Tonight we received an email, the contents of which are effective immediately. From now on, all people uploading videos are required to tell YouTube whether the content is made for children, the target audience is a mix of adults and children (i.e. both), or the primary audience of the videos is not children. With this, YouTube follows the so-called “Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) to follow the applicable laws. And so that exactly this can be technically implemented, there is now also the possibility to specify its target group in YouTube Studio.
If you are scared now, because you already have a lot of videos on the channel and you don’t want to adjust every single video, YouTube gives you the possibility to adjust the setting on channel level. I.e. with one click you make the setting for all videos. If the content of the videos differs with regard to the target group, this setting must unfortunately be made per video.
So what does this mean for YouTubers and companies that have channels on the platform?
YouTube has reached this settlement with the “US Federal Trade Commission” (FTC) and is thus legally obliged to follow it and with it all users of the platform. However, YouTube and Google are aware that this change has a big impact and is therefore not directly feasible for everyone. That is, there is still some transition period and in January the content will be limited to compliance with the law. From then on, personalized data will no longer be collected for content intended for children. In addition, comments and notifications will be turned off, and there will be some other small changes that YouTube is not yet detailing, especially since the system is still being developed.
Who is required to participate?
In fact, everyone must follow this call and mark their video accordingly. YouTube will try to categorize the videos, but since this is not 100% reliable, it is recommended to do it manually. Automated systems are no guarantee for correctness and in the worst case the complete channel is set incorrectly.
Conversely, if the function is misused, YouTube also reserves the right to sanction the channel.
What is a “made for kids” content?
YouTube directly refers to the fact that they do not offer legal advice, thus directly protects itself here, but clarifies the following:
- content is aimed directly at children as the primary target group (e.g. videos for preschoolers)
- Comic videos that are actually set for teenagers, but are secondarily consumed by children as well
Where can I make the settings?
The settings can be made quite easily.
1) General channel settings
Go to studio.youtube.com and click on Settings in the lower left corner. A new window opens in which the “Advanced settings” must be clicked and the settings can be defined. Select the target group and click save.
2) Video settings
Again, you must first go to studio.youtube.comand select the “Videos” section. If you check the box in front of a video and click “Edit” at the top, you have the option to specify the target audience. This then looks like this:
Here the function appears when you want to create your live stream in the upload area (in the Live Control Room) and there under the privacy settings. YouTube also clearly indicates the obligation here.
For channel operators targeting children, this change is likely to have a massive impact. Since this also removes important features like comments and other basic functions, YouTube is taking many of the most important features out of this area. Conversion can also be very time-consuming at times when running channels that target mixed audiences. In the end, however, everyone is called upon to make the changes, so that alone shows how important this change is. YouTube has to follow the current law here, but at least the transition period is still quite humane in terms of time.
If you have any questions, please contact us, we will try to answer them as good as possible.