YouTube rolled out a series of changes that would put the platform in compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
When content intended for children is viewed on the platform, YouTube will disable a series of features for both children and adult users. The most significant change will be that personalized advertising and comments will be disabled on all content intended for kids.
But these aren’t the only features that are disappearing on these videos. For instance, the notification bell, save to playlist or save to watch later features will also disappear when watching children’s content. Cards on end screens of videos, channel branding watermarks and channel memberships will also be disabled, while creators will also be unable to collect donations on children’s videos.
The changes come as YouTube paid a $170 million fine in September for violating COPPA. COPPA requires websites and online services targeted at children under the age of 13 to follow certain standards and requirements for delivering content. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), along with New York Attorney General Letitia James, accused YouTube of tracking children’s viewing histories and serving targeted ads to those children.
After paying the fine, YouTube said it would impose a series of changes in four months that would “treat data from anyone watching children’s content on YouTube as coming from a child, regardless of the age of the user.” The changes rolled out today will apply to all viewers of content marked for children, regardless of age.
Peace Of Mind In A Risky World
Those changes will adversely content creators who rely on advertising revenue and donations (through the YouTube platform). Some content creators have expressed concerns about the changes, particularly worried that having young audience may affect their ability to make revenue.
I’m a Los Angeles-based contributing writer for Forbes covering Google and Alphabet. I’m also a writer and curator for Inside.com, where I have covered a variety ot topics, ranging from automotive to Google. Send tips, pitches or notes via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), on Twitter (@dudejohan) or on Signal (714-331-5730).
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Two publicly traded ad-tech companies are combining to push deeper into video advertising.
Los Angeles-based Rubicon Project and New York-based Telaria have agreed to an all-stock deal that will leave Telaria stockholders with 47.1% of shares while Rubicon Project’s stockholders will own 52.9%. After news of the merger, which was announced today, Rubicon Project’s stock price rose by more than 7% to $7.75 shortly before markets closed. Telaria’s stock price also increased more than 11% to $8.39.
According to a combined statement from both companies, the merger will create the world’s largest independent sell-side advertising platform. Telaria, which was known as Tremor Video until it rebranded in 2017, brings an expertise in connected television to Rubicon’s programmatic platform. In addition to connected TV, the companies will let publishers continue to buy ads on desktop, audio, mobile and other video platforms across an increased geographic footprint that includes the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific regions.
After the deal is finalized, Rubicon Project President and CEO Michael Barrett will become CEO and Telaria CEO Mark Zagorski will become president and chief operating officer.
According to Zagorski, the merger will allow the company to better compete with even larger players and also better position itself for the era of connected television—a sector of the ad-tech space that’s expected to grow in next year. Combined revenue of both companies was $217 million between the end of September 2018 and September 2019, a 32% increase over the same period between 2017 and 2018.
In an interview, Zagorski tells Forbes “the reason why this merger made so much sense is there are so many complements.”
“What was also really apparent though as we were building our businesses out was there was this huge demand for this single, one-stop shop both from a buy side and a sell side,” he says.
The deal, expected to close in the first half of 2020, comes at a time when a number of ad-tech and mar-tech companies are merging or selling with higher frequency. Some companies are selling to becoming tools within larger firms while others are merging to create the scale needed to compete with juggernauts like Google and Facebook.
Apart from the existing competition, ad-tech companies also face heightened regulatory scrutiny and uncertainty as lawmakers at both the state and national levels look into regulating how companies collect and use consumer data for commercial purposes including digital advertising. Next month the California Consumer Privacy Act goes into effect, and several other bills are being considered in Congress.
According to Barrett, the two CEOs met each other years ago soon after entering their respective roles. He said they were inspired by companies like The Trade Desk, another publicly traded ad-tech company that has scaled over the years. Barrett said a combined company of Rubicon Project and Telaria would “complete the pie.” It also allowed Rubicon Project to grow its video business.
