Where Have the YouTube Watermarks Gone?


You know how YouTube has its little logo overlaid in white in the bottom right corner of all its videos? Well, it seems to have gone missing. On both videos on and off the site, the files are playing free of any YouTube branding on top of the videos themselves. Meanwhile, the company logo has moved down into the frame of the player where the “menu” option used to be within embedded players.

I swear I asked YouTube’s Jim Patterson about this yesterday when I had him on the line to talk about the site’s new APIs. Would partners be dissuaded by the YouTube logo overlaid on top of all their videos, I wondered? He said the visible watermark was sticking around. Or at least that’s what my notes say. But now it seems to have disappeared.

The lack of a watermark would be a huge push towards YouTube being a white-label platform (literally) — especially now that the site’s APIs support “chromeless” players the are branded by the external sites where they live.

Screenshots below the jump.

Here’s a video from the site:


And here’s one embedded somewhere else:


We did find one live player that still has the watermark, on a sponsored video on the front page:


And for contrast, here’s a screenshot of a video embedded offsite, with watermark intact, that we took yesterday afternoon:


Update: a YouTube spokesperson emails, “From time to time we experiment with different design styles to gauge
our community’s response.”

Update 2: The watermarks returned sometime over the weekend.



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David Berrebi

Watermarks seem to be back :(
BTW, anyone knows whether a video viewed within a player built on top of youtube player APIS is clickable towards youtube site?


I noticed this too and was really excited, only now the watermark is back. Too bad. It looked really good without the mark, especially on the new high quality vids.

Liz Gannes

Frank I agree with you on the coincidence of the ad and the watermark — it was getting a little crowded.

Frank Sinton

My bet is that this was a move to make the bottom 1/5 overlay ads more attractive. They still have the small button branding on the flash player, which is what Dailymotion and others who have been doing for a while.

andy plesser

liz, awesome reporting — looks like you have a big one here! i wonder if it’s a real change or just a “blip” in the system???? If they really lost the watermark, it will make the platform much more attractive. Next, they need to improve the quality of the embedded files.

keep up this eagle eyed work!


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