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YouTube's recent TOS change - a perfect example of Control

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Ernman

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YouTube (YT) recently provided us with a perfect example of what happens to people using something they don't control.

YouTube recently posted an update to their Terms of Service (TOS) stating that they were going to place ads on channels that did not yet qualify for the "Partner" program (i.e. monetized). YT stated that they've always reserved this option in their TOS but were making it clear as they moved forward. For those not familiar with YT they allow creators (the folks like me that create and upload videos) to share in the ad revenue through their Partner program after certain conditions are achieved: 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours.

While some creators have made some very good money this way, the vast majority of creators do not make much if anything. Many new channels (creators) hold out this hope that they will go viral, gain thousands/millions of subscribers and strike it rich overnight (sound familiar?). The truth is, like anything we do as entrepreneurs, it takes time, effort and understanding to achieve success in this venue. What most YT creators fail to recognize, or choose to ignore, is that they DO NOT control YouTube, it's algorithm or how the platform is managed. YT is simply doing what YT believes is best for YT.

But OMG the up roar by the creator community! "It's not fair" "It's against the law" "They're stealing" "I'm going to sue them" and the list of impudent whiny posts goes on.

And you know what? So do the uploads of creator content.

Can YouTube be a part of a Fastlane strategy? Sure it can - BUT don't ever make it the backbone of your strategy because you don't control it.

The purpose of this thread is not to discuss the pros/cons of what YT is doing, but provide a real world current example of the importance of CONTROL in the Fastlane.

Full Disclosure: I am a YT creator and a member of the partner program (I have a monetized YT channel and earn money from ad revenue). I am not an executive or employee of YT, its parent or associated business partners other than through the Partner program. YT ad revenue (now classified as a royalty payment and taxed accordingly by the same YT update by the way) is one of my revenue streams - albeit a very small one :smile2:. It is one of many revenue streams I have or am building.
 

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YouTube (YT) recently provided us with a perfect example of what happens to people using something they don't control.

YouTube recently posted an update to their Terms of Service (TOS) stating that they were going to place ads on channels that did not yet qualify for the "Partner" program (i.e. monetized). YT stated that they've always reserved this option in their TOS but were making it clear as they moved forward. For those not familiar with YT they allow creators (the folks like me that create and upload videos) to share in the ad revenue through their Partner program after certain conditions are achieved: 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours.

While some creators have made some very good money this way, the vast majority of creators do not make much if anything. Many new channels (creators) hold out this hope that they will go viral, gain thousands/millions of subscribers and strike it rich overnight (sound familiar?). The truth is, like anything we do as entrepreneurs, it takes time, effort and understanding to achieve success in this venue. What most YT creators fail to recognize, or choose to ignore, is that they DO NOT control YouTube, it's algorithm or how the platform is managed. YT is simply doing what YT believes is best for YT.

But OMG the up roar by the creator community! "It's not fair" "It's against the law" "They're stealing" "I'm going to sue them" and the list of impudent whiny posts goes on.

And you know what? So do the uploads of creator content.

Can YouTube be a part of a Fastlane strategy? Sure it can - BUT don't ever make it the backbone of your strategy because you don't control it.

The purpose of this thread is not to discuss the pros/cons of what YT is doing, but provide a real world current example of the importance of CONTROL in the Fastlane.

Full Disclosure: I am a YT creator and a member of the partner program (I have a monetized YT channel and earn money from ad revenue). I am not an executive or employee of YT, its parent or associated business partners other than through the Partner program. YT ad revenue (now classified as a royalty payment and taxed accordingly by the same YT update by the way) is one of my revenue streams - albeit a very small one :smile2:. It is one of many revenue streams I have or am building.
Yeah, I saw that, and the gnashing of teeth. I believe it means my channel could show competitor ads even if I don’t want it to, which isn’t why I uploaded my videos. I’ll likely not do anything about it.
 

Ernman

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I believe it means my channel could show competitor ads even if I don’t want it to,
Yes, that is a possibility. Savvy biz competitor could buy ads to be placed on competing providers/channels. Sounds like an interesting new opportunity for a tech smart Fastlaner to take advantage of.
 

fastlanedoll

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At least they didn't make it even harder to become a partner.

...or do you think they will eventually?

Maybe it's really time to get started ASAP and try to get a channel monetized.
 

Ernman

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At least they didn't make it even harder to become a partner.

...or do you think they will eventually?

Maybe it's really time to get started ASAP and try to get a channel monetized.
I haven't heard anything about making it harder to get in the partner program.

