The Death of YouTube
Updated: Jan 6
In the beginning, YouTube was a platform designed for broke-ass, individual content creators to create something that was hopefully interesting and engaging online for public consumption while making money via commercial advertising. The system was structured so that advertisers and creators never communicated, with YouTube being the buffer, so that no one side had to endorse or denounce the other's products or services.
Content could be family friendly or incredibly raunchy, depending on what audience that creator wanted to service. In late 2016 things started to change, when certain channels came under fire for controversial and (I'm not going to sugarcoat it) sometimes even racist content that caught the ire of advertisers and caused some of the big names to pull their ads from the platform.
As time went on, more and more advertisers demanded that their commercials only be shown on "family friendly" content. And here we are. You say shit or fuck, and you're instantly demonetized and even screwed over on the algorithm.
In the meantime, conveniently, network television and corporate news channels started to realize that the real money to be made was switching from regular television watched by older people to the Internet, watched initially primarily by the young. These US channels are all network television and subject to censorship by the FCC and their own "standards and practices."
As advertisers were screaming for more censorship of YouTube videos, these corporate networks were beginning to follow suit. When YouTube Premium arrived, full of all the same shit that had been soundly rejected by people who had turned to YouTube in the first place for an alternative to the madness, the censorship of the platform was in full swing.
No longer could you just speak the words you wanted to speak, even if you bleeped out the ones YouTube and some religious groups find objectionable. The use of the words alone was enough to screw up your place in the algorithm, making you less likely to get views and destroying any ad revenue opportunities.
It was a perfect storm of corporate takeover. Obviously, independent media took a giant hit specifically. If you reported on something mainstream media didn't or went against the common narrative, you were instantly demonetized.
People who staked their livelihoods on creating content that the internet public wanted to see and hear were forced to start accounts like Patreon and encourage viewers themselves to support them financially or be forced to find other sources of income, leaving their channels to waste away.
The system that started out as a means for independent content creators to create content people wanted to watch suddenly became an extension of the old exclusive cable and satellite television system. If you wanted to make an income creating content people wanted to consume, you almost had to be established enough before Adpocalypse in order for enough people to be aware of you and willing to support you for a cup of coffee a day or more.
Money talks, bullshit walks. - Michael "Ozzie" Myers