Understanding Youtube

The larger Youtube channels of today were smaller channels yesterday. So it makes sense that some of the current smaller youtube channels are going to be the large channels of the future. Well, that would have been the case but for Susan Wojcicki.

In the past smaller channels could monetise and be a partner.  By gaining the support and the small but growing revenue they could reinvest and grow further. The money was small but the motivation factor was the main driving force for many. But without the motivation of being a Youtube Partner few will persist sufficiently to be a major contribution to the youtube brand in the future.

Youtube has taken an interesting step in forcing new channels to make the whole “downpayment” of investment before any return is possible. This of course does nothing to curb the “regurgitation” or “repackaged” content providers that reach large figures quickly, but create a considerable risk for the advertisers. Which company wants to advertise and be associated with illegally copyright material? Which company wants to advertise with “people hurting themselves” or “being tricked”? The associations are not things that are compatible with most corporate marketing strategies. Yet these are the popular channels that reach monetisation criteria the quickest. Corporations however are treating social media and the internet like the placement of a billboard or an advert in a journal. The Youtube advertising is in multiple “journals” at the same time and that is why it is effective…

Susan Wojcicki should have educated its advertisers.

Indeed advertisers can’t control where their products or services are mentioned in social media, that is the point. Why do they feel they should. If a corporation decides they don’t want to sell to anyone who is a Trump supporter, or person who likes guns, or person who is part of the LGBT community, and they have ruled out every other perceived risk group, very soon they are basically not going to have any prospective customers left.

If the leading video is a news story of a shooting then that is what the viewers want to see (sick perhaps but this is the internet age!). A company not wanting to reach selective audiences should avoid the internet for their marketing and pray their business still survives…!

Youtube should have educated its advertisers. Are the companies advertising on Youtube to sell products and services or are they there to make products and services available to only those people that meet their idea of morality and lifestyle?

Youtube needed to remind corporations to be careful not to place a moral judgement on their customers… only on themselves!

But considering the situation with Youtube, it does not surprise me that they are not able to educate the advertisers. Recently Susan Wojcicki had a tweet about “important initiative that’s helping promote tolerance and fight hate online.”. Peoples opinions, no matter how weird should be allowed if they are legal. Companies are starting to use their position to be moral courts. This is the same moral judgement by a corporation against customers that their own advertisers are getting in a mess with.

jumping to a competing system and directing the viewers there too

Few channels have new and refreshing content for ever, and this is going to be the biggest problem for youtube. The punitive assumption that small channels are advertiser unfriendly is wrong. The smaller the channel, the more the channel owner has to loose. Indeed the major channels can hardly be “kicked off” and they know this. Their leverage is simply too strong. Their ultimate power lies in jumping to a competing system and directing the viewers there too.

For those that start on the Youtube journey but have come with an existing reputation there is another option that could make them do it, but this is no good for Youtube either. Sponsorships or revenue outside the Youtube advertising programme generate no revenue for Youtube, only costs. So to attract new content from existing “big players” or “personalities” the costs are high and the gains are low, at least from Youtube and Googles perspective.

Susan Wojcicki handed the larger channels total control of the Youtube business

So in effect Susan Wojcicki has actually handed the larger channels total control of the Youtube business as their ranking has even less risk of being lost. They can decide what they want and Youtube, as a result of this decision, has created a greater dependency on the few “leading channels” of today. In addition the newer generation and those with things that have not yet been “said or seen” will be far less lightly to risk making the necessary work downpayment to make a mark.  If this continues, after a time, diverse, original and exclusive youtube content will be a thing of the past and Youtube too will perhaps be a thing of the past.

Susan Wojcicki thanks for showing the world how to get something so wrong. Congratulations from a social aspect are in order, because from this blunder competitive platforms can learn and will get stronger and Google will eventually be one of many.

But by the time all these implications are noticed and have effect, Susan Wojcicki will have probably moved on to another business to contribute to their “future”.