Google will not delete dormant YouTube accounts, despite policy change

Google has confirmed that it will not delete inactive YouTube accounts, contrary to recent concerns. Previously, there were worries that the company’s statement about permanently deleting accounts inactive for over two years could result in the removal of significant portions of YouTube’s music archives, including original and rare music uploads. However, Rolling Stone has reported that the policy update will not apply to accounts with YouTube videos.

The announcement caused panic within the electronic music community, as YouTube is an essential platform for musical discovery. The revised policy, disclosed on May 16, will now only affect personal accounts, exempting those belonging to companies. Google’s intention is to combat hacking and spam activity associated with dormant accounts. The policy is expected to be implemented by the end of 2023.

Under the new policy, any account that remains unused or un-accessed for a minimum of two years will be at risk of having its content deleted. This will impact not only YouTube but also other Google services such as Gmail, Docs, Drive, Meet, Calendar, and Google Photos.

Several DJs expressed their concerns on Twitter. London-based DJ and producer Plesk Parallel worried about the potential loss of an archive of grime tracks exclusively available on YouTube, while a DJ from Glasgow highlighted the importance of YouTube for discovering new music.