YouTube Vets Warn that Video Portal is No Friend to Content Providers

Diversifying to your own portal may be the answer

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

Several high profile veteran YouTubers are warning that as 2013 comes to a close, the video portal that has provided for them not only an outlet for their creativity – as well as a fairly decent living – is no real friend to the content provider.

In fact, they believe that to solely rely on YouTube as a full time job could be the death of one’s career, and it’s all thanks to YouTube’s sudden and confusing changes. Is the portal mistreating their content providers and is this anything new from what has been done with other gate keepers throughout the history of our industry?

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Recently, in an effort to become more mainstream and attract more lucrative advertisers, YouTube has begun to tighten up their content reporting policy which has caused one of the most popular genres on the channel to be put in jeopardy… game play commentaries.

As one of the most watch subjects on YouTube, any channel that seeks to monetize their game play commentaries are being taken down due to copyright violation reports that have nothing to do with the games, but more with the background music of the games which aren’t even heard on the videos being distributed.

Additionally, YouTube’s algorithms are causing many video channel viewer counts to be inaccurately displayed and as such, it’s causing many popular YouTubers to complain that their videos are being lost in their fans’ timelines.

“During this changeover, somehow on the backend, many channels went out of whack,” wrote Destorm Power in an op-ed at New Media RockStars. “There were broken sub-boxes, view count issues, and glitches that needed fixing.”

Power goes on to outline how his videos went from 8-10 million monthly views to less than half that. That’s a huge drop when you’re income is based on the number of views you receive.  “I was told on a few occasions: ‘Yes, there seems to be issues with the view count… but don’t worry, your AdSense is not affected.’ How is this possible if revenue is determined by views?”

That’s a good question. Storm also says that according to a recent analysis, up to 70 percent of views are either not being logged or are being lost in the back end. Power says that his channel’s stats have been broken for over a year and YouTube hasn’t been able to fix it or is simply unwilling too. “These losses are not only stressful as hell but they also reflect on how brands and subscribers view my channel,” Power said.

YouTube star Phillip DeFranco goes even further when he says that being a YouTube partner is like “having an alcholic father.” He said, “We don’t know if he’s going to take us to Disneyland or slap us in the face, or both. If YouTube is not a safe place, what does it mean for the landscape of YouTube, what is popular, and what is allowed?”

DeFranco says he’s been around the YouTube ecosystem long enough to know how to roll with the punches, and he advises diversifying away from YouTube and only keep a token presence on the site.

He’s created a site called SourceFed.com, which he’s constantly moving his fans towards it.  “We’ve created a super cool pillow fort in the backyard which our friends can come over and hang out.” Ironically, it’s owned by Discovery Channel’s Discovery Digital Network.

He’s positing the notion that users could go to a smaller site that doesn’t make as much money, but will eliminate all of the hassle. Until, of course, that site grows up and it starts all over again. At the end of the day, is YouTube becoming no different than the studios and broadcasters it was created to compete against? And in a few years time, will we even recognize it anymore?

Hat Tip – NMR here and here

About doddle 16396 Articles
Doddle is a leading online resource for filmmakers, covering news, reviews and tutorials for the video and film industry, along with movie and TV news.

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