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In YouTube, when logged in to a brand account, clicking on the account icon in top-right corner and then going to:

Manage your Google Account > Personal info > Contact info > Email

and then clicking there brings up this page:

enter image description here

On that page, "Learn more" is linked to https://support.google.com/accounts?p=emails , which redirects to https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/6316959 , which does not appear to apply to this page because it gives instructions for changing the Google Account email, whereas this page says the Google Account email cannot be changed.

On the page, the "Google account e-mail" address is:

<brand account name>[email protected]

where nnnn is an apparently random, four-digit number.

Sending an e-mail to that address gets a bounce message that says:

Clicking on that link redirects to:

which lists some possible reasons for getting the bounce message, the first of which is

  • The email account that you tried to reach does not exist

And indeed, removing a character from the e-mail address and sending to that non-existing address gets the same bounce message, so it appears that the address given as the "Google account email" behaves as if it doesn't exist.

Below that address, under "Contact email" is the message:

  • Emails will be sent to the primary owner of this account

which seems to be saying that the "Google account email" address is not actually used for sending e-mails.

The page also says that the Google Account email is:

  • The address used to identify your Google Account to you and others.

But I haven't seen this address anywhere except on the page shown above.

So the Google Account e-mail address for the YouTube brand account doesn't seem to be able to receive e-mails, and it doesn't seem to be used anywhere to identify the account, so what is this e-mail address actually used for?

1 Answer 1

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Here are three things that I've found out since asking the question yesterday.

  1. The "Google Account email" of a channel converted to a brand account is shown when hovering on its account icon.
  2. The "Google Account email" is used as a redundant recipient of Google account data for a brand account.
  3. The "Google Account email" of a Google account (ordinary or brand account) appears in the filename of the "Subscriber Information" file of its Google data.

Here are explanations of what those three things mean:


  1. The "Google Account email" of a channel converted to a brand account is shown when hovering on its account icon.

My Google account has within it three Google accounts, labeled by the first letter of their account names:

  • "M": The main account.
  • "F": The account associated with a YouTube channel that was originally established as a brand account.
  • "B": The account associated with a YouTube channel that was originally established within the main account and was later converted to a brand account.

When hovering the cursor over the account icon in the top left corner of a page of the Google account (not a page of the YouTube channel, which has the same icon), these three accounts have different behaviors:

  • The main account shows the account name on one line, followed by the account e-mail address on the next line:

enter image description here

  • The account that was created as a brand account shows only the name of the account:

enter image description here

  • The account that was converted to a brand account shows only its "Google account email":

enter image description here


  1. The "Google Account email" is used as a redundant recipient of Google account data for a brand account.

I asked Google to send me the account data for each of the three above accounts. In response, it sent me five e-mails with links to download the data:

  • Three of the e-mails were sent to the e-mail address of the main account and included download links for the data of the three accounts.
  • In the other two e-mails, the "To" line contained the "Google Account email" of the two brand accounts. I have not checked the headers to find the routing of these e-mails, but I presume that Google put those addresses on the "To" lines, while actually sending the e-mails to the address of the main account.

  1. The "Google Account email" of a Google account (ordinary or brand account) appears in the filename of the "Subscriber Information" file of its Google data.

The zip files received from Google for the account data of the three accounts each contains a file with the following filespec:

Takeout\Google Account\<e-address>.SubscriberInfo.html

The <e-address> is the "Google Account email" of the account, truncated to 36 characters.

I have not yet inspected the contents of the 165 files contained in the three downloads, so the "Google Account email" may appear in them in various ways.


Conclusion

  • While the "Google Account email" of a brand account cannot be used to send e-mail to, Google puts it on the "To" line of redundant e-mails sending download links for requested account data.

  • As stated on the page shown in the question, the "Google Account email" of a brand account is indeed used in at least two places to identify the account:

    • For a YouTube channel converted to a brand account, it is shown when hovering the cursor over the account icon on an account page.
    • It appears in the filename of the "Subscriber Information" file included in the account data.
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  • One thing that you should have in mind is that there are that brand accounts created recently are limited compared to older brand accounts, so older brand accounts might look different than brand accounts created recently. For details, see the Manage Brand Accounts help article. Old brand accounts might still have remanents of products that were retired like Google+, among others. Sep 27, 2023 at 19:21
  • Can you give a link to that article, please?
    – NewSites
    Sep 28, 2023 at 20:44
  • I would have to do a search to get the link. Please do it by yourself. Tip: do it on support.google.com/youtube Sep 28, 2023 at 20:54

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