Is YouTube actually going against the UGC Trend?

It is argued that the rise of numerous social medias with the dominant “user generated content” pattern nowadays reveals the general trend where netizens like us have become the majority of media industry contributors by doing voluntary work as unpaid everyday “journalists”. In the meantime, many traditional media with paid staff for generating news and responsible for the mobilization of information in the media industry tends to fit themselves into UGC pattern gradually as well.

However, some people would argue that the establishment of Partner Program in YouTube seems a little weird under the general trend. However, I don’t actually think what YouTube has done is something going against the UGC trend.

I think that what YouTube has done is not actually making the current voluntary workers be paid staff, but just give them some “incentives” to better doing their jobs as voluntary contributors. YouTube cares about the quality of the videos because its original function is providing fast, easy access towards free video resources. To better guarantee this function and attract more active users, it’s necessary for YouTube to offer such programs since “incentives decide behavior”. Commercial incentives as one of the three traditions of journalism, actually successfully motivate YouTubers to be more hard-working and produce more benefits. Above all, incentives shouldn’t be regarded as the same to salaries. Incentives can materialize in various ways, and the money rewards here in this program is nothing different from the virtual rewards we got from online games. It’s nothing about the reverse of a trend, but a strategy and attempt to attain a better balance between guaranteeing video quality and making profits.

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