I grew up with a lot of YouTube’s dearly loved creators. Obviously, things have changed quite a bit over the years, and many creators have begun speaking up about the issues they’re facing, mostly putting the blame on YouTube itself. YouTube’s business model is a major issue, but I think the real problem runs deeper.
2017’s YouTube Rewind left many creators and viewers disappointed; it felt like the last straw for most of us. It had a strong positive message which was poorly placed, but the rest fell flat. It referenced memes and things that that weren’t quite clear or memorable, I mean, why were people floating in space again? It really wasn’t a great representation of the platform, and if I saw that, as a person who didn’t watch YouTube regularly, I definitely would not start today.
Right now, YouTube is in a weird place. When I first started watching it, it was new and people were just beginning to realize its potential. Creators messed around with it, filmed each other goofing off, made small skits with friends and were overjoyed to receive a paycheck of $1.07 for it all in the end. And us viewers found people across the world who had our weird sense of humor too — we became a community that no one had ever dreamt of before. What more could a kid ask for?
But now those kids are grown up. Creators have more creativity than ever, and combined with life experience, they need to release that in the form of more refined short films and whatever else their imagination can come up with. We have better technology now, and creators have finally saved enough to be able to afford it. But the viewers have grown up too. We don’t have the time to watch as much as back then, and when we do, well we want to learn and watch exactly what the creators have to offer. We want to see those deeper stories come to life and learn about their experiences.
But our time is limited, which means that most of the views on YouTube are coming from the younger generations. And they’re not ready for the mature, serious, complex content that creators want to make. They prefer those goofy sketches and challenges. Which is why the younger YouTubers are starting to grow. This is leaving creators scrambling for ideas to appeal to the audience that’s left, leaving them distressed as they watch the little kids thrive off of annoying videos.
Now creators don’t have the views they need to sustain their creative desires, and viewers don’t have the time to be watching everything they want. This means that creators can’t make those videos and viewers don’t have anything to watch, so they slowly switch to other platforms such as Netflix.
YouTube is kind of like high school, except now we can’t graduate and move on. Being a filmmaker or a producer or a director is extremely hard, especially if you just want to make short films in which people can just spend 10 minutes out of their day to watch your beautiful content and leave with a smile. Being a YouTuber is no easy feat either; they take on all the traditional roles that go into making films, and they deserve to be acknowledged for that. Way too many brilliant creators have given up, and that is not OK — the world needs their art. So what’s the solution?
Perhaps a new platform. Somewhere that everyone who is serious can go to create and view content. Creators apply after achieving a couple of million subscribers or being on YouTube for a certain period of time, and then they get to come over to this platform that gives them the tools to be successful. Viewers can just go onto this new platform and continue to view them for free, just like they would on YouTube. YouTube can be the school, and this new platform can be the real world. Every community changes and grows!
Note: If you want to make this new platform, I will need credit for the idea.