YouTube’s new policy to protect kids is going live now

YouTube have launched the changes to their platform that they announced last year to protect children’s privacy online.

Towards the end of last year YouTube announced a change to policy across their entire platform. In increased efforts to protect children’s privacy online when accessing YouTube they required every YouTube to mark itself as ‘Made For Kids’ or ‘Not Made For Kids’, among other changes.

These changes have begun rolling out globally now. Here’s what creators need to know and what to expect from the changes:

What is made for kids content?

According to the FTC, a video is made for kids if it is intended for kids, taking into consideration a variety of factors. These factors include the subject matter of the video, whether the video has an emphasis on kids characters, themes, toys or games, and more.

To help us identify made for kids content, in November we introduced a new audience setting in YouTube Studio to help creators indicate whether or not their content is made for kids. Creators know their content best, and should set the designation themselves. We also use machine learning to help us identify this content, and creators can update a designation made by our systems if they believe it is incorrect. We will only override a creator designation if abuse or error is detected.

An updated experience for made for kids content

YouTube now treats personal information from anyone watching children’s content on the platform as coming from a child, regardless of the age of the user. This means that on videos made for kids, we limit data collection and use, and as a result, we need to restrict or disable some product features. For example, we no longer serve personalized ads on this content or support features such as comments, live chat, notification bell, stories, save to playlist, and others.

Many creators around the world have created quality kids content for their audiences, and these changes will have significant impact. We’re committed to helping creators navigate this new landscape and to supporting our ecosystem of family content. We’ll share more in the coming months. In the meantime, we continue to engage on this issue. For example, we participated in the FTC’s public workshop and submitted our comment on COPPA, where we discussed the importance of clear guidelines that help creators live up to their legal obligations and support access to quality kids content.

Continued investment in YouTube Kids

We still recommend parents use YouTube Kids if they plan to allow kids under 13 to watch independently. In fact, tens of millions of people use YouTube Kids every week, and recently we saw an all-time high of weekly viewers since the app’s launch. Starting today, you will see a YouTube Kids promotion across all made for kids content. We also continue to improve the product. For example, we recently launched signed-in support for YouTube Kids on the web and connected devices — such as smart TVs — so parents can now access and control their child’s YouTube Kids experience across even more surfaces.

Responsibility is our number one priority at YouTube, and this includes protecting kids and their privacy. We’ve been significantly investing in the policiesproducts and practices to help us do this. Today’s changes allow us to do this even better and we’ll continue working to provide children, families and family creators the best experience possible on YouTube.

TikTok’s Chinese version Douyin has over 400m daily users

TikTok has become massive all over the globe and in China it’s sister app is growing like nothing else with nearly half a million active users daily.

TikTok is everywhere. It’s creating viral hits out of songs, birthing new memes across the globe, bringing people together to dance and bringing them together to laugh. The app has been downloaded more than 1.5 billion times around the world in just 2 years.

The social media phenomenon has it’s origins in China where parent company ByteDance’s sister app Douyin is spreading throughout the country. They have revealed that Douyin now has 400 million active daily users creating and watching videos on the app.

At the start of 2019 Douyin had 250 million users coming to the app every day to view the latest trending videos. Interestingly, ByteDance claim in their report (translated version here) that Douyin has become China’s largest knowledge/culture/art/non-promo platform.

Whilst Douyin and TikTok are in essence the same app, ByteDance’s report shows that the trends on the Chinese app are quite different to the most popular types of video on TikTok’s ‘beyond-China’ app.

Notation Capital investor, Katherine Wu wrote on the cultural differences between the apps saying: “Knowledge-based content is extremely popular in China and less so in the US. Also- this was wild to me: those creators that did the most dance-based videos in China are users born in the 60s (!!), whereas in the US, it seems that it’s mostly teenagers (Gen Zs) who are creating those types of content.”

