As a lot of you probably have heard by now, YouTube is changing how it monetizes videos and channels. These changes will affect everyone who makes content for YouTube.
To recap what the website staff mentioned in their blog post, starting February 20, they are making it harder for channels to qualify for monetizing their videos (or having YouTube put ads on their videos so the creators can earn money). There have been issues with how many people monetized on the site in the past, and the team working behind the scenes has tried to make things fairer in the past. While it wasn’t perfect, it was understandable, at the very least a step in the right direction.
But now, 99% of channels will lose the ability to monetize their videos because of the new guidelines. This strikes a nerve with me, not just the fact that people are going to lose money, but because this favors the 1% at the top. The blog post says these new guidelines will help them identify who creates “positive, meaningful content.”
I’m going to be biased here: the 1% is basically the most popular channels on YouTube. While I hold onto the belief that some popular channels have really good content, not all of them are. To me, these changes are saying, “We value popularity over essence. If you want to get anywhere, do anything it takes to get people to notice you.”
For the past few months, I have considered starting a YouTube channel, because as of now, I just use Facebook to store Parhelion videos and I would like to have a better way to organize and share them. But hearing this news influenced my decision not to start a YouTube channel. At least for right now. One reason, I will admit, is I can’t monetize my videos. This would have brought in some money on the side, and every penny helps.
My main reason for not creating a channel is because I don’t want to feel that I have to change my content to fit “popular” views, or to do whatever it takes to get people to like my videos or subscribe. I want to create videos and animated cards that I like, not what I think others would like, and I would rather join a creator-friendly community. I still believe that there are good content creators on YouTube, and that they will continue to be there.
But I also need to look at other sites, too, and not rely solely on one.