Youtubers Union Weekly Update 11, 8th November 2018
In the tradition of my favourite channel, Dota Cinema, I will be calling this a weekly update even though we all know they are not weekly. One substantial thing really stands out, Jörg has voluntarily demonetised his channel, he has joined the ranks of the rest of us that just do it for fun. It seems with all the problems YouTube has its just not financially viable to call YouTube a job even for a multi million subscriber channel. I remember a time when YouTube represented a dream of making a living just by sharing what you love with the world. Then came more and more conditions. More and more restrictions, more people being banned and booted and now we are at a place where freedom of speech and freedom of creativity on YouTube are dead to many.
One really interesting video Jörg produced was tacking the issue of monetisation having a knock on effect on discovery. I've seen a lot of stats to support the idea that demonetising a video has a big impact on discovery. Jörg produced a video talking about the subject. Youtube clearly states that demonetisation has no impact on discovery, but it has been proven time and time again that it does. Check out Jörg's video, its to the point and very insightful. Jörg's more recent meetings with YouTube have revealed that the situation is a little more complex than Youtube simply lying about this. To me though it is still very simple, arbitrary and inaccurate censorship is taking away money both from YouTube and from creators, some of which rely on that income now.
From the recent discussion Youtube has again suggested they are under a huge amount of pressure to make sure their content is safe for advertisers. Well my opinion on this is it a hole they dug themselves. No content is truly unsuitable for advertisers. Lets face it, most of us have been on sites with sexual content, violence, vulgar language, heard racist words in music, seen abusive videos and a vast range of other stuff that would be banned from YouTube. Yet this content is still monetised by having adverts by it. This content exists in classical cinema all the time, and it has adds placed with it. This content exists on television and it has ads placed on it. In my opinion if YouTube had simply responded to the first adpocalypse by giving the advertisers more tools to control where their adds go, and taking no action whatsoever against the content creators, then there would have been a short term drop in add revenue shortly followed by an increase as the advertisers realise that add space is now filled with their competitors. Yet Youtube has given more and more control over to advertisers.
Imagine I was selling ad space on billboards all around my town. If an advertiser comes to me one day and says they don't like their add being next to the gun club. Well fine I can respect that I will take the add down. But what if they then ask me to burn that billboard so no one else cna advertise there? That would be crazy. It would stop me selling add space to another advertiser. This is exactly what is happening now on YouTube. I've seen articles from marketing companies that have had to review their policies. YouTube demonetising videos means there is less space and less views to advertise on so the advertisers feel they are getting less value. that was the line of thinking anyway. Only YouTube and the add agencies know their exactly figures and motivations.
It is really telling of how people view YouTube, that when Jörg talked in his report about Youtube saying they cared about small creators he had to qualify this saying they said it in a believable way. I am a small creator myself. I never asked to be paid money, all I wanted was for people to see my content, yet the recommended video typically displayed on my content was from another channel, not the next video in the series. I noticed that over 90% of my views were from external sources, from me advertising the videos myself. It was hard work and I'd at least have liked people to see more than one of my videos when they visit my channel. YouTube was taking away the viewers I worked hard for and sending them away from my channel. This isn't just my channel either. I have seen the same trend again and again. Just Yesterday I was watching a lets play of an old game called "Evolva" and the auto play kept taking me away from the lets play series and onto bigger unrelated channels. Nothing is more relevant to recommended than the next video in the series is. I shouldn't have to queue up videos in a playlist in order for them to be considered relevant. I would understand if the algorithm decided occasionally to show me something else, but every time it takes me away from a series to something completely unrelated. unless it's a big channels series, then it stays on the series.
Below are all of Jörg's Facebook posts since the last newsletter
one week ago I met with several people from YouTube, the highest ranking officer one of their Vice Presidents, no less. Here is my report - at least the parts that I was allowed to talk about (Read More)
I am happy to present another Facebook page, owned by the Union. The "YouTube Poison Rack" page will list "demonetized" playlists or individual "lona" videos of our members.
So if you have such videos on your channel, please provide the links! (Read More)
The "Süddeutsche", a very important mainstream news magazine, brought an article today about the Union... with a ton of truth. (Read More)
I have decided to make a playlist with ALL of my demonetized videos. Only those that YouTube demonetized, not those that I did not monetize myself. (Read More)
Recently I gave an extensive interview to Prof. Sangeet Kumar from the Denison University. He is working on a paper that covers the "Adpocalypse". Imagine that, highly respected researchers are now investigating too! (Read More)
For the Germans among us... me representing the Union on a panel, part of a two-day national union congress (Read More)
Is YouTube violating Asimov's first law?
I am preparing a sheet of issues and ideas about how YouTube could improve the current situation. When I was looking into the "bots can issue strikes and even delete channels", (Read more)
For the Germans:
Heute nacht läuft ein interessanter Bericht über die rechtlichen Problemer deutscher YouTuber mit den Landesmedienanstalten. Ich komme auch zu Wort, ein (Read More)
About the notification system
OK, the guys from Creator Insider say that there is a bug so the subscribers of a channel "sometimes" don't get a notification even though they have activated the "bell" symbol. (Read More)
Bye bye, sponsoring, monetization, and Patreon!
Yes, you read right. I just published my last sponsored video and it is non monetized as well. (Read More)
I am thinking about a website that works like a TRUE sub notification system. People can register, chose the channels they want to monitor and then get RELIABLE notifications plus an updated overview. (Read More)
Folks, great news!
As you know the people from "Creator Insider", the unofficial channel operated by some YouTube employees, reacted to my last video and we engaged in an exchange on the comment pages (Read More)
As reported earlier, they remonetized "Katana Mythbusting Extreme". Look at Analytics. (Read More)
"Creator Insiders" may be lying to us, but at least they have guts, coming to our video and discussing things with us in the open. (Read More)
Believe it or not "Creator Inside" responded by commenting to both videos. They probably had to as we "bombed" theirs... 1.8k dislikes vs. 250 likes. (Read More)
David "BigMonMulgrew" Mulgrew