So at this point I know everyone is sick of ads. There are ads on absolutely everything nowadays. Billboards, buildings, TV, websites, videos, nothing is sacred anymore. Well we have new news on the add front. If you haven’t already heard, YouTube recently updated their terms of service. Many people probably just clicked the “accept” button and never even considered actually reading it. I am included in this group so don’t think that I am trying to say that I am better than you. Luckily there are some industrious people among us who took the time to go through the entire document and have found something interesting.
More Ads More Ads More Ads
So what am I talking about. Well YouTube has decided that they are now going to serve people ads on videos from creators that don’t meet the criteria to be part of the YouTube partner program. Now a lot of you probably don’t know what that means, and the criteria does change on occasion, but to be a YouTube partner and gain ad revenue you have to have over 1000 subscribers and at least 4000 hours of watch time throughout the year. Basically you have to generate enough content for it to be worth it for YouTube to put ads on your videos. Well I have bad news and more bad news. What YouTube is saying is that they are now going to put ads in videos from small content creators but since they don’t meet the criteria of being a partner the creator will receive 0 ad revenue from YouTube. So the multi-billion dollar company that regularly demonetizes and censors content has decided that they need to make up that revenue by serving ads on previously ad free videos and sharing none of that money with the people creating the content. It seems that if for some reason YouTube needed more money they could get that by remonetizing all of the main stream conservative content from large creators. The worst part is that even those people who are in the partner program only make pennies on the dollar for those ad spots in the first place. This to me is bullshit plain and simple. This is going to stunt the growth of new independent creators on YouTube, which in my opinion is exactly what YouTube wants. I don’t think it is actually about the money. The reality is that many people will stop watching a video as soon as they see an ad. Sometimes they won’t even start watching if they know there will be ads on a video. This is especially true if it is from a creator that they don’t already know. Most people aren’t going to take the “risk” on watching content with ads if they don’t know the quality of the content they are going to get. This will make it that much harder to watch the simple video about how to wire an outlet that you need to watch when you’re already frustrated.
It’s Not About The Money…….
YouTube has been trying to kill the goose that laid the golden egg for years. Their platform is one of the greatest endorsements of the free market that has ever existed. When it started, YouTube was simply a place where you could post videos. No one knew what it would turn into, you were limited to 10 minutes until you reached a certain level of prominence but for the most part it was free and open. What this created is the incredible platform that we all know and love. The open marketplace of ideas allowed normal people to gain an audience. It allowed people to share ideas and knowledge in a way that had never existed before. I firmly believe that YouTube is one of the greatest things to happen in the history of mankind. Think about the realities of the platform. There is information on nearly any topic you could want, and not just information but EXPLANATION which is the real game changer. Someone with a massive amount of knowledge on a subject can get on the platform and explain things with no barrier to entry. This has created a generation of people who can literally do anything. I myself have benefitted from YouTube in ways that I can’t even quantify. I am lucky enough to have had an amazing father who taught me so much about how to be a man, how to take care of a house and get things done. Now that I’m an adult though he is not always around to explain something to me or show me how to do something. This is where YouTube comes in. It has made home ownership so much easier for me. If something is broken or needs to be replaced I can almost guarantee you that there is a video on YouTube that can explain to you exactly the right way to fix it. Often you will find multiple ways to do it and you can pick the method that suits your situation. This platform is even more useful for kids who might grow up without an amazing father like I did. If you never had someone to teach you how to change a tire, or fix an outlet you can find out how to do it on YouTube. It seems though that in the last few years the higher ups at Google and YouTube have decided that simply having complete control of this unique platform is not enough. Obviously over the years there is more to YouTube than just tutorials, there are huge channels like Pewdie Pie who just plays videos games. It has become everything in one, it’s entertainment, it’s news and politics, it’s tutorials, it’s history, it’s math and science. The secret sauce that made this possible is the openness of the platform and the ability for people to just create whatever they wanted and gain followers. The monetization sent this into overdrive when people could then support themselves by creating this content. Nowadays large corporations have seen the power of this platform and have used it to increase their visibility. YouTube seems to have decided now that they would prefer to prop up these large corporate channels rather than support the golden goose which is these independent creators. They seem to be making a push to downplay these independent creators because they don’t want their platform to be associated with conspiracy and fail videos anymore. They want to be cable news and Netflix. I think this is a mistake. We already have cable news, we have Netflix and an ever growing myriad of other streaming choices. YouTube while not one of a kind, because there are other video sharing platforms, it is the largest and most trafficked because it was first to market. Why they want to throw away this beautifully unique part of their platform I cannot understand but this new move seems to continue on the trend towards big corporate channel supremacy.
Time To Get AdBlock
Tons of people already have adblockers. I personally haven’t used them because the ads didn’t bother me too much. Now however YouTube has gone into overdrive with the ads. All the ad spots contain 2 ads now rather than one and there are more and more long unskippable ads. I typically skip the ads but at least when I didn’t before I at least felt ok because I knew that the creator was going to get a kick back for me watching that ad. Now I can’t be sure of that. I don’t know if the creator is getting paid, I don’t know if that creator wanted there to be no ads and YouTube served me one anyway. This will mean that smaller channels will start dying and it will be incredibly hard for independent creators to gain prominence. So I think it might finally be time for all of us to get adblockers. Stop watching ads on YouTube, seek out smaller channels, support the channels you like through direct donations or buying merchandise. Don’t let the tech overlords kill the most useful thing the internet has ever created.