YouTube is in crisis-mode. The WSJ have had an enormous focus on YouTube-videos with some kind of negative content. It all started with PewdewPie and since then, the ball has just kept rolling. The case is that advertisers on YouTube have very little control of in which context their commercials are shown.
Over the last few days, YouTube has taken action and created some kind of bot/filter that every monetized video has to go through. This does not only mean videos that are uploaded in the future, but the filter/bot also goes through all previous videos that have been uploaded. YouTube did not notify any of the publishers before this happened and that has naturally created a lot of buzz. They are how ever able to appeal these decisions made by YouTube and we know that some have succeeded.
This is a pretty major step for YouTube to take and also a step that can or have impacted many Youtubers revenue. The question is, how will this impact YouTube as a place for creative creators and as a entertainment center for everyone else?
Some have claimed this to be a kind of censorship, but in fact, it is not. This has been a major problem for YouTube-advertisers for a very long time because every other channel they use let them exclude content that is not appropriate. If you take a look at Google Display advertising, there are endless possibilities to exclude content such as war, murder, etc.
A really good example of a bad context for a YouTube ad is the Norwegian Defence. They ran a commercial on YouTube to get new recruits to apply. Unfortunately, one of the videos this ad was promoted with was a nazi video. Everyone understands that this context is really bad for the advertiser and for YouTube.
It’s also important to see this from a creator/publisher eye. You should be able to express your opinion, talk about tough issues and have your freedom of speech. However, it should be the choice of an advertiser to choose if they want their products to be showcased in context with your content. So if you are a creator/publisher on YouTube, you should try to find that balance between your opinion and advertiser friendly.
For viewers and users that are passive, this change should be good. We will probably see more quality content and that YouTubers probably think before they publish. This will probably also kill some channels because they won’t make money on their content. They might migrate to other platforms or other revenue streams such Patreon.
We should also remember that this system with demonetization is new. YouTube have been under the loop and major advertisers wanted them to do something immediately. With time the system will probably get smarter, more fair and more easy to use.