A number of posts ago I mentioned our YouTube branded channel and the functionality called “overlays.” I also expressed some frustration that in order to show an overlay on our videos we had to indicate that ads could appear on our branded channel. My feeling was that part of the reason behind branding a channel on YouTube was to have control over the appearance of other advertisements, and yet, I wanted to be able to display overlays. It seemed as if I couldn’t do one without authorizing the other.
I was able to get that issue addressed by an actual human being at Google, and here’s what I found out: Adsense ads appear on branded YouTube channels if one or more of the videos on that channel featured “claimed content.” Claimed content is YouTube’s classification of videos that may or may not feature copyright protected materials (images or music). YouTube uses a pretty impressive algorithm to identify potential copyright issues at the uploading stage, but it’s not perfect. So once I cleared up that misclassification for a few of our book videos, we were able to set up our YouTube branded channel to display our overlay (which now features our $500 promotion) and at the same time no longer display any other ads. The system — after some effort — works!