She went on to note how these differences highlight the fact that social apps, even when it’s based around short video content, don’t just target young demographics. With smartphone usage so high around the world, when an app gets massive it permeates through most rungs of society now.


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Facebook are looking to license music videos, encroaching on YouTube reports say

Facebook might look to add music videos to their social media platform, making them a much bigger threat to other video sites.

Facebook video has been a threat to YouTube since it launched however the two have managed to maintain their own video platforms individually, for the most part, until now. But could music be the turning point?

Facebook videos mostly feature skits, memes, news and TV clips. Whilst the platform is open to a wide range of videos, being built in to a social media site has defined the content that is most widely viewed. Because of this it hasn’t been much of a visible threat to YouTube and their wide range of content.

According to reports, Facebook are now in talks with the major music labels for licensing deals. Their existing deals cover the licenses for background music used in users videos. However, according to Bloomberg, Facebook are now testing the distribution of official music videos.

With Facebook’s massive user-base (almost 1/4 of the world population) it could be major for artists. Music streaming whilst browsing Facebook could mark an even bigger uptake to the already massive music streaming industry.

However, this would represent Facebook rearing it’s head fully towards YouTube. YouTube is the internet’s primary hub for music videos and has a giant audience for music listening. They faced potential losses when Vevo launched their own service but that quickly became no threat.

In the case of Facebook though, they have a massive digital audience and if their video platform expands it could lead to conversions away from YouTube. It could especially be threatening to their hold on internet music videos if it expanded to Facebook owned Instagram as well.

EVERY YouTube video must be categorised before 2020 or face penalties

YouTube have updated their policies meaning that every video needs to designate whether it is made for children or face potential consequences.

Every video on YouTube must mark it’s content as ‘Made For Kids’ or ‘Not Made For Kids’ by January 1st, 2020. Creators who don’t designate their videos before the deadline face the potential to lose out on views and access to their videos.

The policy brings YouTube in-line with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). YouTube and parent company Google were recently sued based on the act, for using information on children to present them with personalised advertising. Whilst it is only a US law, the changes to YouTube’s policy will be made globally.

There is also the potential to lose out on features on each video, such as comments which won’t be available. Likes/dislikes and subscription numbers will also be hidden on ‘Made For Kids’ content to ensure minimum engagement from children on the platform.
Content that is marked as ‘Made For Kids’ will not serve personalised adverts on 123movies. It is part of YouTube’s emphasis on making their open platform a safe and responsible place for children who can be at risk to exposure online.
Content marked as ‘Made For Kids’ must specifically be for a young audience, not simply open for children to watch.

When deciding whether content is ‘Made For Kids’, creators must consider:

  • Subject matter of the video (e.g. educational content for preschoolers).
  • Whether children are your intended or actual audience for the video.
  • Whether the video includes child actors or models.
  • Whether the video includes characters, celebrities, or toys that appeal to children, including animated characters or cartoon figures.
  • Whether the language of the video is intended for children to understand.
  • Whether the video includes activities that appeal to children, such as play-acting, simple songs or games, or early education.
  • Whether the video includes songs, stories, or poems for children.
  • Any other information you may have to help determine your video’s audience, like empirical evidence of the video’s audience.

YouTube will use machine learning to help them identify what content is Made For Kids, scanning for videos with “an emphasis on”:

  • Children or children’s characters.
  • Popular children’s programming or animated characters.
  • Play-acting, or stories using children’s toys.
  • Child protagonists engaging in common natural play patterns such as play-acting and/or imaginative play. 
  • Popular children’s songs, stories or poems.

YouTube have given creators 4 months to make the changes to their videos in the newly launched YouTube Studio. However, a lot of older videos and channels will be affected by the changes as well as creators who may have missed the memo – even if YouTube have tried to make it clear.

