In three days, over 6 million dislikes were voiced for YouTube’s annual end of year in review video. The reason? Some of the top creators were not included and their fans were furious.
So why did YouTube exclude the top creators this year? My suspicion is that YouTube doesn’t want any of its creators to become too powerful and is using the video to promote rising talents and to diversify its portfolio of creatives.
The video also shared clips from tv shows, perhaps a reflection of YouTube’s goal to increase subscriptions to its YouTube tv service.
YouTube appears to have avoided controversy for the moment in excluding its most unpredictable and controversial star, PewDiePie.
YouTube has been incredibly supportive of creators, being one of the first major platforms that shares ad revenues with creators.
In January 2018, YouTube changed the terms for revenue sharing.
Small niche creators were effectively cut out from monetization. Unless you have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time within the last year, you aren’t eligible to receive ad revenue. Previously, if you had 10,000 total views then you were eligible to participate.
A new creator could conceivably reach that 10,000 views level with just one video that went viral. But the cost to YouTube to police the content of those creators has risen significantly. They have had to increase the number of content reviewers to over 10,000 due to the continuing backlash against platforms for making money off of “hate content”.
And yet, have they thrown the baby out with the bath water with their decision to de-monetize niche creators? Will the wider trend on platforms become one of homogenizing the content that consumers see to maximize revenues even further? There are over 7,500 varieties of apples in the world but less than 2% are sold commercially. Are we moving towards a similar limit on content diversity?