YouTubeIsOverParty is trending on Twitter, it’s on Facebook and it’s all over Reddit. If you spend any time looking at the hashtag and the commentary, you’re going to see that something major happened. YouTube is OVER! Well, at least that’s what you might walk away feeling if you trust the mob. Now, in all honesty, I don’t know ALL the details because this is something that just started happening in the last 24 hours. So I’ll do my best to break it down and offer a little context.
As we all know, YouTube allows all creators the opportunity to post and host videos they create on their website. As an added bonus, YouTube gives you the ability to run ads alongside that content and get a cut of the revenue. On a grand scale, it works out to about $3 per 1000 views. That money comes from the advertisers who pay to place their brands alongside or in front of your content. It’s a business move for the brands who want to advertise, and a nice perk for creators. Over the last number of years, that has resulted in thousands of people creating new careers in video creation – YouTubers. Ad money has made it possible for people to make it a full time thing.
What did YouTube Change?
Yesterday, YouTube started un-monetizing videos that they deem ‘unfriendly to advertisers’. As a business, YouTube has likely been under pressure from their advertisers to not put their ads up against say… racists (see Evalion) or sexists (see Sam Pepper), or videos put up by ISIS. Obviously. “Hey guys, today we’re going to chop off an infidel’s head, but first a word from our sponsors at Razor Blade Co!” As a blogger, I have known full well that advertisers NEVER want their ads alongside anything that’s outside of vanilla. I’m really surprised it took this long for YouTube to make this change.
According to YouTube, this is what constitutes unfriendly content to advertisers. Honestly, it’s a standard content guidelines for ad money.
Why YouTubeIsOverParty is Nonsense
YouTube is changing a lot lately. They are having issues with harassment, scaling, copyright and much more. They are changing because the world is evolving, and what YouTube was in 2010 is not what YouTube wants to be in 2020. Hell, YouTube doesn’t even make money yet! A billion people visit the site and they can’t even break even! Some of the changes have been fantastic, for example H3H3 noted that a copyright claim against their video was believed to be Fair Use by YouTube, or the change to how monetization works when being copyright claimed. Great moves, proud of you. If you don’t fit within the guidelines as posted above, there’s a chance your video will not appeal to what advertisers want and thus – no monetization.
But Zach, if I create videos where I say ‘fuck’ a lot while playing Minecraft, and they won’t run ads beside my content – they are censoring me and stopping me from making these videos!
No, they aren’t. You can absolutely still create all the fucking Minecraft videos you want. You can even say shit, or ass, or the dreaded c-word. Hell, use racial epithets, talk about murder and treat women like objects with your pick up techniques if you want. That’s all going to be just fine to upload to YouTube – but, don’t expect to be paid for it because advertisers (the people with money) don’t like it. It’s not censorship, it’s business. < THAT’S IMPORTANT!
Zach, how can I keep putting out this content if YouTube advertisers aren’t paying me? This is my career! YOUTUBEISOVERPARTY!
That was a mistake on your part. You should never rely on a third party service to make or break your career. I’ve been an entrepreneur throughout my life, and a freelancer, and I’ve worked regular day jobs. The ONE MAJOR TAKEAWAY I HAVE IS: Never rely on tomorrow being the same as today. One day you have the job, the next you don’t. One day, you get a nice chunk of cash, and the next an unexpected bill comes in. Always remember that tomorrow is not today.
So then, what can I do? I’m only good at creating videos.
You can start immediately thinking like a business owner – in fact, you ARE a business owner, and your main product is YOU and your VIDEOS. Assuming you have an audience, that means you have potential to sell them on something that you do. Perhaps it’s a matter of setting up a Patreon and hoping your biggest super fans will support you. Maybe there is a government grant willing to give you money to create more content. Maybe you can sell T-shirts, or hats. And while traditional advertisers might not want to advertise alongside your content, there are non-traditional ones who will: ie. Draft Kings, or Me Undies, or Dollar Shave Club who are totally cool with edgy content. Start selling your OWN ads and cut out YouTube!
Look to Howard Stern re: YOUTUBEISOVERPARTY
Howard Stern made a career on being controversial. Whether it was giving women orgasms, or convincing a handicap guy he was on the moon, or talking about sex, drugs and bodily functions, he was always controversial. NO ADVERTISERS WANTED TO PUT ADS ALONGSIDE HIS SHOW. Until he had an audience, then his internal team was able to sell ads to alcohol companies and dating sites. He built a bigger business around himself with MULTIPLE income sources including a best-selling book, an award nominated movie, a TV channel and now his own radio station on Sirius XM that pays him hundreds of millions (because his fans pay each month – Patreon?). The point being, once he learned that he wasn’t going to make money from Pepsi, Duracell etc, he BUILT A BUSINESS around his product – himself and his radio show.
Sound familiar? You and your videos. Adsense is EASY because you click a button and boom – a very tiny bit of cash. While building a business is work, the monetary payoffs can be huge – much larger than even the best months of Adsense. Is YouTube over for the controversial creators?
Nope, not at all. It just means it’s time to build a business around your content!
ALSO: WATCH THIS VIDEO BY H3H3!