Creators and parents must now consider:

  • Understand COPPA and your legal responsibilities as a creator. You can learn more about COPPA here. You need to consider your applicable legal obligations when evaluating whether your content may be made for kids, including how the age of a child is defined in your country. Consult legal counsel if you have additional questions.
  • Understand our Terms of Service and your responsibilities as a general YouTube user. YouTube is a general-audience site; our Terms of Service are clear that users may use the service if they are above 13 or the relevant minimum age in their country. We recommend parents use YouTube Kids if they plan to allow kids to watch independently.
  • Learn about other ways to monetize. We’ll continue to serve non personalized ads (ads that are shown based on context rather than on user data). This Help Center article outlines some types of non personalized ads under “Content targeting”. 
  • If you’re a parent, make sure you’re aware of YouTube Kids and its benefits.

Find out more about COPPA and YouTube here.

YouTube creators in India are becoming massive

Over 1,200 creators in India have over 1 million subscribers as the video giant hits hundreds of millions of viewers across the country.

India has been a big up-and-comer in recent years for tech services. YouTube is seeing major success in the country where they had more than 256 million users coming to watch videos on their site all the way back in April.

YouTube launched their music service in India this year to a roaring success. In less than 2 months they had 15 million downloads of the YouTube Music app in India. India also represents the fastest growth for YouTube viewers in the world.

Their latest announcements show that the country’s creators are gaining major popularity as well. The music and film company T-Series is the country’s biggest channel with a whopping 121 million subscribers, making them the most subscribed channel in the world. They fought long-standing top dog PewDiePie for that position last year.

YouTube India’s Director of Content Partnerships, Satya Raghavan said: “Continuing the trend of the last two years, in 2019 also YouTube has seen a massive growth in India. There is an entire creator ecosystem in place now. We have a channel like T-Series, which has crossed the 100 million mark and SET (Sony Entertainment Television) India, which is over 50 million.

“There are many channels now with over 10 million subscribers and over 1,200 Indian channels, which now have over 1 million subscribers.” YouTube are now offering seven different forms of revenue streams for creators in India, including typical ads, subscriptions, superchat, and more.

Raghavan added: “We have always believed that consumers love to watch content in their own language. As millions and millions of people started coming on YouTube, they had different needs and preferences. The increasing demand resulted in more and more creators creating content in regional languages. YouTube has now become a part of life for many users.

“We will continue to focus on growing the entire creator ecosystem.”

A Netflix series about Spotify is on the way

Netflix have just ordered a brand new series that will explore the rise of the service that has helped to transform the music industry in the last decade.

In just over 10 years Spotify have launched themselves into the position of one of the biggest names in music. Their service is used by over 250 million people around the world, giving them access to a wealth of music from all over the world and throughout history at their fingertips.

Netflix have now given the green light for a new series that follows the story of the Swedish music streaming service. The scripted series will follow the story of Spotify Untold, a book by investigative tech journalists Sven Carlsson and Jonas Leijonhufvud. Their book used extensive interviews to tell the story of Spotify’s rise with Daniel Ek at the helm.

The service, along with other internet music companies, has been influential to no end in transforming the music industry. With the internet came incredible access to music, but piracy began destroying the music industry. Spotify provided an affordable solution that kept the world of music out there available to listeners, whilst ensuring artist’s still got paid.

The series will follow how they carved their own space in the industry, fought opposition from the likes of Apple, and spread across the globe. It will be executive produced by Berna Levin of Young Wallander fame, and Per-Olav Sorensen will direct.

Levin said of the upcoming production: “It’s the story of how a small band of Swedish tech industry insiders transformed music – how we listen to it and how it’s made – it is truly a tale for our time. Not only is this a story about the way all our lives have changed in the last decade, it’s about the battle for cultural and financial influence in a globalised, digitised world.”

TikTok has been downloaded 1.5 billion times in 2 years

TikTok has taken the world by storm and in just than two years has been downloaded by almost a quarter of the entire world.

TikTok has spread around the world with billions of people making short viral videos. The app launched in 2017 and has been downloaded 1.5 billion times since as it spreads across the whole world as the biggest social media craze right now.

