According to an analyst, the angst of advertisers and vigilant European media might squeeze some of YouTube’s ad sales in the coming months.
Pivotal Research Group’s Brian Wieser said that the concerns of brand safety on the media platform YouTube, where some ads were running beside videos inspired by terrorists, could have a wrong effect on the revenue of the site.
On Monday, Mr. Wieser wrote in his investor note that Google might be under serious trouble in the UK with issues of brand safety, which might have repercussions globally. Although advertisers who are planning to suspend their advertisement on YouTube and other Google services is very small, there is a possibility that the growing awareness of this incident might slow down the growth of the company this year as compared to the previous expectations.
A lot of top brands including Havas said last week that they would not spend on YouTube ads anymore in the UK until YouTube assures that their ads wouldn’t run near content that is offensive.
Google responded to this by saying that they would take steps to monitor the site content and also give the advertisers more control of where the ads appear.
The brand safety issue has now become the top concern of the industry, especially after last year’s election when a lot of websites came live spreading fake news.
Both Google and Facebook investigated how their ad networks supported such sites and advertisers also started applying more and more scrutiny to where the ads showed up.
Financial Times found last week that ads from the Government of UK and others were running videos on YouTube by David Duke, US White Nationalist and a terror advocate of Egypt.
Because of this, advertisers became more concerned about when and where their ads appear on the web.
According to Wieser, the focus of YouTube in Europe was hard for Google as the traditional media would be relentless in their reporting on this.
It is tough for such a platform to remove everything any person could find offensive on this platform. Even the biggest star on YouTube, Felix Kjellberg (PewDiePie) received a lot of backlash after joking about Semitism.
YouTube is also launching a brand new cable bundle on TV where they are thinking of finding a more controlled digital video experience.
YouTube is also giving more and more power to its users to report the content that they might find offensive.
However, the line between censorship and freedom of speech is really blurry and hard to distinguish.
Wieser also wrote that according to him Google will probably need to make up more goals that are more close to a zero tolerance policy to remove concerns before the company can recover fully.