I started to write this as a response to James in the comments section when it got really long and I felt that it could actually make for an interesting post where we can all respond.
James mentioned this video, which is very interesting.
I saw the video and I think it has some very valid points.. I even subscribed to their mailing list to see what else they have to say. But I don’t agree with all that they are saying and I explain why later in this post.
I’m not happy with the change to “popular” from “most viewed” at YouTube as I don’t feel that “popular” accurately reflects what people are watching on YouTube. It’s too heavily weighted in certain areas, such as, if a video has a large percentage of its views coming from a website outside of YouTube it will appear on the #1 “popular” page even with only 2,000 views. Plus, if a phrase is searched for, then those videos appear all over the “popular” as well.. that’s how we ended up with every single video yesterday being that singer from Britain’s Got Talent! That women is amazing, but I didn’t need to see her videos 40 times on YouTube!
So I think “popular” still does not do what it’s supposed to do, yet, and that’s why it keeps changing. YouTube wants to give lesser known creators of content more of a chance to be seen on YouTube and that’s why the change to “popular”.. but the algorithm is just not there yet.
RATINGS PHASED OUT
I’m also not happy with the phasing out of ratings. One day ratings are there, the next day, they are not. Ratings are very useful as a way to quickly browse through videos to determine which videos to avoid. The problems with ratings is that not only are BAD videos rated low, but videos that are advertisements are ALWAYS rated low as well… and as a result, people are avoiding watching those videos. So YouTube removed ratings from the lists. I don’t think this change is good, and I think they will eventually bring them back.
So I agree with the video in those respects.
“YOUTUBE IS BECOMING THEMTUBE”
But, I don’t agree with this sentiment, and let me explain why.
The people who created YouTube are not stupid and neither are the people at Google. They know that YouTube is popular BECAUSE OF THE USER-GENERATED CONTENT!
But YouTube is not able to monetize the user-generated content like they NEED TO.
ADVERTISERS ARE AFRAID OF USER-GENERATED CONTENT
Advertisers, for the large part, are still afraid to advertise on user-generated content. YouTube is frustrated with that and they are having to adapt until advertisers wake up and realize that they CAN advertise on user-generated content. People will not hold an advertiser liable if its ad appears on a video that happens to be very controversial! I mean, seriously, when is the last time you got mad at a car company because its ad appeared next to a video that you didn’t like? If you’re like me, the answer is NEVER.
BUT ADVERTISERS ARE AFRAID OF THAT SITUATION! And that’s why YouTube is having to adapt to make advertisers comfortable with advertising on the website. How can they do that when advertisers are afraid of user-generated content? Borrow a page from Hulu! Provide professionally produced content that once appeared on Television that advertisers will be more than happy to advertise on!
As I stated in an earlier post, it’s estimated that YouTube costs about $2 million dollars a day to run, but they are only bringing in between $250k – 650k a day.. so they are losing $1.4 – 1.65 million dollars EVERY SINGLE DAY!
No company can exist forever losing that kind of money!
Hulu serves up 88 million video views a month and is poised to make $100 million this year. YouTube serves up 4.2 BILLION videos a month and is only poised to make $300-500 million this year. Hulu is making 1/3 of the money YouTube is making with 2% of the traffic!!!
So, yes.. YouTube looked at Hulu.com and decided to see if they could make some of that “Hulu” money.
USER-GENERATED CONTENT CAN COEXIST WITH PROFESSIONAL CONTENT
How does Hulu make so much money? By regurgitation TV shows and putting them online. Advertisers pay BIG bucks to advertise on those shows and Hulu is very happy hauling the big bags of money to the bank each day.
Hulu is owned by NBC and Fox.. so other networks don’t necessarily want to put their shows on that website and put money in their competitors’ pockets. Why not put their shows on the most heavily trafficked video website on the planet, YouTube?
And that’s what’s happening here.
PROFESSIONALLY PRODUCED CONTENT ON YOUTUBE IS SUBSIDIZING ALL OF THE USER-GENERATED CONTENT ON THE SITE.
Or, at least, that is the plan.
Eventually, over time, the advertisers will hopefully get comfortable with some of the user-generated content and start advertising on that as well… and then, finally, advertisers will realize that users don’t attach advertisers to user-generated content and they will advertise on all the content.
So as far as I’m concerned, I want YouTube to stick around and if they need to bring in some TV shows to help fund the thing? That’s fine by me! I know that user-generated content is THE REASON why YouTube is successful, and the people at YouTube and Google know that as well.
It’s fun to be a conspiracy theorist at times.. and to think that all companies are bad and evil.. but that kind of thinking also stops you from pursuing your dreams. If the whole world is corrupt, then why bother, right?
I didn’t think that way two years ago when I set out to create my channel, and I don’t think that way today. I think these changes at YouTube are designed to help new channels be seen and to help YouTube pay the bills. YouTube is a company of people just like you and me. These people want to see the site succeed and they will fight hand over fist (I wonder where that expression came from?) to see that creators of content, like some of you and I, will be able to continue to do what we do, and get paid for it as well!
So, that’s my perception of the changes at YouTube. Some of the changes are still a work in progress, but overall, I think the changes are great! After reading my thoughts, what do you guys now think?Tweet