heard the most recent concerns and complaints from its creators loud and clear.

In her last quarterly creators letter of the year, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki laid out a number of updates in the works for creators who may not make the most family-friendly content. 

“We’re working to identify advertisers who are interested in edgier content, like a marketer looking to promote an R-rated movie, so we can match them with creators whose content fits their ads,” said Wojcicki in the letter published on Thursday,

According to the YouTube CEO, the company has already started rolling out the platform. Without giving too many specifics, Wojcicki says that this program has already placed “hundreds of thousands of dollars in ads on yellow icon videos.” A yellow monetization icon appears in creator’s video manager when YouTube decides to limit advertising on a specific video due to its content. 

Creators have long complained about the lack of monetization on “edgier content” influencing their creative decisions, and it appears YouTube is working to address the issue.

That’s not the only bit of good news for more adult-oriented YouTubers either. Gaming creators will see some positive changes on the platform in the future too.

“For gaming creators, we’ve heard loud and clear that our policies need to differentiate between real-world violence and gaming violence” writes Wojcicki. “We have a policy update coming soon that will do just that. The new policy will have fewer restrictions for violence in gaming, but maintain our high bar to protect audiences from real-world violence.”

Currently, YouTube’s policies view violence, whether in real-life or simulated in a video game, as the same. This policy has clearly caused monetization issues for creators.

Additionally, YouTube is working on updates focused on users’ wellbeing. 

“Right now, we’re in the process of updating our harassment policy guidelines, and we’ll keep you posted as they’re finalized,” said Wojcicki. “As with all our policy updates, we’re talking with creators to make sure we’re addressing the issues that are most important to the YouTube community.”

The YouTube CEO also assured creators suffering from burnout that their channels will be just fine if they take time to step away from the grind. And she brought proof from YouTube’s product team. According to Wojcicki, after sifting through six years of data across millions of channels, the company found that creators on average had more views on their content when they return from a break than they had before they left.

In the rest of the letter, Wojcicki touts YouTube’s recent changes to its policy to curb copyright abuse against creators, the policy changes it’s rolling out for kids’ content as a result of a settlement with the FTC, the site’s new YouTube Studio backend, and the more than 2,500 total updates made in the last year to the platform to improve the service.

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