According to the recent survey done, YouTube is the second most visited website in the world after its close cousin Google. Over thirty-seven percent of mobile internet traffic belongs to this hosting service. YouTube has been around since 2005. It was launched by Jawed Karim, Steve Chen, and Chad Hurley.
In 2006, YouTube was acquired by Google, and shortly after it blossomed from a basic, very small platform for streaming videos to what it is today, the biggest service of this kind with millions of visitors coming to YouTube every single day from across the globe. In 2020, YouTube generated staggering revenue of over US$19 billion. Since its beginnings, YouTube has changed its business model and expanded into a social media platform, a mobile app, and other services that are linked to it today such as Nintendo and Discord. YouTube has very strict advertising policies and guidelines.
Recently, YouTube banned ads related to alcohol, politics, and gambling have no place at YouTube. So, you will not come across ads promoting the online casino industry, any kind of casino game, alcoholic beverages, and anything related to politics. The question is, why did YouTube decide to ban these types of ads.
YouTube and Its Advertising Policies and Guidelines
Ads that appear on YouTube videos are divided into skippable and non-skippable ads. Skippable ads cannot be longer than three minutes while non-skippable ads cannot be longer than fifteen seconds. In Singapore, Malaysia, India, Mexico, and EMEA, non-skippable ads cannot be longer than twenty seconds. Users can also download YouTube videos without any ads using certain services.
When it comes to the most recent change to its advertising policy, YouTube officials said that the most popular video hosting service will no longer promote and accept advertisements relates to prescription drugs, politics, gambling, and alcohol in order to offer a better user experience. It seems completely understandable that YouTube will not accept ads promoting alcohol and prescription drugs. When it comes to banning ads related to politics, this is also somehow understandable as YouTube wants to stay away from controversies that usually emerge in the world of politics.
In the past, YouTube was at the center of such a controversy. In 2020, former president of the United States Donald Trump promoted his political views and aspirations on the video hosting platform for three whole days. His ads popped up for those three days millions of times with almost every video intended for the US audiences.
Following the Footsteps of Google
It seems that YouTube is following the footsteps of Google. For many years now, certain topics are off-limits when it comes to Google and its ads policies and guidelines. Before these most recent changes, all Google users were able to decide for themselves and limit gambling and alcohol-related ads they see when watching YouTube content.
Now, ads that include prescription drug terms, alcohol-related content, offline and online gambling will not be promoted on YouTube. While we may only speculate why YouTube banned these kinds of ads, one thing is for sure, millions of people who enjoy YouTube content will not see any major changes while businesses working in the gambling and alcohol industries will have to find other marketing options.