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 answer the question on what YouTube has done (or not done) that has lead to such a public outcry, what advertisers can do and what has lead to all their content creators tightening their belts on their skinny jeans.
Firstly you need to understand that YouTube’s systems all work on a lengthy algorithm that covers everything from whether a creator gets advertisements for their videos to appearing on suggested videos, in hopes for potential subscribers. Obviously, this code can make or break a YouTuber’s channel. So there is no surprise that when it changes, it is often met with uproar from current big name 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.
It is understandable that people get upset when the algorithm is changed as some base their whole livelihoods on a regular income from YouTube ads on their videos. This means when this is updated, it can lead to people losing a huge income they may be relying on. However, it also allows for change and innovation in the industry so when the algorithm changes in the past, it has not 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 includes policy changes, algorithm updates and new bots all designed to push the potentially offensive content off suggested feeds and their home page. That also included LGBTQ videos leading to surprise and outrage on and off YouTube. Such situations has understandably lead to a lot of anger and “hate” being thrown at YouTube for not standing by their creators and in many peoples’ view, they are trying to keep the billions of pounds they make off advertising flowing into their bank accounts. So already they were not in a good working relationship with their content creators.
However, do you know what has happened recently that has led to even more agitation in the online community, which seems to have made the situation even worst? It has been cited by big star YouTubers like boogie2988, that large brands are pulling out of YouTube due to the content (being paired with their advertisements) produced by extremists and suggestive clips that endorse terrorism. 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 is now approaching big companies and asking them “Are you going to continue to fund hate speech on YouTube.” This is not a good 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 put videos with questionable content labelled 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 properly leading to many videos and the hours spent on them making 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.
Written by: Dan H