Video-sharing platforms like YouTube contain a significant amount of user-generated content. The younger audiences of these platforms have shown to be more prone to harmful content than when they are watching film or television. This has multiple reasons and one of them is, because user-generated content is under-regulated. In order to better protect these younger audiences, the Dutch regulatory organ, NICAM (the Dutch Institute for the Classification of Audiovisual Media), has created an age recommendation system called YouRateIt. With this age recommendation system, uploaders and audiences of user-generated content can fill in a questionnaire which will result in an age recommendation for audiences. This system has been tested, but not with real content creators on YouTube, the largest online platform which provides user-generated content. This research answered the question who YouTube content creators would feel about an online content rating system to inform audiences below seventeen years old about possible harmful content. Data has been gathered with ten semi-structured in-depth interviews with Dutch YouTube content creators. The transcripts of these ten interviews have been thematically coded which has resulted in three main themes: professionalization, monetization and responsibility. The thematic analysis of the data has revealed that content creators can’t be defined as professional or amateur but that there are new ways of working, with new needed skills adapted to be successful on YouTube as an a new industry. Almost all content creators their content has been monetized and most content creators reckon with these financial advantages in their creation process. All content creators mentioned that parents are responsible in the end, but wouldn’t mind participating in a system which would make it easier for parents and children to navigate online. They are more positive about the helpfulness for parents than for the children themselves. Nevertheless, they do want to be professional and transparent and thus they wouldn’t mind participating in an age recommendation system like YouRateIt if it doesn’t cost too much effort. However, they are still very critical about the financial influences, since they rely heavily on YouTube and their advertisers for their income. Multiple participants indicated that they would show reluctance when their revenues would be lower because of an age recommendation system.

, , , , , , , ,
M. Wayne
Media, Culture & Society
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

J. van Laere. (2019, July 15). Industry Perspectives on YouRateIt. Media, Culture & Society. Retrieved from