3 Things YouTube Needs ASAP

Today we have a guest contributor to the WillVideoForFood.com Blog the infamous Zack Scott. Noted for his dead pan humor, eclectic video work on YouTube and his love and concern for the common man. Take it away Zack!

‘My Dearest Kevin,
Here is an article for your stupid website…’

3 Things YouTube Needs ASAP
Hey, it’s me, Zack Scott. I’m not a YouTube megastar like Nalts, but I am very thankful for my decent subscriber base. I’m also thankful for YouTube. Since its introduction of the Partner’s Program, I really think that it has undeniably taken the crown as far as the best video site. YouTube’s strongest assets have always been its ease-of-use and its community. But the relatively recent Partner’s Program has really made it an invaluable platform for video producers like myself. With that said, I think there are three things YouTube desperately needs to fully outmatch any video site out there. These suggestions will not only help Partners but YouTube as well.

1. Earnings Reports Per Video

As a Partner, I get earnings based off YouTube’s ad revenue. But I think creators need more insight. I’m not asking for a look at their formulas. All I’m asking for is to have an earnings report that specifies how much money each video receives on a per-month or per-day basis. YouTube has done a fantastic job with their branding options and their demographics reports. Why can’t a Partner have an earnings report? Metacafe has had something similar for about two years.

An earnings report will solve two issues. One, I will be able to enable ads on videos that feature my friends. I will then be able to easily know how much I can distribute to them. I already have apprehension on including anyone else in my videos because I really have no ideas which videos make money. I have a lot of ideas that will require more than just myself, but I really don’t want to underpay or overpay a co-creator. Two, it will give me a look into which of my videos do better in terms of ad revenue. For all I know, my most popular pet videos could be netting me less revenue than my less popular comedy videos. This would also be beneficial for YouTube because it will make me make videos that bring me (and by virtue YouTube) more ad revenue.

2. Thumbnail Selection
With tons of video sites letting creators pick from a vast array of thumbnails to represent their videos, I’m surprised that YouTube only allows you to pick from three. This means I still have to be very careful when editing my videos to make sure the quarter mark, halfway mark, or the three-quarters mark has a decent still shot. YouTube makes everything else easy when it comes to properly categorizing, tagging, and marketing your video. What is up with their limited thumbnail capabilities?

YouTube’s current model gives Partners incentive to inject a nice-looking scene or image into the middle of their video. Sometimes this completely ruins the flow of the videos, and it often breaks the fourth wall. I believe YouTube would benefit from better thumbnail selection because people’s videos would be better, people can edit videos faster, and people wouldn’t have to upload the same video multiple times. This will save YouTube some bandwidth. I hate it when I upload a video only to find out my thumbnails look horrible or blurry!

3. Direct Linking to a Specific Time within Annotations.
YouTube has done wonders with annotations and allowing people to link to other YouTube videos within their own videos. For better or worse, this has led to the creation of a lot of interactive videos. They’ve also recently added a cool feature where you can link to a specific time in any video. Now YouTube just needs to combine the two ideas. I would love to link to a specific time in any video within an annotation!

This would allow me to make an interactive video that is one video in size. I sort of like the concept of interactive videos, but I really hate how Partners have to upload twenty different videos. Maybe this is good for them because they get more views and ad revenue that way. But, at least allow me the option so I can have just one video. This should be a very easy fix. I think it will make the viewer experience much better.

Well, those are my ideas. I’ve already e-mailed YouTube a few times about them, but these changes haven’t been implemented yet. I think the first one is crucial, whereas the others are just fluff. But YouTube has been adding a lot more fluff lately, so maybe they will add these. Feel free to e-mail them as well and let them know if you’d like to see these ideas come to fruition. Also ask them to include a wide screen video player. Thanks for reading. I love you all.

See all and more of Zack’s works @

ZackScott.net –ย  BreakFacebookInstructables Metacafe PoptentRevver –ย Twitter –ย  You Tube

25 Replies to “3 Things YouTube Needs ASAP”

  1. Decent article.

    I do agree with this. It would help greatly to know which videos earn more. Of course, since I’m about the least popular partner on YouTube it doesn’t affect me too greatly, but I would like to know WHERE that 39 cents came from.

    As much as I can gripe about YouTube, I do have to admit that it’s a freely provided site, and if I can use it to market my insanity and earn a dime, well, that’s not so bad.

    Now, what I really need is someone to show me how to turn down my suck and turn up the views.

  2. YouTube should remunerate video creators and distributors, ala http://www.tubespree.com. They could use our video monetization platform, where users layer affiliate products over videos, and earn click and sales commissions whenever viewers engage in shopping on these “SpreeVideos”. Plus we remunerate distributors, which helps videos become more viewed and more viral.

  3. I agree huge with #1. That would help me a great deal as I could try to tailor my ideas to a specific style. Well, I kind of have done that as is, but it took years. The past year would have been quicker in growth if I had that type of statistic though. And people just starting now could have a better idea as to what works and what doesn’t.

    Basically I’ve been like the Joker. I have run around like a dog chasing cars.

    Btw, click for new Nickelback parody.

  4. @2 – That sounds pretty stupid, actually.

    I don’t want “buy this now” shit layered on my material. InVideo banners are about as far as I can handle. But I mainly believe in brand association. Call to action really annoys me as a consumer, so I’d prefer it not on my “art.”