According to Telaria’s most recent earnings, connected TV made up 50% of the business in terms of net revenue, while Rubicon’s was much smaller. (Zagorski says the combined company—which will have a new name sometime next year—expects on a pro forma basis to have a connected TV operation in the “mid- to high- teens as a percentage of business.”)
“Although we were doing well in video, we were nowhere in CTV,” Barrett tells Forbes. “Then you look at all the success that Mark and Telaria has had in a hot, strategic area.”
Finding connected TV opportunities is increasingly appealing to marketers looking to diversify their advertising budgets. And while Facebook and Google have been able to win the majority of new digital ad dollars spent on mobile and desktop platforms, programmatic TV advertising is still largely untapped. That’s led major networks, streaming platforms and cable companies to look for ways to collaborate on sharing and scaling data. For example, Viacom, NBC, Fox and Univision have joined a consortium called OpenAP, which lets them pool their data for audience-buying.
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The days of squinting at a YouTube video on your friend’s phone are almost over. You already know you can cast YouTube to your TV screen to play videos for a group, or use the YouTube TV app if you have a smart TV. It makes the YouTube experience so much better. But there are some more elusive features that can really help your YouTube viewing experience shine.
For example, did you know you can watch free movies on YouTube, and rent the latest releases? Not to mention, you can also cast these movies to the TV in your hotel room while you’re on vacation. So take advantage and check out these cool tricks you can do on a TV.
This fall, YouTube Originals will be available to watch free (with ads) for all users, according to YouTube. So if you don’t see anything you want to watch now, you can always check back in the fall.
Rent the latest releases
If there’s a new movie you’ve been dying to see, like Avengers: Endgame, you can rent (or buy) it on YouTube. If you rent movies on your phone or computer, you’ll also be able to watch them on your TV. You can either pull the movie up on the YouTube app or cast it from your phone (see more below). You can check out the new releases here.
Once the two devices are connected, you can activate the Google Home by saying, “Hey, Google” or “OK, Google.” A couple examples of commands you can give: “Hey, Google, play Spider-Man: Far from Home trailer on living-room TV,” or, “OK, Google, play pilates videos on TV.” You can also tell your Google Home to pause, resume, skip and stop videos on your TV.
Take YouTube on vacation
You don’t want to miss out on your favorite YouTube influencer’s new vlog while you’re on vacation, and what better way than to watch it on a big screen. Of course, you can always watch the video on your phone or laptop, but the TV view is so much better. All you need is a Chromecast ($55 at eBay) or AirPlay-compatible device to start streaming those vlogs while on the go.
The TV and your phone (or laptop, tablet) need to be connected to the same Wi-Fi in order for this to work. Once they’re paired, open the video you want to watch on the YouTube app, then tap on the Cast icon > select the device you want to cast to > tap Play. Voila! Your video is now playing on the TV.
Watch YouTube videos designed for the big screen
YouTube for TV (not to be confused with YouTube TV) has the following options:
Recommended: Shows recommendations based on what you’ve watched in the past.
Entertainment: Has movie trailers, clips from your favorite shows and videos from your favorite influencers.
Gaming: The latest and what’s trending in the gaming world.
Music: You can watch official music videos, live performances and music stations picked for you. Listen to the top of the charts albums and new releases.
Latest: See what’s trending today, your daily top picks and featured playlists.
Find purchases and content you saved on your phone
If you’ve bought something on YouTube or saved a video on your phone, it’s simple to find it on your TV. To find a video you saved, select Library from the homepage and scroll down to the Watch Later section. You can also access everything you’ve bought from the same screen, just scroll down until you see Purchases.
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Some of YouTube’s biggest stars have found themselves embroiled in controversy over videos that critics say allow them to profit off fans struggling with depression. Over the past year, mental health and burnout have become big topics in the YouTube community. Stars like Philip DeFranco and Shane Dawson have posted heartfelt videos about their struggles with depression, encouraging fans to get help with their own issues…….