Sunday, March 08, 2020

עושים טכנולוגיה: האם היוטיוברים ימרדו? (Hebrew)


בחודש פברואר 2020 ציינה יוטיוב 15 שנה להיווסדה. באותו החודש ממש פירסמה גוגל בפעם הראשונה בהיסטוריה של החברה נתונים בנוגע להכנסות של יוטיוב: יותר מ-15 מיליארד דולר בשנה. הנתונים האלו (שיש שטוענים שהם גבוהים ואחרים שהם נמוכים) הרתיחו את היוצרים העצמאיים שפועלים באתר. זו רק אחת הבעיות שממנה יוטיוב סובלת באחרונה. האם הדומיננטיות שלה נמצאת בסכנה?

תור הזהב של יוטיוב נגמר

...YouTube relies on creators to differentiate itself from streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, it tells creators it wants to promote their original content, and it hosts conferences dedicated to bettering the creator community. Those same creators often feel abandoned and confused about why their videos are buried in search results, don’t appear on the trending page, or are being quietly demonetized.

At the same time, YouTube’s pitch decks to advertisers increasingly seem to feature videos from household celebrity names, not creative amateurs. And the creators who have found the most success playing into the platform’s algorithms have all demonstrated profound errors in judgment, turning themselves into cultural villains instead of YouTube’s most cherished assets.

As YouTube battles misinformation catastrophes and discovers new ways people are abusing its system, the company is shifting toward more commercial, advertiser-friendly content at a speed its creator community hasn’t seen before.
In 2014, YouTube launched a glossy ad campaign in cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, touting the success of its homegrown, independent artists. Writers, actors, directors, and comedians like Video Game High School’s Freddie Wong and Matt Arnold, baker Rosanna Pansino, and Epic Rap Battles were highlighted.

But by the middle of 2018, lifestyle vloggers like Carrie Crista, who has just under 40,000 subscribers, were proclaiming how the community felt: forgotten. “YouTube seems to have forgotten who made the platform what it is,” Crista told PR Week. In its attempt to compete with Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, she said, YouTube is “pushing content creators away instead of inviting them to a social platform that encourages them to be creative in a way that other platforms can’t.”

Even people outside of YouTube saw what was happening. “YouTube is inevitably heading towards being like television, but they never told their creators this,” Jamie Cohen, a professor of new media at Molloy College, told USA Today in 2018.

By promoting videos that meet certain criteria, YouTube tips the scales in favor of organizations or creators — big ones, mostly — that can meet those standards. “Editing, creating thumbnails, it takes time,” Juliana Sabo, a creator with fewer than 1,000 subscribers, said in 2018 after the YouTube Partner Program changes. “You’re just prioritizing a very specific type of person — the type of person that has the time and money to churn out that content.”

Individual YouTube creators couldn’t keep up with the pace of YouTube’s algorithm set. But traditional, mainstream outlets could: late-night shows began to dominate YouTube, along with music videos from major labels. The platform now looked the way it had when it started, but with the stamp of Hollywood approval.

YouTube executives like Kyncl aren’t trying to hide it, either. At the company’s 2018 upfront in New York City, a presentation put on for advertisers at Radio City Music Hall, top creators were nowhere to be found. Instead, there was the YouTube the company wants advertisers to see: Ariana Grande on Vevo, series from Kevin Hart and Demi Lovato, clips from The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon...

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