As for time to get started...if it's part of your strategy, then yes you should get moving forward. Starting a channel is technically very easy. But learning how to create content, thumbnails and titles that capture view time and grows subscribers takes time and experience.

I want to reiterate - a YT channel is NOT Fastlane. It can be part of a Fastlane strategy but it is not, by itself, Fastlane as it fails a major element of the CENTS framework.
 

Ocean Man

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I've always thought to myself, what'd it be like to another platform that has the feelings of 2008/2009 YouTube when it was more community-based rather than the number of views and subscribers a person gets.

But I've also thought of ideas where you could create a platform that basically has people subscribing to a person's channels to see their content. Something like OnlyFans or Twitch. That way the subscriptions can go to the content creator and there wouldn't be any ads on the creator's videos.

What they're doing now is disgusting. Especially for those small-time content creators who aren't even in the partner program. Now they're going to start playing ads on their channels?
 
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Stroboscope

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YouTube (YT) recently provided us with a perfect example of what happens to people using something they don't control.

YouTube recently posted an update to their Terms of Service (TOS) stating that they were going to place ads on channels that did not yet qualify for the "Partner" program (i.e. monetized). YT stated that they've always reserved this option in their TOS but were making it clear as they moved forward. For those not familiar with YT they allow creators (the folks like me that create and upload videos) to share in the ad revenue through their Partner program after certain conditions are achieved: 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours.

While some creators have made some very good money this way, the vast majority of creators do not make much if anything. Many new channels (creators) hold out this hope that they will go viral, gain thousands/millions of subscribers and strike it rich overnight (sound familiar?). The truth is, like anything we do as entrepreneurs, it takes time, effort and understanding to achieve success in this venue. What most YT creators fail to recognize, or choose to ignore, is that they DO NOT control YouTube, it's algorithm or how the platform is managed. YT is simply doing what YT believes is best for YT.

But OMG the up roar by the creator community! "It's not fair" "It's against the law" "They're stealing" "I'm going to sue them" and the list of impudent whiny posts goes on.

And you know what? So do the uploads of creator content.

Can YouTube be a part of a Fastlane strategy? Sure it can - BUT don't ever make it the backbone of your strategy because you don't control it.

The purpose of this thread is not to discuss the pros/cons of what YT is doing, but provide a real world current example of the importance of CONTROL in the Fastlane.

Full Disclosure: I am a YT creator and a member of the partner program (I have a monetized YT channel and earn money from ad revenue). I am not an executive or employee of YT, its parent or associated business partners other than through the Partner program. YT ad revenue (now classified as a royalty payment and taxed accordingly by the same YT update by the way) is one of my revenue streams - albeit a very small one :smile2:. It is one of many revenue streams I have or am building.
You know, if you have less than 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours, you would earn little money anyway. No reason to be mad about this.
 

Ocean Man

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You know, if you have less than 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours, you would earn little money anyway. No reason to be mad about this.
As a consumer, I don’t want to watch ads on every single video. Large or small creators. There’s an absurd amount of ads these days.
 

WabiSabi

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I'd rather have one paying client than 100k subscribers. Same thing for Facebook friends, quality over quantity.

Hats off to the people who put in the YT hours, it's one thing to turn heads, but it's another to actually get them to buy something. IME the vast majority of content on YT is marketed for children, who are easy to fool. The big names "get it", they realize their audience is cattle for advertisers, but they sell the friend/community/special connection shtick publicly. To me, It just seems duplicitous.

YT is a great learning tool, but that's about all I use it for. If it ever comes down to it, I'll just pay relevant creators to advertise my product, I don't have the patience for platform shenanigans.
 

Kid

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Those post by people made me smile ironically.
They think that if they don't have to pay for it then its
somehow magically free for google.
Like if bandwidth, servers and engineers worked as a donation from some charity.

I've read somewhere that YouTube has running cost to the tune of
few billion dollars a year and are not much profitable.
 

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Bekit

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As a consumer, I don’t want to watch ads on every single video. Large or small creators. There’s an absurd amount of ads these days.
This was my thought when I read the updated Terms.

I'm definitely going to reduce my time in YouTube as a consumer if ads start showing up on my favorite creators (who currently don't monetize their stuff).

I would also be very angry if, as a creator, I suddenly had ads showing up on my content that were contrary to my purpose or offensive to my viewers.
 

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Those post by people made me smile ironically.
They think that if they don't have to pay for it then its
somehow magically free for google.
Like if bandwidth, servers and engineers worked as a donation from some charity.

