Is YouTube Killing Itself?

This article displays my dis-taste and my concerns about the future of YouTube.
By Flash Cake, Published: Mar 30, 2016 | | |
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    I’m sure some of you are aware of the controversy around YouTube’s algorithm. In case you don’t know, YouTube is publicising channels based on the frequency of uploads and the length of videos. Don’t quote me on this but the reasoning behind this is because the more videos you upload, the more YouTube can play ads on the videos and make more money. And that I can understand, complaining that a company wants money is like complaining that porn is too graphic.

    But the problem I have with the algorithm is that it means that there is no longer an even playing field for creators. The thing that got this thought ball rolling was 2 tweets. One from Shane Gill and the other from Gaijin Goombah.


    And let’s begin with the one about small channels. There are thousands of small channels that are around that have marketed themselves on having high production values and a good amount of effort put into them but YouTube isn’t paying people based on the best workers, it’s paying by the hardest workers. Those small channels can’t grow because they can’t upload quickly (due to the fact they aren’t doing YouTube full time) and if they change their shows to be lower effort then they lose some of their artistic integrity and don’t want that.

    Then we have the channels that are already established. We have the big channels that are staying afloat fine and will do for some time but there are not a lot of small channels that aren’t rising. And when you’re a small channel doing something that doesn’t get noticed, that’s a huge demoraliser.

    And this is the part that concerns me. What happens when the big channels start to go away? What if Game Grumps went their separate ways because they got big doing their own thing? What if TeamFourStar got destroyed by copyright? What if PewDiePie became a television host? If they all go, then there will be no-one to replace them because the algorithm won’t support it. And honestly, I won’t be at all surprised if YouTube in a couple years’ time becomes irrelevant. 10 years ago, Newgrounds was the place for video uploads. Now it’s YouTube. And who’s to say the next 10 years won’t be dominated by daily motion.

    The way that it’s gone recently is that there is only one "good" way for a channel to grow. Creating drama. If there are two YouTubers that attack each other online and it gets people buzzing, while it’s creativity a toxicity, it’s mutually beneficial for both channels. (h3h3 Productions and LeafyIsHere both got a jump in subscribers during the day of the mutual “RANT” videos). Then you have people like I Hate Everything who got huge drama under the Cool Cat shenanigans and then after getting through that, he had his entire channel deleted. While shitty at the time, I’m sure there’s a lot of people who wouldn’t mind going through exactly the same thing.

    (Below is the Social Blade graph for I Hate Everything's Channel)

    And I know all the publicity comes from shares on social media but I just want to give a contrast on that effect. About a month back I made a Game Theory parody that was very well received. Gaijin Goombah shared that video on his twitter and for a Tweet with 43 thousand followers, my video got maybe an extra 400 views and 20 new subscribers. So while sharing on social media helps, the only way to get anything significant is promoting directly from YouTube.

    When it comes to my small channel, over half of those subscribers came from a larger channel that I had previously set up. And you see this all over with channels like Game Grumps showcasing animations from a bunch of people because animators have the toughest time with the algorithm. Making short animations is time consuming enough but to make long cartoon on a frequent basis is not physically possible without Warner Brother size teams.

    And I’m sure some of you are thinking “Well what about Patreon”
    Yes, that’s fine for the middle of the road YouTubers. The people with 100K subs benefit heavily from patreon but a small channel doesn’t have the publicity to get funding from that.

    And there are channels that will help out other channels but the poor have to stand on the shoulders of giants if they ever want to see above the storm clouds.

    And let’s briefly go over the other thing that may kill YouTube, the copyright and fair use clause. Now people will tell you that there are ways to bump yourself up in search engines and I tried doing this. What I was told was if you put the name of the thing you’re talking about in the description of the video as well as title, it will help you up the ladder. So I did this to my channel but I did it to only 3 of my 11 videos at the time and checked the analytics later. The videos in question were a Megaman X review, A rant about bats in video games and a review of the original Terminator. And not a couple hours after changing the description, monetisation was claimed for Metro Goldwyn Meyer on my Terminator video. And I probably got lucky on that one. Who’s to say it couldn’t be a strike or the video was banned viewing in the US. And the whole #WTFU has blown over now but the problem has not gone away.

    Now, when it comes to videos, I’m not going to stop creating. Creating for me has been an addiction for most my life. I will never stop drawing, I will never stop writing and I will never stop producing videos but with such a revenue centric algorithm in place, those videos aren’t going to be published on YouTube
    No-one’s will.

    I don’t want YouTube to die because familiarity breed contempt but there is going to be a day in the not too distant future where someone will say “Do you remember YouTube” and the other person’s just going to reply “No”


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    About Author

    Flash Cake
    I'm a comedy YouTuber, taking apart the plot holes, inconsistencies and general weirdness among Video Games, Movies, TV Shows and Anime.


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  1. Shweebe
    I've been worried about these issues too. If YT keeps going the way it's going I'm seriously worried it may no longer "be the place to be". Which is sad because it offers a lot but I think how to "get big" now is ... wrong. But right. Uploading more sure, I can understand that as a business person 'cause you want as much work from someone BUT will the quality be just as good if they stuck to their schedule?? It's a constant battle smaller youtubers have to deal with. 'Cause not all of us are full time on YT, most of us have adult lives and such. I just feel the algorithm is hurting the smaller channels instead of helping them. :worried:
  2. Bobbyzila
    For channels with low subs like me i find it will be hard to get noticed but for channels with a lot of subs they can rely on their subs to keep them going and getting the views!
  3. Sarcosana Gaming
    Does anyone here think they'll adjust the algorithm anytime soon?
  4. Alex Combs
    Youtube is not dying... its evolving
  6. XRaizex
    Youtube is not dying, yet it could be later on, With there new terms and conditions, bigger youtubers becoming demonetized meaning that YouTube is losing money from the creators, but YouTube is not dead, it is still very much alive
  7. Spunkly
    YouTube is definitely becoming a scary place to put yourself. The drama is really destroying everyone. YouTube used to be a place where people could go to have fun and make videos. Now you can't blow your nose without drama channels reporting about it. It's sad really. I think at this rate, YouTube will be gone in 5-10 years. It doesn't help that their copyright system is totally backwards. Anyone can claim a copyright and take your money. Not that you should make videos for money, but if you do it full time, you need that money. I don't know what will happen with YouTube, but there needs to be some changes. Not changes to benefit YouTube, but to benefit their creators. Ya know, the ones that keep YouTube afloat?
  8. GoodridgeGaming
    YouTube is dying cause of DramaAlert, LeafyIsHere, Scarce, all these drama channels! :/
    1. Tyhd
      Tyhd, Sep 1, 2016
  9. SloshyPlaysYT
    YouTube is dying right now. Remember a year or two ago when there was no or very little drama? And no drama channels like Scarce and DramaAlert. It's even harder for small channels like mine to get noticed, because there is lots of drama on youtubers with at least 100k.
  10. George or Joe
    Interesting thoughts, you're certainly not the first person think that, and I agree that there are certainly problems with YouTube but it's about evolution. If YouTube fails to evolve it will become irrelevant, if it remains in a place where new channels can't grow and yet large channels disappear day by day yes, one could say it is 'slightly buggered', bit were to add say a 'new' tab alongside trending and hot to allow for people to view channels that suit your tastes but are under a million view or a hundred thousand and so forth. And the same to copyright restrictions, YouTube must improve them before a superior site better for creators arises and strikes forth eliminating peoples ability to continue using YouTube, in short survival of the fittest! If you read this all you're as crazy as I! Thank you!