YouTube Monitoring Ad-Friendly Content – To Become More Like TV Networks?


YouTube may be outpacing traditional TV when it comes to potentially offensive, sexual-oriented, or other “inappropriate” content — as it relates to advertisers.

Recently YouTube creators began receiving notices some videos were ineligible for advertising because they violated the service’s longstanding advertiser-friendly content guidelines. Some of the no-nos: “Sexually suggestive content,” “Violence,” “Inappropriate language,” and “Controversial or sensitive subjects and events.”

For years, TV networks with racy content have suffered the consequences in losing some advertising revenues. But not all TV advertisers. Maybe VH1’s “Dating Naked” doesn’t bother some marketers.

Generally, big, general-interest TV networks takes great pains to appeal to the broadest number of viewers — by tempering down edgy TV content —  to get to the broadest number of advertisers.

You may ask yourself why YouTube, a long-time digital video renegade, is now acting like it needs to be better as the content police. The answer is easy: Long term, YouTube want a piece of the still-big traditional TV advertising revenue — some $80 billion a year, according to estimates.

Being perhaps the biggest pure-play digital media platform, in terms of some key metrics, YouTube is in a good position. For example, Google Preferred, the creme de la creme of YouTube video content, continues to gain favor — especially in the last two TV upfront selling periods. Media executives have told TV Watch they would in fact buy more of it if more inventory was available. No doubt, YouTube executives have heard this message as well.

YouTube is still not a profitable enterprise (more or less break-even according to estimates, with around $4 billion to $5 billion in annual revenue).

Maybe it can perhaps now can see a path to move into the big leagues when it comes to so-called “premium” digital TV-video advertising dollars — competing with the likes of Hulu (which is owned by major TV-based media companies) and other rapidly growing ad-supported OTT platforms.

Still, the all-or-nothing approach by YouTube when it comes to inappropriate content can now make some traditional TV programming — old-school, ad-supported video content — look somewhat racy and daring.

Answer this question: Would VH1’s “Dating Naked” made the grade if it was on YouTube?

This article first appeared in

About Author

Wayne Friedman

Wayne Friedman is West Coast Editor of MediaPost.

Comments are closed.