Do you watch doll crafts and toy reviews on YouTube? Then you ought to know about the changes coming to the popular video-sharing platform. Changes that will affect anyone whose content includes dolls and toys.
On September 4th, YouTube announced that channels featuring toys, games, themes, and/or kids’ characters will no longer be able to monetize their videos and may even get docked by YouTube’s search engine. This news rocked YouTube’s toy community, especially since many of them depend on their channel for income.
Now, I’m not an expert when it comes to the law, big corporations, and whatnot. I’m just telling you what I’ve heard from other doll and action figure collectors on YouTube. Also, these changes won’t take effect until January 1st, 2020, so there’s still time for negotiating. Even so, the future of toys on YouTube doesn’t look too bright.
What Is Happening With YouTube?
We are changing how we treat data for children’s content on YouTube. Starting in about four months, we will treat data from anyone watching children’s content on YouTube as coming from a child, regardless of the age of the user.
In a nutshell, YouTube got caught gathering information from kids under 13 and selling that info to advertisers, which is a violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (or COPPA). Because of this, the FTC fined Google and YouTube 170 million dollars.
While you and I will likely never see 170 million dollars in our entire lifetime, this is merely a slap on the wrist for a large corporation like Google. They probably didn’t even notice the money leave their bank account.
Nevertheless, YouTube can’t continue breaking the law, so they’re removing all advertising from kids’ channels to stop the tracking of minors. Unfortunately, they’ve decided to classify any channel showcasing dolls and toys a “kids’ channel.”
What Kind Of Changes Is YouTube Making?
According to YouTube’s Official Blog, channels targeting young audiences will:
- Be unable to run targeted ads on their videos.
- Have their channel’s comment section turned off.
- Have their Like and Dislike buttons disabled. No more giving that awesome doll review a thumbs up.
The article also says that subscribers to “kids’ channels” will not be notified when new videos are uploaded. If you want to watch your favorite doll YouTuber, you’ll have to type in the name of his or her channel.
We will also stop serving personalized ads on this content entirely, and some features will no longer be available on this type of content, like comments and notifications.
For a lot of creators, their doll-related channel is their full-time job. They unbox toys for a living. Talk about a fun career! And their salary comes from showing advertisements alongside their videos. See why not being able to play ads is such devasting news? No ads equal no money.
So, unless these creators shift the focus of their channel to something less “kid-friendly,” they’re out of a job come January.
But My Channel Is For Adult Toy Collectors?
In YouTube’s mind, if your channel features kids’ characters, themes, toys, or games, it’s “targeted for kids.”
In order to identify content made for kids, creators will be required to tell us when their content falls in this category, and we’ll also use machine learning to find videos that clearly target young audiences, for example those that have an emphasis on kids characters, themes, toys, or games.
So, even if you’re an adult doll collector whose audience is other adult doll collectors, your channel is considered a kids’ channel if it shows:
- Toys (Barbie, Ever After High, Shopkins, Marvel Legends, etc.).
- Games (Roblox, Minecraft, Fortnite, etc.).
- Themes (princesses, superheroes, 5-Minute DIYs, etc.)
- Or characters (Cinderella, Ariel, Elsa, Iron Man, etc.).
There are, however, a few exceptions to this “no toy” rule. Hot Toys, Integrity dolls, Pullips, and some Barbie Collector dolls look to be safe since, technically, they are collectible figures not intended for children.
What Will Happen To My Favorite Channels?
Those using YouTube only has a hosting service should be fine. Toy videos aren’t banned. You’re still free to share those fantastic doll-hunting clips. You just can’t run ads on them, and they won’t rank as high in YouTube’s search engine.
The people hit hardest by these new regulations will be those who make a living through toy unboxings, reviews, and Barbie doll crafts.
My Froggy Stuff recently announced they are making minor changes to their channel. It will still be called My Froggy Stuff but the nicknames “Froggy” and “Little Froggy” are no more. They will use their real names from now on. It also looks like Unbox Daily vids and the Darbie Shows are over (at least on YouTube).
On the upside, though, they are posting more miniature crafts (now called 1:6 scale crafts) and introducing adult collector dolls to their miniverse. In fact, one of their recent craft videos is inspired by Hot Toys Gamora. Crafting plus Hot Toys? Count me in!
Ultimately, the answer to what will happen to our favorite YouTubers boils down to whether or not the creator needs to monetize their channel. Those relying on revenue from ads will have to adjust their content to comply with YouTube’s updated policy, meaning fewer toys and more somethings else.
- YouTube Live with Toya And Bella | Q&A The Future Of My Froggy Stuff.
- FTC and COPPA Enforcement on YouTube (by Mommy’s World).
The video by Mommy’s World is a little long but well worth watching as she does an excellent job breaking down the boring details for simple minds like mine.
What Does This Mean For Pixie Dust Dolls?
Frankly, I’m not overly attached to YouTube. I haven’t even updated my channel’s name from Tinker Bell’s Treasure to Pixie Dust Dolls.
So, we’re officially shutting down our YouTube channel.
But, never fear, this doesn’t mean I won’t continue making videos. I love posting videos! I just don’t like YouTube and was planning to move away from the platform anyway. These changes just sped things up.
Starting this week, I will be experimenting with IGTV and posting at least one new video there. As for our old videos, they’re going to stay right here embedded in our site for your viewing convenience!
I’ll be switching video hosts over the next couple of weeks, so don’t be shocked when our YouTube channel blips into nonexistence, and do be on the lookout for us in other places, namely IGTV.
Now it’s your turn!
What do you think about YouTube’s changes? Which toy or doll content will you miss most? Reviews, custom dolls, or something else? I can’t wait to hear what you have to say!