Disabling Related Videos 2019

Disabling related videos on your embedded videos used to be a piece of cake until late last year. You simply unchecked the “show related videos” box on the embed drop down under your Youtube video. In September 2018 Youtube decided to remove this option. Now when you embed your video or playlist on your blog or website your viewers are presented with a bunch of “related” videos as soon as your video ends. Related videos can be from your own recently watched videos or channels you have subscribed to. Worse still, they can be from any channel that Youtube’s algorithm decides is similar to yours (including your competition) So what can we do? Don’t panic, here’s how you can turn this to your advantage.

At the time of writing you still can’t stop videos being played after yours. The good news is that you can make sure they are YOUR videos, rather than someone else’s. Clearly any video that follows yours could take your viewer somewhere else. We’ve all gone down Youtube rabbit holes haven’t we? We start researching something and end up watching funny cats! That completely sabotages your objective as a video creator. On the other hand if what follows is more of your content it’s all good: Your viewer might stay engaged with you and your message for much longer.  That could result in a new subscriber, fan or even customer. So lets get to it – Video version above.

The REL Code

If you’ve spent a lot of time looking around the web for ways to disable related videos as I did, you may have found the following solution: A little piece of html code.  The old method – unticking the show related videos box – simply added this piece of code to the embed code placing – ?rel=0 – after the video id. Doing this manually on your wordpress HTML might work for a single video but not for a playlist.

It’s pretty easy to do even with little or no experience.  Wordpress enables you to switch from visual mode to HTML mode when you create pages and posts. Depending on what theme you have you might need to do this to add video embed codes anyway. Embed codes are Iframes which look like this for a single video

screenshot of youtube video embed code with arrow pointing to where short code is inserted allowing the disabling of related videos
Single video embed code. Red arrow point where code is inserted

Or like this for a playlist

screenshot of youtube video playlist embed code with arrow pointing to where short code is inserted allowing the disabling of related videos
Playlist embed code with red arrow showing where code is inserted

You simply copy and paste them into your page or post.

As you may know you can embed a playlist as well as single videos. I recently replaced a video with a short playlist – an update video to follow the first. When I tried disabling related videos with that code however, it failed.  After a lot of searching for a fix I discovered that Tubebuddy (which I have installed on my Youtube channel) have created a fix. It’s essentially the same code but with one different character – an ampersand.  Instead of using – ?rel=0 you use – &rel=0. Simples!

The red arrows on the images above show where the little codes need to be inserted.

Making Related Videos Yours

Tubebuddy’s tools include a little video player, which will do this for you, but you can also do it manually. As I mentioned before, related videos will still show after your playlist, but they will be YOUR videos.  This allows for some creative and potentially profitable use of playlists.

Aside from easily disabling related videos from your embeds, Tubebuddy has a lot of great features and is well worth installing. They have both free and paid options.  The free version includes the embed tool that I’ve mentioned and shown in the video above.  

Youtube’s stated reason for removing the option of disabling related videos is that it improves their users experience.  The cynical amongst us may argue that it opens up more advertising opportunities  – funny cats sell. Whatever your opinion it’s a done deal.  For video marketers and Youtubers who want to keep their audience’s focus however its not so good. The result could be as basic as mere distraction but there are other more serious possibilities.

Why Disabling Related Videos Is Important

We’ve mentioned losing out to the competition already – a biggie. You might also want to consider that the related videos shown after yours might offend your viewer. There could be religious, political or other opinion in them, which the viewer might assume, you share. Doesn’t matter whether you do or not. they may then never come back. Now that disabling related videos (over which you have no control) is off the table, ensuring that they are at least yours gives you back some control. Maybe even more in fact….