When youtube started out, it was a place for people like you and me to have a home. You could make a quick video with a webcam and do some crazy things. If enough people like you then you would go viral and boom there would be so many views that you could go crazy.
But then you moved on with your life. Because there was no way to make money from it. And you didn’t join in because there was some easy money.
It was a fun place and you wanted to have some fun. It was easy to do stuff and share with friends.
But then Youtube started showing ads in the video and started the monetization of videos. Creators can apply or sometimes the Youtube would call them to join in for the opportunity to earn money.
And then it exploded. Suddenly, it became a place where people could come and see some amateur videos and also earn money if they upload some content. Since it was still small and cohesive – many creators joined in and started earning decent money. As for the large creators, the money was flowing like a river.
Youtube was enjoying all these because it was earning a hefty commission out of all this. Because they facilitate the whole thing, they take around 40 percent of the commission of the earnings.
At this point, everyone was happy because the creators could make the content they wanted to share, the viewers got to see amazing content which was not TV and YouTube made loads of money in the process. Since they allowed everyone to participate, even if 1000 creators each earned $1, YouTube would earn $1000 combining all of them. So they encouraged everyone to become the creator and join the Adsense so they can become super rich. And they did become a huge earning company.
The Corporate Influx
Slowly the corporation realized that the user base is strong and thus they started their channels. Unlike the normal creator who had only a small camera, the corporations had a huge budget and they started pumping videos out.
Everything is fine until this moment. Creators were doing their thing and the corporation did their thing – and the audience got a mix of content.
Then the corporations started claiming videos of other creators who used them – it didn’t matter if it was fair use or not. They started claiming videos – left, right and center. As such many parody channels, cover channels got no money for their work.
And YouTube did nothing. Their argument is – the platform is big and they can’t cater to all. But the platform became big because of the individual creators and not because of corporations.
YouTube is silent because they have become rich and at this point, they have enough corporations that they will earn a hefty amount anyway.
It is sad but the creators are sidelined with the greed by YouTube and it is a testimony to the fact that people change, platforms change.
Many people go to Youtube if they wish to listen to music. And they do so by playing the video in the background and do their work. It used to work fine until it doesn’t.
If the app isn’t open, the video stops. They do so because they want you to look at the device so they could sell you the advertisements.
If they cared about the customers then they would have allowed the video to be played in the background app. Yes, they will lose revenue but that is the part of the experience of customers. Forcing to view a certain way only backfires. Now, I listen to music on dedicated apps. And I have ditched Youtube for music experience.
Imagine if I listen to music from Youtube, then it will be my first choice. And of course, over time, I will check out other content too.
Their arrogance will make them pay in the long run. Nothing is permanent and if you aren’t playing for long term including customer satisfaction then you will be doomed sooner or later.
Catering To Advertisers
Earlier when Youtube started, the advertisers came in to show ads in the middle of creators video. So the creator did the hard work of making a video, the youtube facilitated the video and the audience watched it. The advertisers were inserted in the video later.
Now, Youtube caters to advertisers. If advertisers don’t like something, Youtube passes a rule to prohibit such thing and creators have to abide.
In a logical rational sense, advertisers have to abide and not creators. Isn’t Youtube a creators platform anymore?
This is the reason adpocalypse and demonetization have become such an issue. Youtube doesn’t get affected by this because they are already rich. Small and upcoming YouTubers have to shift their values because they want to feed their family. And big YouTubers need to listen to the rules because their channel can be shut down anytime.
Fake Copyright Strike
When a person uses the song or clip blatantly and does nothing to add – it is theft. And it is right to take down the video.
But many creators do the fair use of the song, video or both. And in all the cases, monetization is claimed. So while the video is up for creators which is a relief, they don’t earn single money.
Now, guess what happens when corporations didn’t like your parody, they take down your video and issue copyright.
This power is given to them by Youtube. And if you have to fight it, then Youtube doesn’t help – it says do legal action.
Now, comes the interesting part – corporations know that small creators and many large creators can’t take the legal course because of time and money issue. So all the power of abuse goes to the corporations.
And there have been many cases where no song or video was used and still the copyright claim or takedown notice was sent. Because guess what there is no check – Youtube simply gives them the power to do that.
So, you are at the mercy of brands, corporations. Of course, you can take the legal action – but who will – given the time and expense.
There Is Room At The Top
YouTube is presumably at the safest place because it had become too big – and kind of monopoly.
But nothing remains forever if the people who are using it doesn’t see it with pride. If all the creators feel threatened and there comes a new platform focused on creators, many will jump. And if enough people go there, the majority of the audience will shift over there.
And what will be left will the corporate companies and their greed. But there would be no one to exploit, it will fade away.
A better platform and Youtube is doomed. This is a sad situation that such a thing needs to be said – but that’s the reality/
And yes, the new platform has to make sure the corporations don’t come and make it another Youtube. As they say, someone has to pivot their way into this. Maybe Elon Musk can save this with a platform where there is no differentiation even if you are from Mars.
That’s the rant. Now go make something you are proud of. Because you can and it is a privilege to make something.