I have all been thinking for a while “What is going on with YouTube?” YouTube content creators have been complaining left, right and centre about how they have seen a drop in subscribers and that their videos aren’t showing up in feeds anymore. Well, I am going to try and figure out what YouTube has done (or not done) that has lead to such a public outcry the past couple of months. And in the process, figure out what advertisers can do and also what has lead to some content creators tightening the belts on their skinny jeans, so to speak.
From what I’ve gathered, YouTube’s systems seem to all work on a lengthy algorithm that covers everything. From whether a creator gets advertisements for their videos to appearing on suggested videos lists, which would could help them gain potential subscribers. Obviously this code can make or break a YouTuber’s channel. So it’s not of a surprise that when the algorithm changes, it is often met with uproar from popular YouTubers. However, it also allows for new YouTubers to grow their channels, as the adjusted algorithm may favour their style of videos. This favourability can vary from video length to how often you upload. (Insert stressful gif here).
It is understandable that people get upset when the algorithm is changed as some channels base their whole livelihoods on a regular income from YouTube ads featured on their videos. This means when this is updated, it can lead to people losing potential income they may be relying on. However, it also allows for a change that allows the site to improve itself so when the algorithm changes in the past, it hasn’t always been a bad thing.
YouTube in the past year has been making lots of changes to try and make their content more family friendly. This included policy changes, algorithm updates and new bots, all designed to push the potentially offensive content off users’ home pages and suggested feeds. Of course, this isn’t foolproof. Such filtration also included LGBTQ related videos being removed, leading to surprise and outrage on and off YouTube. Such situations has understandably lead to a lot of anger and disapproval being thrown in YouTube’s direction for not standing by their creators. Many people already suspect that YouTube are just trying to keep the billions of pounds they make off advertising flowing into their bank accounts. Nothing more, nothing less. So already the behemoth brand weren’t on good terms with their content creators.
However, guess what has happened in recent weeks that has led to even more agitation in the online community, which seems to have made the current situation worst? It has been cited by big star YouTubers like boogie2988 (as seen below), that large brands are pulling out their advertising from YouTube due to the content produced by extremists and suggestive clips that endorse terrorism, while being paired with their advertisements. The Guardian was the first to pick up on this, publishing a post showing that they were pulling out of all their YouTube advertising with Google after the content their ads were paired with, were provocative and offensive. This included clips featuring American white nationalists, a hate preacher banned in the UK and a controversial Islamist preacher. They have stated they will not be advertising on the platform until it can be guaranteed that it would never happen again. This lead to many large companies pulling out of YouTube advertisement as well. These companies included big brand names like PepsiCo and AT&T.
This has lead us up to present day, where YouTube is frantically trying to reassure advertisers that it is OK to advertise alongside their content again. However, it is not helping that the media are still approaching big companies and asking them “Are you going to continue to fund hate speech on YouTube?” This is not a desirable situation for content creators or consumers as they are now on average making 50% of what they were earning before these (in some cases life changing) issues. YouTube has tried to categorise videos with questionable content as ‘not advertiser friendly’ with an appeal system in place for creators who still think their content could be advertiser friendly. However, this has been panned by creators for having bugs and not working efficiently, leading to many videos online making little to no money at all.
So what can advertisers do now to still get quality online advertisement at the price of YouTube advertisement and also lets them reach such a refined audience? Well, our advice would be to check out Sky Adsmart for affordable advertising that can reach audiences can be targeted finely, even down to their post code. There is no need to worry about the content it will be paired with as all TV content is checked by Clearcast before being broadcast. The quality will be the level expected of a professional company, not just someone who has bought a DSLR camera and has a cat who can do a back flip. So if you want to change from YouTube advertisement or see it as an issue then check out Sky Adsmart for a great alternative. TV is far from dead.
Written by: Dan H