Will YouTube ever be the same again?

Digital, Marketing, Technology 2017-07-07

What is YouTube?

YouTube has been a popular streaming site for just over a decade now and as of 2017 is the second most used website on the internet. Its popularity has stemmed from the creative freedom that it allows its users to have, whether they’re looking for videos branching out from film reviews or something completely different, like makeup tutorials. A key selling point for YouTube is that anyone with a camera and an idea can upload a video to the site without going through any filters that try and dilute down the content that they intend to upload. The intimacy between the creators and viewers on the website turned the small video sharing site of 2005 into the digital juggernaut that it is today. However, as YouTube grew bigger in popularity, it attracted bigger companies that wanted to advertise on the site. Although that meant great things economically, it also meant increased risk of slipping up.

Kiev, Ukraine - May 21, 2014: Woman holding a brand new Apple iPad Air and looking on YouTube music playlist on a screen. YouTube is the world's most popular online video-sharing website that founded in February 14, 2005

The “Adpocalypse”

On the 17th March 2017 The Times published a disparaging article on YouTube. They had discovered that adverts from big companies like BBC and L’Oreal were showing up on videos displaying hate speech and non-brand friendly videos that might tarnish the reputation of such companies if seen by the wrong people. As this article started to trend online, it reached the eyes of many companies that acted quickly by pulling their adverts from the site. This exodus of ads included companies like Pepsi, Walmart, GSK, Johnson & Johnson and many more. Many among the YouTube community came to know this as the “Adpocalypse” since adverts were sparse on the site. According to analyst firm Nomura Instinet, YouTube could’ve lost up to $750 million because of the drop of adverts on the website.

Effect on YouTubers

Every video on YouTube is able to make money for the creator of the video and for YouTube itself. In simple terms the money comes from the adverts that pop up on the video and the more views that a video gets, the more money the video makes. After the “Adpocalypse” many of the videos on the site started to make significantly less money because no adverts were appearing on them anymore. This started to become a problem for people who made a living from creating videos on the site because they were getting very little income. This led to YouTubers venturing into new opportunities such as another live streaming website called Twitch and other forms of social media like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. A lot of YouTubers dropped out of school when they became popular so very few have a backup job that they can rely on if anything goes wrong.

"Kiev, Ukraine - December 8, 2011: Google inc. has officially released brand new design of YouTube homepage in December 1, 2011. YouTube is a largest and most visited video-sharing website, has founded in February 14, 2005."

Attempt to Recover

YouTube always had guidelines that people uploading a video must adhere to but they were so lenient that most videos aligned within the rules anyway. However, with adverts appearing on videos that shouldn’t have been allowed on the website, the rules were strictly tightened in an attempt to stop anything like the “Adpocalypse” happening again. These new rules have changed YouTube since creating videos is a more cautious process now that content creators are being monitored a bit more closely. This has made the platform a lot more family friendly, which has annoyed the fans who dislike television for the same reason. One of these new rules are to stop swearing as much, which has also angered the viewers because they came to YouTube for raw and real content from their favourite creators, not people who have to censor themselves in order to make money. Another rule that has stirred some controversy is the ban of graphic content in videos. This is especially affecting independent news channels that can’t make money on their videos if they show any footage of terrorist attacks or police shootings that bigger news stations like CNN or BBC can share on television.

As always YouTube are trying to fix some of the problems and resolve some of the issues that their new set of guidelines have brought with them but the “Adpocalypse” has really got people wondering if YouTube will ever be the same again.

What are your opinions on YouTube? Do you think it’s changed? Tweet me your thoughts @ollieatnotch