YouTube latest changes explained and what you need to do.


As of Jan 7, 2020, kids data will no longer be mined on YouTube.

Today YouTube activates changes to its policy around how content for children.

What you need to know

Targeted ads that might run before kids’ videos will now stop.

Kid’s videos will also lose access to commenting features and other community features.

We explain below how this will impact your business and what you need to do.

The Backstory

Back in September 2019, our friends at (YouTube) advised creators to “designate their content as made for kids or not made for kids.” This came off the back of a $170 million settlement made with the Federal Trade Commission over YouTube’s (owner Google) alleged violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

New rules are now in place to prevent ‘marketing’ to children under the age of 13, regardless of their age. This includes: targeted ads before content runs, commenting features and push-notifications.

YouTube said that, starting Monday Jan 6, it would begin to limit the collection and use of personal information from people who watched children’s videos, no matter the age of the viewer.

How does it affect YouTube Ads?

Ads will still be able to run before children’s videos, however, the content will now not be targeted. What are targeted ads exactly?

These are ads served to you, based on your browsing activity data. This is collected via cookies on and off YouTube, across the web.

Instead, the company said, it may now show ads based on the context of what people are viewing.

YouTube said viewers who watched a video made for children on its platform would now be more likely to see recommendations for other children’s videos.

So the major take-out here is that YouTube can’t collect data on kid users, just adults.

Any video marked as being for children will not have a comments section, info cards or personalized ads.

 What you need to do

If you create content specifically for kids, you need to set your channel (or individual videos as made for kids or not, as this will determine how your content is treated on YouTube.

If your content is combination of made for kids and not made for kids, you can choose that option too.

If you haven’t already, ensure you have set your channel (or individual videos) as made for kids or not, as this will ultimately determine how your content is treated on YouTube.

Whatever you do, don’t do nothing as there is a chance that the Federal Trade Commission will fine you.

How much? YouTube is putting this change as a responsibility  for creators. If the FTC determines a channel has violated the law (by mislabeling its YouTube content), civil penalties of up to $42,530 (USD) per violation are allowed, although the agency says it “considers a number of factors in determining the appropriate amount.” In addition, YouTube says it may take “action” against violators, including account termination.

How will they police it?

The online behemoth will be using machine learning or AI to closely monitor all content and if you don’t do it yourself, YouTube will do it for you.

The video service said that it was also using artificial intelligence to help identify children’s content. This tool can override a video producer’s categorization if its system detected a mistake.

How will it change the landscape of YouTube?

This change will impact the revenues of content creators who’s audience is kids under 13 years, who directly profit from targeted advertisers paying them to run ads before their content. TubeFilter estimated  that the lack of personalised ads could cut revenue by up to 90 per cent per video.

Whilst ads will still be run, it takes away most of the control away from advertisers to intentionally target kids.

To wrap up

It is ultimately a good thing to protect kids from data-mining. There’s plenty of time for that once they hit 13 years old, but many may argue that is still too young.

Content creators still have the chance to run sponsored content within their videos, and to fill this gap they will just need to get smarter about how they commercialise their content.

If you want to run YouTube ads or start a YouTube channel for your brand, GOOP Digital are here to guide you through it every step of the way. Contact Us today.