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UK News

Smaller churches restricted by YouTube over online service times

by Marcus Jones

It's emerged that Youtube is preventing smaller churches from hosting their online services at their requested time.

Known as a 'premiere', where an event is streamed at a set time, subscribers can watch live and interact with others.

However due to the large increase in live events since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, YouTube is moving the times for some users with less than 100 subscribers.

It means church services which are advertised to begin at 10am or 11am are then often moved, leaving members of the congregation confused.

The issue was raised by Pastor Stuart Chaplin of Bushy Hill Park Community Church who wrote on Twitter: "It's pretty poor show from YouTube to make a big change that affects a large number of users, and not inform them that it's going to happen.

"I only found out why because I went hunting for a notification that was buried in the noticeboards three weeks after the problem began."

In a note to users, Youtube said: "We have been experiencing an increase in premieres on YouTube during COVID-19.

"With a large number of videos all trying to premiere at the same time, some channels may be limited to posting at different 15 minute intervals (ex. You may see you can only post at 1:30 or 2:00 vs. 1:15 or 1:45).

"We're continuing to evaluate this and will keep you updated here on this thread when we return to regular posting intervals in the future."

It's understood those with over 100 subscribers are unaffected by the change meaning it shouldn't be an issue for larger churches.

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