The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications is working with YouTube to restore advertisements for domestic viewers and ensure that content creators based in the Kingdom meet the video platform's ever-evolving standards.
US-based tech giant Google Inc's online video service recently removed advertisements in more than 90 countries – including Cambodia – as it revised its advertising policies, seeking to improve the platform's content and oblige content producers to meet its “YouTube Partner Program” requirements to earn advertising revenue, the ministry said in a May 17 statement.
It said advertisements will continue to be offered through the programme in the countries where it is available.
Cambodia is currently not on the YouTube Partner Program availability list.
The ministry added: "According to a preliminary review by a YouTube representative, the Cambodian market is well-qualified to join the ‘YouTube Partner Program', but it'll take time to prepare the decision and collaborate with content producers to ensure that they comply with the terms and conditions set by YouTube.”
Ministry undersecretary of state Liv Sophannarith told The Post that the ministry had assigned a working group to directly engage with YouTube representatives.
The ministry is pushing hard to ensure that YouTube's requirements are met, he said. "We're trying to speed up meeting the conditions so that we can provide a response to our content producers in Cambodia."
YouTube will soon bring Cambodia's case into internal discussions, he said, voicing hopes that the Kingdom would be re-approved for advertising.
"Cambodians produce a lot of good content nowadays, which is a plus, and they'll get support from YouTube. We just have a number of conditions that Cambodia can easily fulfil, so that the company can approve us for advertising again.
"I would like to emphasise that whether we gain access to the YouTube Partner Program or not is important for individuals who produce quality, professional content and respect others' intellectual property rights, and don't plagiarise.
“It's important that content producers comply with YouTube requirements," Sophannarith said.
Srieng Angkiaroth, social media manager of international development charity BBC Media Action, noted that the suspension comes in response to criticism of some YouTube and TikTok content from Cambodia for a general lack of orderly structure and professional ethics.
“YouTube monetisation through advertising has been deactivated, and the use of TikTok in Cambodia is not as widespread as in other countries," he said.
Nget Moses, an independent consultant on technology security, said original content creators are concerned that YouTube's decision could affect what could be their main source of revenue, from video monetisation to sponsorship from local companies or other deals.
He stressed that YouTube's move would discourage people from creating original content, or uploading it to the video platform.
The ministry's statement said that while the noticeable absence of advertisements interrupting YouTube's domestic users' viewing pleasure may have offered a moment of delight, content producers can no longer make money.
"The ministry encourages the production of good content – in accordance with the principles of intellectual property, quality, creativity and professionalism – to provide benefits and nuggets of wisdom to the public.
“At the same time, the ministry will continue to discuss with YouTube to resolve this issue as soon as possible,” it said.