To Brand or not to Brand? Let’s YouTube that question.

YouTube Brand Accounts are back! If you’re a Google Workspace for Education Admin, you may not know where to begin, but Amplified IT is here to help you understand what they are, introduce the new features, and guide you in implementing best practices should you decide to jump into the brand channel pool.

YouTube brand accounts

YouTube Brand Accounts provide more than one person access to manage content and comments for a YouTube channel. In the past, schools would enable Brand Accounts to permit multiple individuals within the organization to administer the Youtube channels for cases like a community relations department communicating to parents/guardians and the surrounding community.

In Summer of 2019, Google announced the suspension of YouTube’s Brand Accounts for primary/secondary education domains and that all accounts with an associated brand account attached to it would need to have their data migrated out if it wanted to be retained. Google gave admins a way to “delay” data deletion until July 15, 2020, but when the COVID-19 pandemic hit there were more pressing challenges for schools to solve and, on June 23rd, 2020, Google further delayed the deletion, later deciding to bring Youtube Brand Accounts back.

Brand new features

Many Google Admins had abandoned Youtube brand accounts until it recently appeared in the Admin console as a new Google Additional Service. Google has given schools the ability to control who can create and use brand accounts. Because Brand Accounts have been added as a service that can be enabled or disabled by Organizational Unit (OU) or Access Group.

Navigation: Apps > Additional Google Services > Brand Accounts

Enable Brand Accounts

First, Google Admins should begin by double-checking that the Brand Accounts additional service is off at the Root level. Then they can explicitly enable the service just for those that need it and are able to utilize it. 

Note: Users must be 18 or older to use the service.

Second, if there are use cases for Brand Accounts in your organization, determine what users should have Brand Accounts enabled. Also, identify if there are any users who still have a brand account associated with their account and still want their data from 2019. 

Note: The names of those users should have been submitted to Google by the Google Admin back in 2019 during the delay in data deletion. To gain access to the names of users who had Brand Accounts, search for has:attachment AND subject:(“Important information about brand accounts”) in Google Vault and you’ll get Google’s email with a list of users who had Brand Accounts.

It’s important to enable Brand Accounts for those users who want their data saved. If this action is not taken, users’ access to Brand Accounts will be suspended and their accounts will be removed after July 19, 2021. 

Note: Individual users will get notified if this happens.

Third, properly enable the Brand Account service. Amplified IT recommends utilizing an Access Group. An access group ensures that only the identified users can use the service, instead of turning it on for an entire OU.

Brand Accounts usage

Google Admins may be questioning, “Will other schools be using Brand Accounts?” During the Collaborative Spring Meetups, members from Alberta, California, Illinois, Minnesota, Ontario, Texas, and Virginia were asked to share their answers. It was a close race between “heck no!” and “maybe.”

For more information about YouTube Brand Accounts and to get Google Workspace for Education updates before they are released to the public, become a member of Amplified IT’s Google Technical Collaborative. Sign up to attend a sample session to experience Google Admin’s coming together to enable their administrations, teachers, and students to get the most out of Google Cloud. 

  • Melissa Benson
    Google for Education Technical Collaborative Lead

  • About the Author:

    Melissa has been a Google Workspace for Education Consultant for Amplified IT since 2015. She began working with the Google for Education (GFE) Admin console in 2008 where she helped implement and integrate Google Workspace and Chromebooks into multiple K-12 school districts. Now, as part of the Amplified IT Team, she continues to help schools set up and manage Google Workspace environments with educational best practices with an emphasis on facilitating the North American Google Technical Collaborative.