To satisfy the regulators, YouTube has plans to end the ads segmented in videos aimed at children, or that are probably consumed by minors.
According to a Bloomberg report, three people familiar with the discussion assured that the measure could directly affect the sales of ads for the video giant, but not as much as other proposals on the table in the middle of discussions with regulators.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is investigating whether YouTube violated the Children’s Online Privacy Act. Although the institution has already reached an agreement with YouTube, after months of conversations, the terms have not yet been published.
Although the plans could change, YouTube would be willing to compromise on the monetization of certain videos seeking to prevent the agency from imposing a multi-million dollar fine.
Targeted ads, known in English as targeted ads, are based on the collection of information about users. However, the privacy law for minors (known as COPPA) prohibits companies from collecting data from children under 13 without the express permission of the parents and therefore, it is not allowed that said population be segmented within such ads. .
While YouTube has argued that its main site is not for children under 13 and has insisted that YouTube Kids, the app for minors, does not use targeted ads, videos of children’s youtubers, songs and cartoons aimed at young children have thousands of millions of visits.
The investigation also occurs in a framework of widespread complaints about the ease of exposure to harmful content of children on the main site, from horrible images, to allegedly childish videos where suicide is encouraged.
In April 2018, US consumer groups. UU. complained to the FTC about the collection of information about minors for use in targeted advertising on YouTube. Once the FTC picked up the case, these groups suggested that the agency force YouTube to move all of the children’s videos to their designated place the children’s app, YouTube Kids.
For his part, Joseph Simons, the president of the FTC, has raised another idea. In early July, he inquired with the complainants if they would be satisfied with the disabling of the ads in these videos.
YouTube needs to take the matter with tweezers as its model partly contemplates sharing a certain percentage of earnings with content producers that meet a minimum of monthly views. Since it has not been disclosed if the plans to eliminate targeted advertising mean the demonetization of certain channels, it is unknown if the youtubers model could be affected.
Nor is it known how YouTube would do to classify ‘videos aimed at minors’ without accessing children’s data to recognize them.
The Google video platform sells different types of video ads, some combine the context of a video with a commercial message and display related information. Others enable marketing experts to segment a demographic based on the data it collects from them. in Google services, such as the websites they visit, the searches they perform, the topics they address in their emails, etc.
The research firm Loup Ventures estimates YouTube revenue for children’s content accounts between 500 million and 750 million a year. Reducing targeted ads would affect that revenue. According to the firm’s analyst Doug Clinton to Bloomberg, the potential impact of YouTube reducing targeted ads by 10 percent of its total consumption of videos for children would be around $ 50 million.
For Josh Golin of the Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood, one of the complainant groups, removing segmented ads from selected videos for children does not guarantee that YouTube will stop tracking web habits in case children watch other types of videos.