YouTube Is Over Party – Premature celebrations or a sign of what’s to come?

6 min read
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You’ll have seen recently that some YouTube heavyweights have been popping off on social media. Many have been expressing their outrage with the video platform and it’s led to the hashtag #YouTubeIsOverParty. So what exactly led to this dramatic declaration?

It all begins with YouTuber Philip DeFranco. I had never heard of the name but a YouTuber with a subscriber base of over 4.5m deserves some modicum of respect. He announced, through a video, that he was receiving numerous alerts from YouTube of videos that were deemed not advertiser friendly and thus were losing their monetisation status. You can watch the full video below.

Understandably so, his frustration spilled over on to Twitter and soon after, countless other YouTubers became involved, citing their own alerts from YouTube stating the same thing. The community response was unanimous in condemnation of YouTube and those behind the decision. There were cries of censorship and YouTube trying to undermine the “anti-SJW” movement. GamerGate even reared its head, with some of its proponents announcing that the video giant was actively working against it.

 The Reality Check

Despite the strong response from content creators and the community alike, YouTube insists their Terms of Service (ToS) haven’t changed, only how they notify channels. Kotaku received this response when contacting YouTube:

While our policy of demonetizing videos due to advertiser-friendly concerns hasn’t changed, we’ve recently improved the notification and appeal process to ensure better communication.

A look at their ToS clearly outlines why certain videos are being flagged by them. What many don’t understand is why YouTube is enforcing rules that negatively affect a large number of channels, especially  those in the gaming scene. So the question begs to be asked; why would YouTube hurt some of its biggest content creators? Advertisers.

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YouTube ToS

YouTube has a massive amount of traffic, in terms of the number of people that access its website, on any given day. For brands looking to advertise, this is hugely attractive and is what makes YouTube so lucrative. However, brands are very cognisant of the fact that having their brand associated with controversy or content that isn’t aligned with its values is bad for business. What’s bad for business is bad for YouTube.

When a brand sees itself being advertised on a video that has rampant swearing, sexually suggestive content or violence, they’ll absolutely flag that with YouTube. Even a brand like Playboy had to retune its image after it was deemed too sexual for most advertisers. They polished up their look and their content grew up, making them more appealing to advertisers.

 

Playboy March Cover

Others also suggest that drama channels are a big reason that YouTube is enforcing its ToS. Drama channels are run by people that scour the internet for controversial issues and gossip and package it into an episode for everyone to pour over the intimate details of other people’s lives. It leaves a stain on YouTube’s reputation in much the same way that blatantly racist subreddits give Reddit a bad name. And just like in Reddit’s case, this makes the overall platform of YouTube less appealing to advertisers.

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So really, it all comes down to money and with that, it’s completely understandable for YouTube to be clamping down on what it deems advertiser-unfriendly content. All the anger around their ToS is moot in any case, since according to YouTube nothing’s changed except that they’re being more upfront about what they’re flagging. What content creators really should be upset about is YouTube’s poor communication.

Why are content creators only now being notified of videos that can no longer be monetised? Were previous videos not making money and YouTube just didn’t inform the creator? Why did YouTube not inform the public, or at least content creators, beforehand that these notification changes were coming?

Conclusion

YouTube is certainly hurting many of its content creators and thus itself, but in other ways it’s also cleaning up its act for advertisers which benefits the platform more in the long run. Suggesting that its ToS are only there to protect a SJW or PC agenda is rather naïve and shows a lack of understanding of how businesses work and how they make money.

At the end of the day, YouTube will carry on and content creators will learn to adapt or not make revenue.

Last Updated: January 4, 2017

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Glenn Kisela

I've always loved video games as well as writing, so mixing the two together was inevitable. When I'm not doing that, I do photography and design.

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    “But I’m entitled to adverts on my videos!”

    • And ze moneyz!

    • Dane

      Did you mean “But I’m *entity* to adverts on my videos!”

  • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

    ION model! Oh wait…

  • VampyreSquirrel

    I’m surprised there are so many people with their vids for COD, God of War, GTA, and the like still on their streams when it goes against the advertiser friendly guidelines, and you still get ads coming up.

    Youtube will lose a lot of money if they start clamping down on the the likes of the COD scene.

    • Pariah ???

      You bring up an interesting point. If ads still show on those “flagged” videos, then by all rights the content creator should be allowed to monetise them. If it’s deemed “not advertiser-friendly” then it shouldn’t have ads. Done and done.

      • Dane

        CoD advertisement not shown before video because video contains extreme violence and acts of war. Video is actually new CoD trailer. Meanwhile CoD advertisement is equally violent and is even being shown on Candy Evie’s plushy unboxing. Woah

      • Agreed to a point but content creators don’t have “rights” to monetise them. It’s YouTube’s platform after all.

        • Pariah ???

          Sure, they don’t have the implicit rights. However, if they’ve been allowed to monetise before, and then suddenly they aren’t allowed to monetise because the content has been specifically deemed “Not advertiser-friendly” – then its disingenuous to show ads on the content. Then it’s 100% a lie, and effectively corporate theft.