I've read somewhere that YouTube has running cost to the tune of
few billion dollars a year and are not much profitable.
I remember in the last big kerfuffle, it came out that they generated $15.15 Billion last year, with $8 Billion content acquisition costs. I don't know how much they're paying for bandwidth, but I assume this year revenue is up, so I'm guessing profitability is solid enough.


I agree with the OP. Making money with YT always felt a bit MLMish to me, from the standpoint that you don't control your own revenue stream and the compensation package can be changed at any time, for any reason, even completely taken away, and you basically have no rights or recourse.

Ultimately you're really building someone else's brand, under the guise of building your own "business".

Much like in an MLM, you're building an audience who follows you and listens to you, and hopefully you can parlay that into something where you have more control, but most people do not.

I recognize and appreciate that a lot of hard work goes into both YT and MLM, but neither really felt like a true business opportunity to me.
 

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I would also be very angry if, as a creator, I suddenly had ads showing up on my content that were contrary to my purpose or offensive to my viewers.
Interesting. I wouldn’t be angry. I’d just shrug it off. It could be because I’ve not put much effort into growing a channel or audience on YouTube. I just use it to host videos I can point people to when I’m chatting to them, or to embed in posts in the forum. I have all the videos on a drive somewhere and can upload them to another platform if I need to.
 

Ernman

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You know, if you have less than 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours, you would earn little money anyway. No reason to be mad about this.
You earn zero ad revenue below those thresholds. Some folks make money through sponsorships, affiliate marketing and selling from their channel even from very small channels.
 

Kid

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I don't know how much they're paying for bandwidth, but I assume this year revenue is up, so I'm guessing profitability is solid enough
Last time i've read about it, revenue was around $10b. At that time they were barely profitable.
So if they got additional $5b then maybe it turned for better for them.
But wouldn't call that solid.
As far as i know "content acquisition" isn't ongoing cost of running business.
So those servers and bandwidth can eat that gained margin.

As a side note, some time ago google stopped measuring cash-to-speed ratio of servers and started using electricity consumption factor.
Hard to imagine but electricity is one of biggest costs they have.
 

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Hard to imagine but electricity is one of biggest costs they have.
I wonder if they're going to start buying their own power plants?
 

fastlanedoll

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I honestly think if youtube keeps pissing people off like this, it will eventually leave a big enough hole for a competitor...
 

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I honestly think if youtube keeps pissing people off like this, it will eventually leave a big enough hole for a competitor...
I really think it's getting to that point now. A lot of content creators and viewers are pissed off about YouTube's frequent problems. And this has been going on for years.

A good opportunity to create a new platform. The thing is how do you come up that has a better value skew than what YouTube offers.
 

fastlanedoll

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I really think it's getting to that point now. A lot of content creators and viewers are pissed off about YouTube's frequent problems. And this has been going on for years.

A good opportunity to create a new platform. The thing is how do you come up that has a better value skew than what YouTube offers.

And also raise the HUGE amount of capital that would be required to make something like this..
 

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I honestly think if youtube keeps pissing people off like this, it will eventually leave a big enough hole for a competitor...
You'd think so, but remember that Google owns YouTube, and the odds of Google allowing a new streaming service to be discovered over YouTube organically is pretty slim. It would be difficult to get traction without partnerships. That being said, you could probably build some pretty awesome partnerships with a new streaming service. Hmmmm
 

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or ad blocker(seriously why don't you guys use it)
That's not the point... I'm sure many of us using ad-blockers.

The point is it's getting to the point where YouTube/Google is running so many ads (I encounter an ad on almost every video I visit) that it's not even worth using YouTube.

It was manageable if maybe every 5th or 6th video I encountered had a timed ad that I could skip. But now it's to the point where every video I visit it's either a video that I can't skip or I have to wait 5-10 seconds to skip. Every. Video.

There has to be a point where you think as a business person, "Maybe it's not a good idea to have a 5-10 second ad on every single video a user encounters. Maybe I should listen to the millions of other content creators and viewers that are saying the same thing".

People don't like it.

You could argue, "Then get YouTube Premium". How about no? I as a consumer don't like where things are going. That's simply my opinion as a long time user of YouTube. Google/YouTube could tell me to buzz of. Cool! But this just opens an opportunity for value skew and me to go somewhere else.

It's hard to convince someone to buy something that was once relatively free for a long time compared to a service that was already charging from the beginning.
 

Kid

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I wonder if they're going to start buying their own power plants?
They installed a lot of solar panels (1.6 million of those) and are or will be running on those.
It was manageable if maybe every 5th or 6th video I encountered had a timed ad that I could skip. But now it's to the point where every video I visit it's either a video that I can't skip or I have to wait 5-10 seconds to skip. Every. Video.
The real problem is you watch 6-10 minutes videos.
When you watch normal TV you get 30 minutes of content before ads kick in.
But at youtube you get ad every 2-3 minutes and that's ruining any experience.
Plus most of those ads are longer than 5 seconds and you gotta pay attention to skip after 5.
TV is fully hands off.

