Video producers have long been considered the lifeblood of YouTube’s thriving community of so-called creators.
But that same grassroots community that helped YouTube spark a paradigm shift in media consumption has also become a growing source of risk for the Google-owned property.
Advertisers recoiled during a bruising year for YouTube’s image that started with charges of anti-Semitism against one of the platform’s biggest stars.
It progressed to outrage about disturbing videos disguised as children’s content, and culminated on New Year’s Eve when a YouTube star posted a video of himself discovering a dead body in Japan’s “suicide forest.”
YouTube rolled out a new advertising policy that requires creators to attain more subscribers and more hours of viewership to earn revenue.
The Los Angeles Times reports that now video producers say they’re losing money. Others worry that in YouTube’s bid to appease advertisers, the company may grow even more sensitive to material that the creators consider benign.
YouTube is now at a crossroads, analysts say, torn between harnessing the power of its dedicated army of creators and placating the risk-averse advertisers needed in ever-greater numbers to make the platform profitable.
And it comes as the stakes grow higher for YouTube, which is establishing itself as media company to be reckoned with by investing in original content and offering a streaming alternative to network and cable TV.
YouTube doesn’t care about your rights…just your money.