Hey 3.5 readers.
So there’s been some talk on the ole inter webs this week that “YouTube is Over.”
Specifically, YouTube has set down some rules that affect the “monetization” of YouTube videos, or in other words, cut into the dough that popular YouTubers make via their YouTubery.
Honestly, I have a face for podcasting and a voice for blogging, so YouTubing is something I don’t forsee myself ever getting into. Ergo, I’m not sure how it all works vis a vis the money but I assume YouTubers get a cut of the money their videos make when ads are shown before their videos.)
Admittedly, I could be explaining that all wrong. If you know more, fill me in.
At any rate, YouTube has laid down some new rules that YouTubers must follow in order for their videos to be considered “advertiser friendly” and therefore be deemed worthy of monetization i.e. profit for the YouTuber.
YouTuber Phillip DeFranco posted an extensive video about the situation:
The new rules are thus:
So, as I look above, my gut reaction is “OK, these situations could be problematic…but…what about context?”
- Sexually Suggestive Content – Eh…I mean no, we don’t want YouTube to be turned into a porn repository but sometimes YouTubers post funny videos about sex, or talk about sexual issues or give advice about sex. Pretty much every song – pop, rap or otherwise is about sex so their accompanying music videos will be about sex.
- Violence – In many ways, this is a no brainer. We don’t want YouTube to become online fight club no more than we want it to be a porn depot. So no, no one should be bonking someone in the head and then posting it. And obviously regarding violent extremism we don’t want extremists using YouTube to peddle their evil deeds. But what if a YouTuber is reviewing a violent film? Some YouTubers even produce and put out their own web TV shows that may include fictional violence.
- Inappropriate language – I get it. Bad language = bad. Directed at another person = bad. Used in the context of a joke – could be funny.
- Drugs – No, we don’t need the youth of the world to be able to go onto YouTube and find videos about how to roll a joint or what have you…but what if someone is mentioning drugs in a joking “Cheech and Chong” like manner?
So here’s the thing. Sex, violence, bad language and drugs. I get it. These are issues advertisers don’t want to be associated with.
But I could see how there could be a context issue that makes people worry…i.e. YouTubers may be concerned that they might be left in limbo if their videos discuss these issues without necessarily stating that these activities are cool or good or whatever.
And a further concern raised in the Twittosphere has been will there might be selective enforcement. (i.e. if the average schmuck YouTuber isn’t getting any money for his video that mentions sex and drugs then fairness dictates that popular music videos that mention sex and drugs also not get monetized).
But ok. Devil’s advocate. Advertisers of toothpaste, cars, candy, whatever don’t want to be associated with your YouTube video if these rules aren’t followed. OK. No more sex, drugs, violence and bad language in my YouTube videos and problem solved, right?
Well, check out the last rule. While the other ones seem to have an issue with context:
“Controversial or sensitive subjects and events including subjects related to war, political conflicts, natural disasters and tragedies, even if graphic imagery is shown.”
Um…it could just be me but this sounds a lot like, “if you post videos about the news, no ka-ching for you!”
And naturally, many political video bloggers or v-loggers are suggesting just that – that this may be a way to crack down on certain political ideas, speech, thoughts, etc.
My two cents – if networks can sell ads during the nightly news, then surely video bloggers who discuss the news, politics, etc should be able to get a few bucks.
Honestly 3.5 readers, I know nothing about any of this and am just regurgitating what I’ve read in the Twitosphere so I could be wrong. Assume I am wrong. Don’t think badly of YouTube or YouTubers based on this post but rather, go do your own research.
I assume this will be a situation that no one will know the impact of until it happens and YouTubers report to the public on whether or not they see a decline in cash flow but at any rate if you’re an indie content producer of any kind, whether it be blogging, social media, video posting or whatever, not putting all your eggs in one basket is key.
Branch out lest new rules come down the pike and blindside you.
If you know more about this and can set me straight or better yet if you’re a YouTuber who knows the 411, discuss in the comments.