Last year TikTok was the 4th most downloaded non-gaming app in the world. They look to surpass that with even more downloads this year as billions of people use the app to watch videos by creators all over the world. They passed 1 billion downloads in February this year and have added 500 million in just 9 months since.

TikTok is all about short videos for everything from dances, lip syncing, skits and so much more. There is a heavy music focus on the app with millions of tracks to choose from to add to videos.

At RouteNote we’ve partnered with TikTok so that anyone can get their music on TikTok for free to be heard by millions around the world in videos.

It’s free and simple to sign up today at www.routenote.com and make your music available for viral videos on TikTok, earning money each time every time it’s used.

YouTube Music have launched a brand new studio in the The BRIT School

YouTube’s partnership with The BRIT Awards has led to a great new investment from the video giant in young and aspiring creatives.

YouTube Music have funded a brand new, state-of-the-art video production facility at The BRIT School. The YouTube Music Studio is now open as a major resource for young artists, producers, and filmmakers who can create, produce and share their video work with some of the latest technology.

The London Studio is kitted out with high tech Blackmagic Studio gear with 4k compatible URSA Studio Cameras and fibre-optic cabling. All of the cameras feature slip-on/slip-off auto-cue capabilities connected to a fully integrated computer system located in the upstairs gallery. The lighting grid includes the latest in LED technology with fully DMX controlled soft lighting coupling up with traditional Arri Pups and a spotlight for pin-pointing the talent.

Upstairs in the gallery there are five stations along the front desk, which includes a Lighting Operator, Vision Mixer, Director, Camera Technician and Sound Technician. These systems work through the Blackmagic systems which means it is fully integrated with the Studio Space. The Gallery is also home to two MacMini’s one for teaching capabilities and one dedicated to streaming.

YouTube’s head for Europe, Middle East, and Africa, Cécile Frot-Coutaz said: “At YouTube, we believe in the importance of the world hearing from diverse voices and are committed to helping young artists get started and thrive on the platform. We are delighted to continue our partnership with The BRIT School as part of our broader programme to support the next generation of British talent.”

The studio has been launched as part of YouTube’s partnership with The BRIT Awards. YouTube were the Official Digital Music Partner at The BRITs 2019 and they live-streamed the show around the world for anyone to tap into and watch.

The BRIT School’s Principal, Stuart Worden said: “The BRIT School is a centre for creative content and we are delighted to now have a top facility for all the artists to access and to collaborate across art forms.”

Apple TV+, Apple Music, and Apple News may all come bundled together

With Apple’s version of Netflix finally released into the world rumours are swirling as to just how far Apple will go to own every entertainment sector in the world.

Apple’s long quest for world domination continues as they launch themselves into another corner of entertainment after it has been built and established by other companies. Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, and all the digital TV and film streamers had better watch out because big Apple’s about.

Apple launched Apple TV Plus at the start of this month, offering exclusive and original programming and films that they’ve funded themselves. As Apple Music did with music streaming in 2015, Apple have launched themselves into a new media that has already been established by others meaning a lot of existing competition.

But Apple have a tactic to ensure they aren’t swept behind despite existing competition with loyal user bases. Apple have the money behind them to play the long game. With the massive assurance of their company and brand, Apple’s services are able to take risks that independent companies wouldn’t be able to (Amazon, you’re not included in that list either).

A new report out of Bloomberg suggests that Apple are considering a bundle subscription for both Apple Music and Apple TV Plus, as well as their News Plus subscription. The new bundle could arrive as early as next year and offer one discounted price for the 3 services together.

Apple haven’t officially announced a bundle or confirmed rumours but it wouldn’t be a surprise. A subscription to all 3 services will cost $25 a month all in all. It wouldn’t be a shock if Apple dropped the price slightly for a bundle of all 3.

Their video game subscription service, Apple Arcade which launched in September, is notably excluded from the supposed bundle.