- According to a revised section in YouTube's FAQ document, sponsored "graphical title cards" will no longer be allowed.
- The overlays, which include sponsor logos and product branding, will only be allowed if the sponsors buy through YouTube owner Google.
- A YouTube representative told Digiday that the revision was actually a reflection of a policy update that happened late last year meant to prevent advertiser conflicts and save viewers from feeling bombarded with ads.
YouTube's explanation of wanting to save users from being bombarded with ads is diplomatic, if not entirely true. It may be part of the reasoning behind the policy change, but it's more likely Google realized it was missing out on a revenue stream by allowing this workaround for sponsors to advertise on YouTube. As a business Google would be silly to miss out on that advertising revenue, though it probably won't go over well with its popular content creators. The timing of YouTube's new policy is curious given the rollout of Vessel, the new video platform marketing itself as a way for content creators to make more money. Vessel is still in invitation-only stage, but it will be worth watching to see if advertisers and content creators alike move over to a new platform with less stringent advertising regulations.