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The End of YouTube?
As most of you have heard by now, April 16th is going to be a very important day for those in the YouTube community. For those of you who haven’t heard, in exactly one week, YouTube is planning a major redesign of their website.
The redesign will structure the website so as to promote commercial content partners (CBS, ESPN, Disney and many other corporate content creators), while “hiding” the user generated content under a single tab called “Videos”.
Alongside the Videos tab will be tabs for Movies, Music and Shows, all of which will feature premium (read: corporate) content only. This is no doubt a move to make the site more attractive to advertisers. According to Wikipedia, YouTube burns through a million dollars per day in bandwidth costs, and only brings in $200 million per year in revenue. Do the math then and you’ll see YouTube is actually losing $165 million per year for Google.
However, by spotlighting and promoting “safer”, more advertiser-friendly content on 75% of the site, YouTube might be able to even out their expenses-to-income ratio. But I think they are going about it all wrong.
The user-generated content is what gave YouTube its edge, its atmosphere, and its press. No one wants to report about a website that lets you watch the same content you can already watch on TV. Almost every piece of press I’ve read about YouTube has focused on the viral videos or success of its homegrown users, the Michael Buckleys and LisaNovas and vlogbrothers… not its Universal Music videos.
So, unlike most users who tend to complain, but offer no solutions, let me suggest YouTube that you take the following steps before sweeping your real users under the rug:
1. Partner (almost) everyone. This seems like a no brainer. Hire part-time college students to watch and approve monetized videos, because I understand you can’t just blindly approve every video uploaded for monetization. College kids work cheap, and getting paid to watch YouTube videos is a pretty sweet deal. Then, Partner every single user you can. I don’t care if they only have 31 subscribers, they’re using your bandwidth, and getting views on each video, and each of those views could have been monetized. Multiply that by the millions of users who fall into this category, and you’re talking some serious extra cash, YouTube.
2. Promote more of your Partner’s videos. I’ll never understand why, on average, only 30% of the featured/spotlighted videos are monetized videos. You have millions of hits coming to your front page every day; send those views to videos that bring in some cash.
3. Connect advertisers with Content Creators. I know you already do this for a very limited, very select group of individuals. But hire someone full time to connect advertisers with eager content creators. So many companies want to pay your top users to hock a product or service, I know this because, after writing my book, they’ve been contacting me to help broker these deals. Marketers don’t know how to contact your top users, and users don’t know how to negotiate a deal once contacted. Step in and help facilitate these deals, take 15% for your troubles. The content creators won’t mind, because they’ll be making way more than they would on their own, and the marketers would love to have someone to contact about this.
I guess that’s it, for now. I’m sure my readers will have even more ideas for you in the comment section, YouTube. I just think, and everyone else does as well from what I’ve read, that you’re going about this all wrong by burying the worker ants who’ve carried you this far.
Viral Video Wannabe...
…is written by Alan “fallofautumndistro” Lastufka, co-author of the book, “YouTube: An Insider’s Guide
to Climbing the Charts“. This site offers resources
for readers of my book and new tips and techniques expanding upon what is in my book. Visit the Purchase page above to order your own copy today!