To me YouTube is the most engaging platform on the internet. In fact the quality of my day is contingent on whether or not Joe Sugg uploaded a vlog. There is something for everyone – travel guides, how-to’s, music, comedy, personal stories, advice, impressions, cinematography and more. But it looks like the YouTube era may come to an end.
Firstly you need to understand how YouTubers make money. Disregarding sponsorships, YouTube networks and advertising, a significant portion of a YouTuber’s income is via views. CPM, aka cost per thousand views, determines how much a content creator makes per video.
Now back to the story.
In 2012, YouTube established an algorithm that would systematically demonetize videos if they were deemed unfit by advertising-friendly guidelines. Metadata from the videos was gathered and used to determine whether or not an advertiser would want to be associated with its content. Since then, the algorithm has regularly removed videos from its pool of advertised content, meaning that the YouTuber’s are no longer paid for those videos despite the number of views.
Now it’s no secret that the world is becoming an increasingly terrifying domain with the internet being a catalyst for the trafficking of savage information. So it was only natural that YouTube had to make stricter guidelines and a bullet proof algorithm in an attempt to prevent certain videos from rising to the surface. As a result the algorithm’s parameters expanded in 2015 with the specific target of catching content relating to terrorism.
However, the guidelines are too broad and have led to unduly removal of videos. The guidelines stipulate that a video will be demonitised if there is:
- Sexually suggestive content, including partial nudity or sexual humour
- Violence, including display of serious injury and events related to violent extremism
- Inappropriate language, including harassment, swearing and vulgar language
- Controversial or sensitive subjects and events, including subjects related to war, political conflicts, natural disasters and tragedies, even if graphic imagery is not shown
This sounds like censorship to me.
Going off these guidelines we can count on Louis Cole’s North Korea videos to be demonetized, pretty much every Dave DeFranco video ever made, and even Jenna Marbles – arguably the most successful YouTuber of all time – will lose money over swearing. Fuck that.
The truth is video has become the most integral element of media. This is why at least 80% of my posts have a video attached. With a much more digestible framework than other mediums, such as blocks of text (like this one), it has become the preferable choice. In a strange way video allows you to connect on a deeper level, and gives a heightened clarity that no other platform offers. What’s worse is that YouTube was instrumental in making this happen.
By demonetizing content however, YouTube will fall like Myspace. Creators will disperse onto other platforms with more profitable and flexible guidelines, such as Facebook, leaving the site in the early 21st century. This will make content harder to find, dividing the internet into even greater niches.