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YouTube creators have complained about declines in ad revenue

Google has started tweaking the system to respond to advertiser concerns about brand safety.

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YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki 
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Some YouTube creators might get less money from Google, at least temporarily, as the company adds new controls for advertisers in the wake of an ad controversy that erupted two weeks ago.

A number of big-name advertisers suspended ads on YouTube last week and the week before after discovering their ads were making money for videos containing hate speech or supporting terrorism. Google has responded by promising greater transparency and saying it will be more aggressive in ensuring brand safety of ad placements.

“If you’re seeing fluctuations in your revenue over the next few weeks, it may be because we’re fine tuning our ads systems to address these concerns,” reads a YouTube community manager post from Thursday.

The changes stem from tweaks to the ads system, rather than any revenue loss that might have come after advertisers pulled their business, according to a source close to the situation.

YouTube could lose $750 million in revenue this year over advertisers halting business, according to analyst firm Nomura Instinet.

Some YouTube creators appear to have lost ad revenue altogether, which the post addresses: “If you think your video was demonetized in error, request an appeal by clicking on the yellow $ icon next to the video in Video Manager.”

For creators, the changes to YouTube’s advertising system has caused confusion. The person behind popular YouTube channel “DramaAlert,” which has 1.8 million subscribers, tweeted Friday — incorrectly — that YouTube had stopped showing advertising on channels with fewer than 25,000 subscribers.

This is not correct, according to Google. Numerous Twitter users responded to the tweet, saying their channels still had ads. Some, however, did complain about declines in revenue.

It’s not a new thing for YouTube creators to raise concerns about inconsistencies on the platform. Creators of activist channels, including one devoted to sharing stories of abuse of women and another run by a transgender activist, have complained of videos they said follow guidelines nonetheless losing ads.

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