I’ve gone dark here for a record 2 months… contrast that with my manic periods which included 3 blogs per day. Of course I have two excuses: a) nothing struck me as interesting enough, b) I couldn’t remember how to login to WordPress.
Today I was struck by a piece Jim Louderback (Revision3/Discovery) wrote for AllThingsDigital. It had the saucy title. “Why Are YouTube Users Abandoning Ship.” I read it with great interest because Louderback tends to have his fingers on the pulse of emerging media, and he’s good at seeing patterns and distilling things. But the article struck me as contradictory. Talking from two sides of the mouth.
Indeed the article sends two messages- creators are flocking off YouTube for some good reasons. But that’s not necessarily wise. So here’s my attempt to consolidate both of his arguments. They don’t necessarily mix like peanut butter and chocolate, but there’s a slight ying/yang thing happening.
Why YouTubers Have Been Fleeing:
- Many have been spooked by YouTube’s new channel initiative, perceiving it as favoring more polished, old-media stars — at the expense of its burgeoning channels and communities [this blogger has indeed shared that view]
- Louderback quote: “the site’s direction was misguided.”
- Many YouTube native creators have been questioning whether or not the site offers the best long-term place for their talents.
- In part this is because YouTube keeps a big chunk of the revenue it earns via these creators’ channels.
- As mobile viewing increases, the percentage of streams that can be monetized has been dropping (YouTube doesn’t support many ad units via mobile).
- Look to tablets, smartphones and smart TVs. Ride the growth of new platforms, rather than fighting over the scraps of the old.
- It’s extremely difficult to move a community from one site to another [this blogger couldn’t agree more]
- YouTube is working non-stop to monetize these emerging platforms, and to return that money to creators.
- It’s building a wide range of super-cool new features that will make the platform an even better place to build your communities, your business and your brand.
- All you guys looking to jump ship: Go right ahead! You’ll be spending a lot of time treading water as you grasp first for one and then another shiny bauble to keep you afloat. The more people get distracted and head for the exits, the more audience and attention get left for those who stick around and invest for growth.
In conclusion, Jim says everyone is jumping. But he’s going to stick around. Except when he’s looking for emerging platforms and better monetization. But YouTube will long have leadership in video streams, and they’re trying. But don’t fight for scraps of the old.
P.S. Did you see how I both complemented and dissed Louderback’s article in the same blog post? That was intended irony.