“YouTube alienates amateur users by courting pros,” wrote the Chicago Tribune. The example is Ryan Douthit’s “Driving Sports TV” channel, which has seen a drop of income by about 90%.
My 2 cents: I’ve also seen my YouTube revenue plummet compared to last year. I’m earning about 10% what I earned in my peak period in 2011. Views have dropped from hundreds of thousands daily… to maybe 40K per day. It’s disappointing but I understand why. YouTube needed amateurs to migrate from a collection of copyright infringements… to something that may rival TV.
More from the Tribune:
A year ago this month, YouTube embarked on an initiative to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to acquire original, professional content in an effort to compete for ad dollars against traditional television networks, digital streaming services such as Netflix and rival Internet companies like AOL and Yahoo…. The tweaks, which lowered the number of overall views across the site but boosted the average time viewers spent in each video, prompted many of YouTube’s amateur providers to cry foul, arguing that the move favored longer, professionally produced content. A group of young users started circulating the #saveyoutube hashtag on Twitter and, in May, when a Google employee sought feedback on the situation on the Google+ social network, she received more than 150 responses from users, many concerned and some bitterly angry.
Yes YouTube is moving pro. It’s funding pros, it’s featuring TV-like content, and it’s favoring it to advertisers.
- Phase 1: Copyright Infringement ‘R Us: YouTube became the go-to spot in 2005-2006 for copyright infringing “on demand” content. SNL clips, SNL clips, SNL clips.
- Phase 2: Viral time! Numa Numa and Evolution of Dance. Just a handful of videos get enormous views — YouTube features just a few videos a day, and emphasizes “most viewed” content. Later YouTube would “micro feature” by showcasing a revolving collection of videos.
- Phase 3: Why Don’t You Stay a While: YouTube gets beaten by Viacom and acquired by Google. Revenue sharing slowly rolls out, and people begin to use YouTube increasingly to “surf” and “graze” versus just to “watch & go.”
- Phase 4: Age of Amateur Vlogger: Many weblebrities spawned in 2007-2009. The most-subscribed channels were regular Joe’s.
- Phase 5: Semi Pro Time… amateurs “up their game” with higher production quality. Vlogs turn more to shows.
- Phase 6: YouTube the Video Jute Box. Music takes over as the most-subscribed and most-viewed.
- Phase 7: Digital TV. Pro, Pro, Pro. Long format & pro content > amateurs, who have served their purpose.