YouTube is Dead and Something New is Coming
I like YouTube.
As a platform it’s the Library of Congress for video and, as someone who loves both watching and making films, it’s been an amazing tool for discovery, creativity and connection.
That said, I think it’s safe to say that YouTube is dead — creatively and artistically.
“YouTube is inevitably heading towards being like television, but they never told their creators this,” Jamie Cohen, a professor of new media at Molloy College, told USA Today in 2018.
It’s not just that YouTube has been overrun by low-quality content, clickbait and advertising. It’s not just that the once groundbreaking platform has become a Huxleyan dystopia of algorithm-driven content recommended by multinational corporations.
It’s that YouTube’s “Golden Era” is clearly over.
Independent creators are no longer being discovered and nurtured by the platform. The days of gumshoes and auteurs making brilliant, weird and wonderful videos in their bedrooms and attics and uploading them to YouTube are forever gone.
Now something new is coming — something that will take the best of YouTube and make it even better.
YouTube is the Next MySpace
Remember MySpace? It was the social media platform Du Jour before it was annihilated from space by Facebook.
Nobody thought MySpace would die, it was a sure thing like YouTube is today.
But MySpace died for the same two reasons that haunt YouTube:
Hollywood is like heroin, it’s an amazing high but it will kill you.
The movie business is a ruthless, cannibalistic beast that has no problem devouring its own children. Just ask any former child star. However, celebrities are what’s best for the YouTube algorithm. It’s safe, it’s innocuous, and it’s clickable.
So YouTube started pushing for celebs in 2017 after the first “adpocalypse,” which was a…