There’s talk at YouTube headquarters about allowing creators to sell ad space on their own videos. It’s an idea that might actually be implemented really soon.
According to Tom Leung, YouTube’s director of product management, “We’re experimenting with a new way for creators to sell advertising to brands with whom they already have a relationship.” He goes on to say that YouTube is very aware creators want this as a feature or are at least interested in it. Lastly, he confirms the feature is currently being tested right now in “a very small pilot.” You can hear his comments in full in a recent Creator Insider video.
What we know about creator sold ad space on YouTube so far
Essentially, this feature seems to be a creator version of YouTube’s partner-sold ads. Major media companies like NBC and others can control their own YouTube ad inventories. Those in the partner-sold ads program must be reputable, distribute their own content across multiple platforms, and have the company infrastructure to support ad sales. Also, those in the partner program are allowed to sell advertising even on videos that are demonetized.
It will be interesting to see if this is implemented in a creator version of this feature. Creators in the program could still make money even if videos have been demonetized. The marketers just need to be okay with showing ads on their channel.
Will creators be able to sell ads to brands?
One very interesting piece in the announcement is when Leng specified creators can sell ads to brands “with whom they already have a relationship.” This implies YouTube doesn’t want creators to find new or unfamiliar brands and offer them ad space. However, it isn’t clear what “relationship” means. It might mean brands might have to have invested in them prior.
There is a good possibility too that creators will have to disclose if they sell an ad. YouTube’s current guidelines require creators to disclose they have a material relationship with a brand. It might require the same or more disclosure when creators sell ad space on their own videos.
We will update you once we learn more about YouTube’s plan for this feature.