YouTube is Over? Pushing for YouTube Red.
How censorship is about to destroy the #1 hub for video creation.
The #YoutubeIsOverParty trend has surfaced on Twitter over the past day, and you’re probably wondering — what now? Major policy changes on advertisement revenue (AKA the only big way creators profit off their videos) have been changed, and previously monetized videos have become un-monetized because they contain any of the following “not advertiser-friendly” content:
- Sexually suggestive content, including partial nudity and sexual humour
- Violence, including display of serious injury and events related to violent extremism
- Inappropriate language, including harassment, profanity and vulgar language
- Promotion of drugs and regulated substances, including selling, use and abuse of such items
- Controversial of sensitive subjects and events, including subjects related to war, political conflicts, natural disasters and tragedies, even if graphic imagery is not shown
I’ve gone and bolded some statements in here that particularly bother me. Now, let’s go and take a look at just a few of the top subscribed and watched Youtube channels:
- PewDiePie — Oh, looks like most of those videos are gone for the inappropriate language.
- RhiannaVEVO — Language, partial nudity (partial?), sexually suggestive, excessive drug use, this hits many points on the list.
- Smosh — Profanity, sexual humour. Looks like your favourite comic duo are being booted off the funding train.
- Jenna Marbles — Sexual humour, lots of profanity and bad language.
- Shane Dawson — NEARLY EVERY ITEM ON THIS LIST. GOODBYE SHANE.
So, as you can tell, we have a bit of a problem here.
Where is this coming from?
YouTube has been re-branding themselves this year. The change has been mostly positive, partly with the release of YouTube Red, a paid service for more exclusive content and access to certain copyrighted material that’s been approved for the service. Many users have adopted YouTube Red as part of their content base, creating a healthy balance between free and paid content.
But this in itself seems to be where the problem is coming from.
The problem with these guidelines is that before, advertisers got their messages slapped onto any video which was enabled for monetization. All that mattered was that people saw their message. A recent push has changed this, where advertisers are increasingly worried about being associated with the content they’re being posted on.
But are they?
YouTube Red creates a new option for revenue for content creators and the platform itself. The subscription fee and financial support benefits everyone on the content-creation side, so it makes sense that YouTube would push for this to become the mainstream version of their service. Think about it — no ads to worry about, the freedom to post whatever you want, a more guaranteed source of income, sounds like a utopia, right?
Nope. Not for fans. And not for many stars, either. People have been using YouTube for a decade now, and have been accustomed to the free-to-watch videos uploaded daily to the platform. The user base has made it one of the most popular websites on the internet. Fans will not want to start paying for something they’ve had for free for so long.
There has been an (expected) uproar from the entire YouTube community, where they have criticized this movement as censorship of their content. While YouTube is not specifically saying “you cannot make this type of content”, they are taking away all potential funding of said content to discourage its creation in the first place, effectively censoring it. As you probably know, some top YouTubers make a living off of the money they get from their content, so not receiving money forces them to find an alternative. They have made a career out of public entertainment, which has helped the lives of millions of people around the globe stay informed, feel good about themselves, laugh, cry, and thrive in the content they watch. The reason these YouTube stars are successful is because of their relationship with their fans.
Making the switch to YouTube Red sacrifices fans in favour of more money, which just isn’t the way things are done with YouTube stars. But now, thanks to these new monetization laws, YouTube stars will soon be faced with an ultimatum. Without the financial security of expecting ad revenue on their videos, content creators could very soon ditch the platform altogether for an alternative. Say goodbye to your favourite makeup gurus, the people you go to for laughs, for advice, for a place to relax… they’ll be gone.
Therefore it seems weird that shortly after the release of YouTube Red, the advertisers have become suddenly concerned about the content association of their ads. This whole problem is more about pushing content creators to switch to YouTube Red than it is about the advertisements.
I believe YouTube is trying to force their most successful clients to switch to YouTube Red by censoring their videos and refusing to pay them.
Many top creators have been very outspoken about how they disagree with the ruling, and how the censorship is not only unethical, but could very well be the end of YouTube. They’re the ones fighting to make a change to stop this madness. If anyone is going to make a change, it will be them.
Until that happens, we can make our voices heard. Continue trending #YoutubeIsOverParty, keep talking about it. This ruling is damaging to the large community using YouTube. Help make things right.