Dr Pimple Popper lost a lucrative revenue stream when YouTube videos became ‘too graphic’ for advertisers
Dr. Sandra Lee, aka Dr. Pimple Popper, briefly made hundreds of thousands of dollars a month on YouTube.
It ended because many advertisers didn’t want to appear next to “graphical” content, she told Insider.
Lee was upset that her “educational” videos were punished by a “subjective” process.
The founder of a button YouTube channel said she lost a revenue stream worth nearly six figures a month when her content became “too graphic” to make money.
Dr. Sandra Lee, also known as Dr. Pimple Popper, told Insider that her YouTube channel, which has 7.5 million subscribers and nearly 5 billion views, is struggling to generate revenue. important in advertising.
After earning almost $100,000 a month from YouTube views between 2014 and 2016, the site then told her that her content wasn’t profitable. However, YouTube told Insider that it has not demonetized its content and that its videos may show ads.
YouTubers like Lee make money from advertising on their videos, subscriptions, and a portion of premium subscriber revenue.
This became a major source of income for Lee when his “popaholic” viewers started watching his billions of videos. According to Influencer Marketing Hub estimates that 1,000 views generate between $3 and $5, Lee could have earned between $15 and $25 million from those views.
However, YouTube discourages users from posting “graphic or violent content” on its channels and warns that it will be removed. This included “images or footage showing bodily fluids, such as blood or vomit, with the intent to shock or disgust viewers”.
This is usually meant to target harmful content and deter violence or trauma, but it seems Lee’s flashy videos have also fallen into this category. A chart seen by Insider details a sharp drop in revenue in 2016, when his team said YouTube told him videos couldn’t be monetized like more traditional content.
But Lee, who said he received warnings on his account from YouTube for his posts, argued that his videos were only ever intended to be educational.
“I’m really proud of the fact that kids now know what a lipoma is or that they know you can’t just squeeze a cyst – you have to remove the sac entirely to get it removed,” she said. declared.
“We teach people about psoriasis or hidradenitis, but if you’re not motivated to push that content, how are people going to learn?”
Fighting medical misinformation
Lee feels like she’s helping fight medical misinformation by acting as a verified source on dermatology, and was appalled by YouTube’s actions.
“They changed the rules all of a sudden,” Lee said, noting that advertisers didn’t want to be associated with a string of blackheads.
“They [social media platforms] grow up because of all these new posters, but then they wait until they get big enough that they can kind of suppress it and impose restrictions.”
Lee has since created a members-only section, where viewers have access to exclusive pops, while she also earns income from her clinic, a show on cable channel TLC and her skincare brand. .
But she noted that TikTok, where she has more than 15 million subscribers, is also starting to crack down on content like Lee’s. Some of his TikTok videos now come with a content warning.
“There’s a fine line between what’s dangerous, what’s just shocking, and what’s educational,” Lee said.
In a statement, a YouTube spokesperson said, “These videos have never been demonetized and are currently eligible to serve ads. Some content is not suitable for all advertisers and we provide controls for advertisers to opt out. display sensitive content, including videos that some viewers may find graphic.
“Ads will always be served by advertisers who have opted in to this content. These policies are clear in our advertiser-friendly content guidelines and we apply them consistently, regardless of channel or creator. We also offer creators a variety of ways to monetize their content outside of advertising, including channel subscriptions, Super Chat and merchandise.”
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