  5. Unless it’s a call to action to purchase my material in a different medium with exclusive extras of some sort.

    Purchasing All-Tempa-Cheer drectly from my clip is out though. It’s ok if they “made it possible,” or what have you, but if Brad Pitt were in the store quoting Fight Club but adding “buy Kraft cheese NOW,” you’d probably hate him.

  6. @3

    BRILLIANT Parody! I’d swear you were channeling the spirit of Weird Al, except for the fact that he’s still alive.


    That doesn’t really sound like a good idea for a couple reasons, the foremost being ads in videos just aren’t effective selling tools. Videos are a great marketing tool, and your idea isn’t bad, but I don’t see it as being a sustainable long term business model for content creators.

    I think the only way people will build sustainability into online video marketing is to take on sponsorships. That being said, paypal me a cool $2000, and I’ll take you guys on as my sponsor and pimp you on a regular basis for, oh, let’s say 6 months.

    Sound fair? Let’s talk.


  7. FYI #2 Cristiano Nogueira – is SPAM

    I want more thumbnails – like revver and blip have, why is this so hard for you tube to install?

    oh and [click] or else!

  8. Love #1 & #2 for sure. I’d love to see a breakdown of earning per video. Even Revver had this a while ago. The weak selection of thumbnails is just crazy to me. I think they should expand out to at least 9 thumbnail choices, but for Partners, I think they should allow for custom thumbnail upload.

    A great feature from JustForLaughs.com upload process allows the user to enter in the time of the video (in seconds) where you want to create a thumbnail. This seems incredibly simple and logical to me. I hope YouTube steals that.

  9. since the topic is YouTube…
    Let me see if I understand this correctly.

    You Tube is having a party – I’m not invited to said party – but if I want I can watch the party I’m not invited to streaming live on You Tube. um… why would I want to watch a party I’m not invited to? So those invited can say, “just look at all the fun we’re having at this party you’re not invited while you sit at home watching us all having fun at the party you’re not invited to.”

    Who at You Tube came up with this brilliant idea?

    Or did my invitation get lost in the mail?

  10. Oh, cool. Zack Scott gets ANOTHER guest post! Once I get a bunch of subscribers, can I write a guest post about corn, or how Zach Braff reminds me of Jon Lovitz, or how to identify haters, or anything else that pops into my head?

  11. On the topic of the blog post (I know, that doesn’t happen often…)

    I liked point 3. I’ve wanted to create a choose-your-own-adventure type video since well before YouTube created annotations. When they did, I even started writing a script, because I could see where it would lead. The problem is the sheer production size that will have to go into it. It means uploading several hundred videos, and annotating all of them. Plus, i want to do a collab with other content creators on the project, so there’s coordinating that.

    My point in saying all of that is that this feature would be awesome, and it would make production so much easier. If I could upload one video, and leave it set to private for a couple days while I add annotations etc. Instead of taking weeks leading to months, it would allow me to produce this video in days.

    I say let’s flood YouTube’s inboxes with the suggestion.

    @11 – You can get paid to promote other people’s videos on YouTube. For example, for as little as $99.95, I’ll create a video promoting your channel, and mention you in at least 10 videos over the next two months. For full rates and availability, call one of our operators 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 319-522-1425.

    @12 – Get famous, and tell me how you did it. In exchange I’ll give you MDJ’s $99.95.

    @Anyone who panicked that I gave my number – relax. It’s a voip line that I set up exclusively for YouTube. I plaster that thing everywhere. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. @12 I’m guessing you’re just being snarky, but if you’re serious, write something good, on topic and submit it to him, I’ll bet he posts it.

    Missing Posts: I did a little investigation and for some reason Akismet, which filters Spam on WordPress, doesn’t like some of your posts or posted addresses. This seems to also happen when you post at a similar time these Spam Bots flood the blog.

    Another thing I noticed is these bots look for certain key words (porn-animals-insurance-drugs-bets) when scanning the blog and they send messages to other bots to drop their payloads in different areas. How and why some Spam gets through and your posts get tossed into the filter directory is still a mystery. I can only guess that signals get crossed when they collide and Akismet dumps it or holds it for approval – there could be other factor I haven’t discovered yet.

    If your post doesn’t appear, this could be the reason, Frankly, I don’t think Kevin even knows where the Akismet filter is. So if you don’t see your comment give a shout out and someone will try and fish it out of the pond.

  13. @ 12

    I’m usually being snarky. But maybe someday I will submit something to Nalts, and I’ll see what happens. For example, my kick ass tutorial about getting pictures on Wikipedia that I sent you.

  14. Both your kids are taking poops right now.

    Is it disrespectful that I put it on ZackScott’s entry on YOUR blog?

    Eh. Whatevs.

    I’m taking a bet with myself to see who screams for me to wipe them first…I’m thinking Charlie.

  15. Hey Nalts, you seen the video on Google Blog about the new YouTube Sponsored Video program? Is it crook or what? (said in my strongest Australian accent) A Product Manager reading a script from an idiot-board…and guess what?…It makes him look like an idiot. Maybe you’d like to do a contest Nalts? Best send-up of this Asian drongo going on about manipulating the Search Engine Results – or rather, the YouTube Sponsored Video program. I’ve already got him talking “chipmunk style” and “Stoner style”. But I think I’d like to do him either with a lisp or as a gay Asian geek with a lisp. Right up your alley I should think.

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