< Go back to blogUnderstanding Canada’s Bill C-11 and Its Potential Impact on YouTube Creators and Viewers

Understanding Canada’s Bill C-11 and Its Potential Impact on YouTube Creators and Viewers

Published: April 22, 2022

Welcome back to the Brandon Gonez Show! I’m Brandon, and in this episode, we’re diving into a critical discussion about the Online Streaming Act, referred to as Bill C-11. This legislation has far-reaching implications for content creators and viewers across Canada, something we need to unpack together.

The Potential Reach of Bill C-11 on YouTube

With Bill C-11 in the wings, we see a potential shift in how YouTube curates content on its homepage and in the ‘watch next’ recommendations. The introduction of a regulatory body could usher in mandated promotion of selected channels and videos, which may alter the landscape of content visibility and monetization. These changes could ripple out, affecting how Canadian content is seen by audiences worldwide, and, as a result, influence viewer numbers and content creator earnings.

The passing of the bill could signal a departure from the recommendation norms we’re accustomed to on YouTube, potentially reshaping the Canadian online viewer and creator experience significantly.

Insights from a YouTube Recommendations Expert

In search of clearer insights into what Bill C-11 might herald for YouTube recommendations, we look to Todd Beaupré, a Director of Product Management at YouTube who leads the team responsible for users’ home feed video recommendations.

A Peek Into the Current Recommendation Algorithm

YouTube’s existing recommendation system works to tailor video suggestions that resonate with your watching habits, much like a librarian who recommends books based on your reading preferences.

The Possible Impact of Bill C-11 on Video Recommendations

Bill C-11 puts a spotlight on some worries about whether recommendations for Canadian viewers will start to prioritarily push Canadian content, essentially tweaking the algorithm. Today, the focus is on promoting Canadian creators not only at home but also across the globe, harnessing the power of preference-driven recommendations. Canadian talent is therefore showcased to a variety of audiences internationally.

Yet, if we start funneling viewers towards content based solely on where it’s made, we risk creating a discord between what users want to see and what they’re being suggested. This disjoint can lead to decreased user engagement, lower click-through rates, and potentially more negative feedback. Such outcomes don’t just affect Canadian viewership but could spread internationally, influencing how content is promoted and received in a far broader context.

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