YouTube Sponsorships and the Adpocolypse

YouTube has started offering the ability for viewers to sponsor Gaming channels for $4.99 a month. This is supposedly in response to many gaming channels having their ad revenue tank due to the Adpocolypse. The idea is that viewers to gaming channels can pay $4.99 per month and get special badges, and other

My view of this is a very profound “shmuh”…

YouTube has a business model, and frankly it’s a good business model.  Put ads on user generated content, and split the revenue.  They were very good at this.  This was the system that content creators found attractive, and was something that generally worked. The problem is that YouTube has lost confidence in it’s own vision.  It got smacked by the Wall Street Journal, and other geezerly, out of touch, media organization and instead of standing it’s ground it fled like a whipped puppy.

The ad based system was good for creators because it allowed them to focus on content, and not T Shirts.  I made a fine living off of ad revenue alone.  By making real money from ad revenue it means that creators do not have to sell out to sponsors, and that they don’t have to split their attention doing things other than content.  Private Discord servers sound awesome, until you’re the poor creator tied to one so that viewers can feel special enough to hand over some money.  Viewers come to VIEW content, but revenue systems that require creators do everything in the world other than creating content do not help.

A good business must generally yield to the demands of customers, but they also need to know when to hold their ground.  YouTube is the most direct way to deliver advertising messages to prime, highly focused, demographics for a fraction of the cost of old media.  Any advertiser that is worried about showing up on Call of Duty videos due to violence should be called out as the idiots they are.  Look at TV.  SERIOUSLY!!!  I stopped watching The Walking Dead years ago after an attempted rape scene.  It was just too much.  That was years before a long time cast member apparently was bashed with a barbwired baseball bat and their eye popped out.  Think about this for just a second.  The Walking Dead is the most valuable time slot on TV, and they’re portraying people beaten to death with barbwire wrapped baseball bats, and yet advertisers are scared of gaming channels?  How does that make even an ounce of sense?

My personal opinion is that the new Sponsorships are yet another example of YouTube management proving they do not understand their business.  Instead of fixing the problems with a system that worked, they are grabbing for other solutions in a blind attempt find something else.

They should be making ad buying easier.  They should be communicating with creators so that the creators have a better idea of where the lines are.  They should be strong arming stupid companies to warn them that if they pull ad spends now that they will pay for it in the future.  They should be educating brain dead PR people on who the demographics really are and why a few naughty words is actually fine. YouTube should be in the final innings of proving that it’s the media platform of the future, but instead it’s spinning like a 6 month old startup.

My only hope for YouTube is that Susan Wojcicki will be fired and a someone that understands the industry will replace her.  Until then it looks like the order of the day is half thought out bandaids that ironically only make creators question why they are on the platform even more. To be brutally honest I haven’t looked back since leaving YouTube, and every day they seem to reinforce my belief I stayed too long.

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  1. “My only hope for YouTube is that Susan Wojcicki will be fired and a someone that understands the industry will replace her”

    Sounds like you might just be the Person to do so Eli! 😉

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