          • Well that’s just the thing. They weren’t allowed to monetise it before, YouTube just wasn’t notifying them of it. Hence the change to how they communicate to content creators.

            That’s why I’m saying, the real question we should be asking is why wasn’t YouTube making people aware of its policies until now.

          • Pariah ???

            You’re missing the point entirely. If content is flagged as “not advertiser-friendly” then no ads should show. Regardless of whatever rights towards monetisation exist.

          • Okay, I hear what you’re saying. Totally agree with you there!

      • For the Emperor!

        Fully agree with you there and with the comment from you lower down in the chain “effectively corporate theft” *note – read his full comment below for context of that line before jumping to conclusions as he/it/attack-helicopter (Apache or Rooi valk, not assuming gender) puts it very eloquently*

    • I’m sure they’ll take things on a case by case basis. But you also have to think that YouTube wouldn’t clamp down so hard if it weren’t in their best interests, they’re a business after all.

  • All those low grade click bait titles from a “respected youtuber”…lulz

    • Even though YouTube is plagued with clickbait titles and videos, you have to grudgingly respect the success some of these content creators have. If it was easy, everyone would be rolling in +1m subs.

      • Mighty Meh

        I have to agree with you to some extent about the creativity some content creators have but the problem I’ve found with YouTube and why I don’t use it as much anymore is that since they started paying video creators for their uploads everyone and their mom’s are posting arbitrary trash in the hopes of making a quick buck.

        It makes searching for anything that isn’t trending almost impossible.

  • Pariah ???

    Influencers feeling a little influenced eh?

  • I am so glad those twats with huge subs that post vids with thumbnails of scanty glad girls to lure adolescent boys and idiots in are going to get screwed. (especially the “FAIL” video category)

    • Dane

      Preach it brother.

    • There’s a lot of low quality content in the gaming scene on YouTube, it’s fairly depressing. I tend to just ignore it for the most part. That’s why I hadn’t heard of Philip DeFranco before this whole drama.

  • Zoe Hawkins

    Look at those videos that were flagged. If i were advertising, I wouldn’t want my brand associated with that stuff either. It sucks for content creators, but is also the reality.

    • VampyreSquirrel

      Agree with you based on the titles.

      Never know, the vid might be OK, and the titles were the worst part xD 😛

    • Exactly! And it’s not just YouTube that’s been cleaning up its act. There’s Twitter, Reddit, Twitch etc. The reality is these platforms need advertisers and so they have to balance their communities with their financial needs.

  • That Playboy girl looks whack… I mean 0_O

  • Dane

    Surprised to see a featured tweet of Boogie plays, I dig him!

  • Ghost In The Rift

    Its not like its the 1st time the general public makes a company millions and they turn on them with some bullshit excuse that makes it look relatable and in their “best interest”, get with the program people, everybody’s f#&[email protected] except we can’t see it coming.

    • I think you’re missing the point. YouTube isn’t giving bullshit excuses & they’re not trying to make it relatable. They’ve pretty clearly explained its about making advertisers happy. My whole article essentially discusses this & how it makes sense for YouTube to act this way.

      Also, saying the general public made YouTube millions is a bit of a stretch. People just go to where the best service is & YouTube was smart enough & good enough to be that. Even today, native videos are absolute trash compared to the smoothness & reliability of YouTube.

  • Dirk

    This is actually very serious and not just about some idiot with click bait thumbnails or lots of swearing in a video. It is about the serious topics that does get discussed on youtube. Real issues won’t get a voice on youtube like suicide prevention because it is also deemed as not advertiser friendly.

    • Of course this has implications for serious YouTube channels, but it’s understandable why a brand would generally not want to be associated with content around suicide.

      Also, I’d imagine those discussing “real” issues aren’t doing it for the money. I can’t imagine suicide prevention videos garnering a million views.

  • chimera_85

    Boo frakking hoo! It’s not a real frakking job anyway, cry me a table.

  • Snowlock2.0

    So you are telling people actually go onto Youtube without Ad Blocker?

  • chimera_85

    Oh and that chick on the playboy pic needs some cheeseburgers and to lay off the collagen 😀

  • Ross Woofels Mason

    The only thing that frustrates me about this is youtube has an age restriction option, but if you age restrict your videos you cannot monetize them which is stupid. I agree there is a lot of content there that is not entirely family friendly (many of my favorite channels honestly), but give them option to still make money after putting up age restrictions.

    Also give advertisers the options of if they are comfortable with their adverts appearing on age restricted videos, there are a fair amount of advertisers who would probably prefer it because that is their target audience. Like god forbid a child watches a video with someone saying fuck in it and people in swimsuits, but Brutal Fruit alcohol can advertise on any video they like as long as the creator hasn’t blocked it?

    The whole situation is just very messy, youtube wants to be more professional but is not treating it’s content creators like professionals. People have built up careers around youtube, there are many whom this is their primary source of income and support families.

    If youtube wants to start enforcing stricter guide lines that is fine, but talk to your content creators and find the best path forward. Don’t just go start cutting peoples livelihood left right and center.

  • For the Emperor!

    *Googles SJW* – I feel so out of the loop now lol
    https://media.giphy.com/media/LlxkRYZ6s49nG/giphy.gif

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