I remember once i had some not relevant list of videos playing and i left it like a TV in a background.
Then came the ad - 1 hour ad. If i were to busy with something else, i would have to listen all one hour ad to get back on topic. So idea of Youtube as TV went to trash bin.
 

Ernman

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The real problem is you watch 6-10 minutes videos.
When you watch normal TV you get 30 minutes of content before ads kick in.
But at youtube you get ad every 2-3 minutes and that's ruining any experience.
Plus most of those ads are longer than 5 seconds and you gotta pay attention to skip after 5.
TV is fully hands off.
Again, it was not my intention to start a thread on YouTube's biz practices but this comment brings up an interesting side bar question.

To what extent are we as consumers willing to put up with advertising in order to have "free" content regardless the platform?

I find the question all the more interesting as most of us in this forum are, or will be, producers - and producers use advertising.

I would argue that nothing is free. We either pay with commonly accepted currency or with our time. What are your thoughts?
 

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You'd think so, but remember that Google owns YouTube, and the odds of Google allowing a new streaming service to be discovered over YouTube organically is pretty slim. It would be difficult to get traction without partnerships. That being said, you could probably build some pretty awesome partnerships with a new streaming service. Hmmmm

Twitch, Instagram, tik-tok. They might not look like much now, but I think they're gonna get a bigger piece of the pie in the future. Every business has a shelf life, and I think YT is starting to show it's age. Artists and creators want to be compensated for their work, the minute they find a better deal elsewhere they'll leave.

Not surprisingly, It's getting harder and harder to find "good" content that isn't behind a paywall. Just look at Netflix, in the beginning it was great but now it's a bunch of B-list crap. The movies you'd actually want to watch aren't actually there anymore.

Most consumers will complain about YT, but they won't actually leave the platform. YT is becoming what TV was 20 years ago, yea occasionally there's some good stuff, but most of it stinks. It'll be "uncool" to be on YT before too long.
 

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To what extent are we as consumers willing to put up with advertising in order to have "free" content regardless the platform?
There is a thing with TV recently that i stopped watching it.
Not as in cord-cutter movement or anything aspirational
but just because ads blocks got so lengthy that i was losing
interest in whatever i was watching.
Not sure why is that, i guess maybe length of ads exceeded
my attention span. So i dumped it altogether.

Now same thing happens with youtube.
It's not "should they monetize" vs "they shouldn't"
but simply about ability of a user to keep being interested
in video. I have nothing against ads.
If that's the way they want to monetize then so be it.
But if they completely make me not want to watch the video,
then i stop using the platform. No point in struggling.

I'm on a verge of doing that with youtube.

I would argue that nothing is free. We either pay with commonly accepted currency or with our time.
Yes, people who think that something is free are bit short sighted.
They see that something is free "to them", call it "free" and don't realize
that someone is paying for what they use.
At a times it's them who pay through ads and other times
it's someone else who pays for their free ride.

Reasons?
Maybe they don't want to feel obliged to reciprocate for what they use
so they erase any awareness money exchanging hands.
 
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Sethamus

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There has to be a point where you think as a business person, "Maybe it's not a good idea to have a 5-10 second ad on every single video a user encounters. Maybe I should listen to the millions of other content creators and viewers that are saying the same thing".
Never seen "Ready Player One" lol. Don't underestimate the length corporate greed will go.
 

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I haven't heard anything about making it harder to get in the partner program.
If you have a small and relatively new channel, good luck getting people to watch your videos when youtube bombards them with ads.

The same is happening on Twitch, smaller streamers got the short end of the stick, big channels don't really care as they have a loyal fanbase and lots of subscribers (which removes ads)...but what about everyone else?

If I'm someone who sits around 50 constant viewers and suddenly every new guy has to watch 4-5 ads in a row (which is what is currently happening) how am I expected to pull people into my channel?

Nobody wants to watch 2-3 minutes of ads to discover a new streamer who might or might not be interesting. It's even worse on Twitch though, as the platform is about live interaction with your viewers and an ad playing on a live stream is a big dick move by Twitch.

I as a person could consider YT Premium to get rid of ads, but what about the millions of other people who have grown accustomed to paying 0 to watch YT all they want? If you upload a 5 minutes video as a new channel and YT instantly places 2 ads in there...say goodbye to a lot of potential viewers.
 

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