Yesterday I found out you can’t disable YouTube’s “related videos” anymore.

Here’s what to do about it…

Recently I was showing a customer how to turn off “related videos” for YouTube embeds.

Only… it wasn’t working.

“That’s strange,” I said.  “It looks like YouTube has changes the way their iframes work.  I’ll have to do a little research and find out how to fix it”.

There wasn’t much written on the topic.  I was hard pressed to find anything until I came across a forum thread titled: “YouTube embed showinfo has been deprecated”.

The thread explained that as of Sept 25, 2018 disabling related video has been depreciated.

Furthermore, the ability to hide titles and channel information has also been discontinued, which makes using YouTube for background videos pretty much a non-starter.

Why You Can’t Turn Off Related Videos

According to their official statement YouTube feels “Titles, channel information, and related videos are an important part of YouTube’s core user experience, and these changes help to make the YouTube viewing experience consistent across different platforms”.

So YouTube considers related videos an important part of their core experience and… consistency.

The Tube giveth, and the Tube taketh away.

I suppose it makes sense.  After all, it’s their product, and they can do as they wish.

This means that people using YouTube to embed videos on their website, have a much higher chance of people clicking through to YouTube, and getting lost in an endless stream of cat videos (which is good for YouTube, but not-so-good for small businesses).

Except…

The Silver Lining – Same Channel Related Videos

There is, at least one bit of redemption to this story. Those who have previously opted to disable related videos will, at least, only have related videos pop-up from their own channel.

Which means unrelated cat videos (or worse things) won’t pop up at the end of your video, as long as you have rel=0 at the end of your YouTube URL. Instead, you’ll just have videos from your own channel pop up (which I suppose isn’t too bad).

Here’s a quote from YouTube’s Official Page

 Note: This parameter is changing on or after September 25, 2018.

Prior to the change, this parameter indicates whether the player should show related videos when playback of the initial video ends.

After the change, you will not be able to disable related videos. Instead, if the rel parameter is set to 0, related videos will come from the same channel as the video that was just played.

So… Should You Still Use “rel=0”?

In a word, yes.  You can (and should) still use rel=0 at the end of your videos, because it will (at least) make sure that people will only see videos you uploaded, instead of commercials from your competitors, or random things unrelated to your business.

What If That’s Not Good Enough?

If you’re a website owner that embeds YouTube videos on their website, and you’re not okay with these changes, you’ll probably need to find another option.

Alternatives to YouTube

Vimeo

The only other video streaming source I personally have experience with is is Vimeo.  They have free and paid accounts accounts.   They do have something similar to YouTube’s “related videos” called “staff picks”, but you can turn them off if you pay for one of their premium accounts (starting at $7/month).

Unlike YouTube, the ability to not show related videos happens inside your account settings, so you have to own the video in question if you want to change this setting.

Dailymotion

Daily motion, has a “Up Next Queue” which is similar to YouTube’s “Related Videos” but it can be turned off my adding ?queue-enable=false to the end of the url (when using the iframe embed code).

Self Hosted Videos

If your video files are small, you could host the video directly on your website with HTML5 video.

However, I don’t recommend this for novices.

Videos will load slow, unless you carefully consider compression.  I recommend keeping your video files under 5MB (and no more than 10MB). That might sound crazy to some of you, but self-hosting larger videos can cause significant slowdowns across your entire website.

Recommended software if you’re going to self host…

To compress your videos, I strongly recommend a free program called HandBrake.  It’s fantastic at making files tiny with minimal loss of quality.

Read more about The Pros and Cons of Self-Hosting Video.

More Video Hosting Options

Need more alternatives?  Try reading “YouTube Alternatives – 15 Best Video Sharing Sites Like YouTube”.

What Do You Think?

I’d love to hear from you. Are you okay with these changes?  Does it fill you with rage, or just mild annoyance?

Perhaps more importantly, will it cause you to change where you host your videos?  If so, do you have any recommendations?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below..

12 Comments
  • Yeah you are right, now youtube not allow us to disable relative video and autoplay.

    Alternate way is we can disable that using youtube javascript API
    see below example and demo for hot to disable relative video:
    https://9code.info/hide-youtube-relative-video-and-after-play-end-video-play-from-start-demo-and-code/

    • Administrator says:

      Thanks for sharing! That’s a good alternative for people that are comfortable with java-script.

      The only problem I saw was… when you click the progress bar (to move forward along the video) it pauses the video and shows the cover poster.

      Other than that, it’s a pretty good work-around!

  • dundee says:

    check this one out.

  • Rich says:

    Thanks for the post, there’s not much out there about this (still).

    An option I use is to embed a playlist from my channel. Then the next video in the playlist starts rather than any recommendations. However, pressing pause shows recommendations so the rel=0 is still needed to remove these. Interestingly when you now hit pause there are NO recommendations at all with the rel=0 in place on a playlist embed.

    Rich

  • Businesses should not be relying on YouTube for video content. Vidyard is a much better option as you can create your own CTAs at the end of the video and put the viewer into the places they want them to be. No YouTube watermarks, No links back to YouTube and all the analytical data is related per individual!

  • Sad, Very Sad says:

    I’m trying to send a slideshow video of Christmas to my parents, and all the “related videos” after my heartwarming and sweet video are thumbnails of abandoned pets, circus freaks, and other vulgarities. Not the kind of “related videos” I want my parents to see. Ugh.

  • Google sucks says:

    The related videos on YouTube aren’t even related anymore, they’re just general suggestions based on the user’s history. Lame.

  • Igor Donkov says:

    Hmm.. not a good thing 🙁 Bad move from Youtube. As mentioned with “cat videos” this will just distract our users, especially on sales pages, etc … where we dont want to lead visitors somewhere else and distract … I guess will have to use some other platform, at least for such purposes.

  • Kathe Ringsted says:

    I also see the problem that the rel=0 doesn’t work. I now have stranges videos showing on my website.

  • claudia says:

    Yes, I am bummed Youtube did this. The Rel=0 does not work at all. All videos show, not only the ones on my channel.

    • Administrator says:

      Interesting. Adding rel=0 at the end works for me. Are you using WordPress oEmbeds? Adding rel=0 to the end of those sometimes doesn’t work. Though there are ways around this.

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