YouTube to ban masthead ads from major vertices on home page

Google-owned YouTube has introduced a ban on ads from a number of vertices on its home page.

The video platform, which has 2 billion monthly active users and is the second most-visited website on the internet, will stop accepting ads that feature gambling-related content, alcohol, prescription drugs, and endorsements for political candidates on its masthead.

The latter is of particular note as it comes after the Trump presidential re-election campaign bought 24-hour ad takeovers of YouTube’s masthead 20 times in 2020 at US$2 million per day.

Full day masthead ads had already been stopped by YouTube, with the company now selling the ad inventory on a per-impression basis.

In a statement, a YouTube spokesperson said: “We believe this update will build on changes we made last year to the masthead reservation process and will lead to a better experience for users.”

Advertisements on YouTube generate a significant amount of revenue for Google parent company Alphabet. Ad sales on YouTube peaked in Q4 2020 at US$7 billion, while they dropped to US$6 billion in Q1 2021.

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