Being the number one online video sharing platform, YouTube hosts a stage for a numerous amount of people to post videos online. Many of these are able to earn money through posting videos, also known as monetization, with some even being able to make a considerable living out of it. On September 1st last week YouTube announced some new regulations for their platform. These are concerned with monetization on the platform itself. YouTube has added some restrictions to this, which immediately sparked a conversation on the web, including among Twitter users.
Regarding this topic, the hashtag #YouTubeIsOverParty started trending on Twitter. Under this hashtag people broadcast their opinions concerning YouTube’s newly outed regulations. Among these opinions, one in particular was popular: that with these new rules, YouTube would be censoring its users too much. While YouTube proclaims to be a free platform, open for anyone to ‘broadcast yourself’, it seems like they are becoming quite strict with their content creators.
Many find the censorship too high and believe YouTube has taken it one step too far
Many find the censorship too high and believe YouTube has taken it one step too far. On top of that, the rules that YouTube has put up are quite vague and ambiguous. They state that videos concerning political events are not considered ‘ad-friendly’ and might therefore not be monetized. But what about a video on history revision? Surely, that includes speaking of historical events, but presumably not in the way YouTube meant for it to be excluded from monetization. A video on this though could fall under the restrictions and be disallowed for monetization.
On the other side of the spectrum, #YouTubeIsNotOverParty was blowing up as well. Various arguments were brought up to defend this side, by many sceptical Twitter users. Most importantly, they argued that for most YouTubers AdSense – the monetization program that YouTube uses– makes just a fraction of the income of most content creators. Far more beneficial are sponsorships and brand deals. Therefore, according to this side, YouTube is in no way over, as YouTubers’ incomes are still safe and sound.
Another argument is that YouTube is, although partly, responsible for their content and should be allowed to monitor the content that is put on the platform. Making money through posting videos with for instance swearing or aggressivity in it should obviously not be tolerated by such a huge platform. They have already been able to block videos or restrict them for certain people. With these new regulations, they are able to nuance in their restriction of videos, as they can allow videos to be shown on the web but disallow monetization on these videos.
One could argue that this is even an increase in YouTubers’ freedom, as their videos might be considered appropriate easier than before. However, this is something that remains to be seen as time progresses and YouTube’s regulations are put into full force.
Is YouTube over?
While these regulations surely do have an impact on YouTube’s monetization structure, it definitely doesn’t mean the platform’s existence has come to an end. Their users are still more than welcome to upload any type of content they wish, as long as they stay within the line. If they don’t, then no harm done just yet as their video might still be published as before. They may, however, need to look for a different stream of income for this video than monetization through YouTube if they wish to make a living from it.
All in all, YouTube does not show signs of becoming the next MySpace just yet, as the platform is still going strong and has merely refined their boundaries regarding monetization.
Cover: Tamar Hellinga