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YouTube Changes Channels… Again

Jennifer Starr

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As we reported back in April, YouTube made significant updates to channels managed by pharmaceutical companies. The aim was to "help advertisers cultivate a community … who can be routinely engaged and moved by the power of video." On July 11th Pharma channels were migrated to the new design. Since our update in April, YouTube has released new information about the design that impacts pharma channels, particularly involving the ISI widget.

YouTube introduced the ISI widget to ensure compliance of pharma company-sponsored branded channels. It allows pharma companies to post up to 10,000 characters on the right-hand side of their channel in a box that can be set to auto-scroll. So, the user will see all of the text during their visit to the page. Or, the box can be set to manual scroll. So, the user can scroll through the text unaided. Channel administrators can do basic text formatting such as bold or underline, as well as add links. The addition of this widget has helped pharma companies launch branded channels even if they are managing black-box warning medications.

YouTube ISI
The ISI widget appears on the right-hand side of the channel home page

ISI Widget Cost for New Channels

Prior to March, the ISI widget was free on the channel home page but required a minimum YouTube media spend to have on individual video watch pages. In March, YouTube announced that the ISI widget functionality required a $100,000 minimum media spend per quarter. Since then, YouTube has reconsidered and reduced the minimum media spend to a flat $100,000 for new YouTube channels. With this media spend, the ISI widget will appear on the channel home page and individual video watch pages. Pharma advertisers who already manage a YouTube channel with the ISI widget will not have any further media spend requirements to retain the widget.

YouTube ISI
The ISI widget appears in the lower right-hand corner of the individual video watch page

Restricting Channel & Videos to U.S. Audiences

Another recent update of note for YouTube is the ability to restrict channel and video access to only U.S. visitors. YouTube can implement conditional redirects for any channel. This feature allows you to redirect users who are visiting your channel to another channel based on their language, location, age or gender. In addition, YouTube can work with their internal legal and policy teams to restrict pharma videos discussing a specific product (not just a disease state) to U.S. viewers only.

Pharmaceutical communicators and marketers that currently manage YouTube channels can stay current on YouTube trends by visiting the YouTube Resources for Pharma & OTC Advertisers page. To see other pharma and healthcare related channels implementing the new design, click here. You can also check out and subscribe to the Healthcare on YouTube Channel, which serves as an example channel for pharma advertisers. And feel free to contact Intouch Solutions for more tips, advice and support around your pharma YouTube channel.

For more recent articles and thoughts on YouTube, click here.

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