Brands will now have to go through Google’s sales team rather than working directly with YouTubers to put ‘graphical title cards’ – or overlays – on videos following an amendment to its branded content policy introduced last year.
First spotted by Digiday, the revised FAQ document in YouTube’s help and support section states:
“We allow text-only title cards where there is paid product placement for the purpose of paid product disclosure only. Graphical title cards, including the use of sponsor logos and product branding, are prohibited unless there is a full Google media buyout on the partner content by the sponsor.”
This means that sponsors must now pay Google to put prominent logos or images on a video – part of a wider plan to stop users feeling bombarded by ads – but according to analysts will now force YouTubers and other content producers to split revenue with Google. Typically YouTube shares 55 per cent of revenue from advertising with creators.
As part of the move, a ‘product card’ is rumored to now be included as part of the standard media packages Google sells. It is a six-second pre-roll spot outside of the main video content that enables brands to sponsor content.