The YouTube Gazette

news, web-TV reviews, opinion and journalistically questionable content

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YouTube Partner Rewards Program Meets with Mixed Reception from Creators

^ The gold plated play button, reports of it going *ting* when looked upon are as of yet unconfirmed.

The new rewards system -which attendees of this years VidCon got a sneak peek at- was officially unveiled just over a week ago.

It consists of a gold plated play button for those who have reached at or above a total of 1,000,000 subscribers and the thing is framed in a way reminiscent of gold or platinum records.

There’s good stuff in here for the slightly less mammoth creators too. Those who have reached 100,000 subs get a 500 dollar gift card and a custom DSLR bag.

Awards

It’s actually not unusual for social media personalities and organizations to receive awards based within an online genre or even a single website. 

The Webby Awards are old as balls, rewarding internet peeps and businesses since 1995 and The Streamy Awards go one further.

They focus exclusively on web series; still a pretty small industry despite the large audience growth and acceptance into mainstream culture that it’s made in recent years.

What’s different about these rewards is that they’re given exclusively on the basis of numbers.

  

   

^ Look familiar?

Mixed Reception

The reception among big YouTubers has been largely positive and tends to break up into those who are still a bit too small to qualify for the gold and have a hungry look in their eyes.

"I want one, my house mate Charlie. He’s got a million subscribers. He just sits at his desk just across the room from me with his gold…plate….thing. I do just want to put more effort into my videos and make them more worthwhile" - Alex Day

and those who are grateful for the recognition but have some concerns

"I love it because it feels like a thank you…a thank you to the people who have invariably worked extremely hard to achieve that level of success. And it’s important for YouTube to recognize that those people play a large part in the success of YouTube" 

"The fact is that most of the people doing really interesting things, who have the most potential to grow, to change things, to continue altering the landscape of media, and who I am fascinated by do not have 1,000,000 subscribers" - Hank Green

"I’m flattered, since i am in the 100,000 category - but saddened by all the incredibly talented and hardworking people going un-thanked, the ones who don’t quite have that many subscribers but still make huge contributions to this community daily" - Kristina Horner

They aren’t the only ones to focus on the smaller channels.

Smaller Channels

One thing brought up repeatedly in the comments on the official announcement, on twitter and other sites where the discussion has taken place is that the awards do nothing for smaller partners and creators.

The awards themselves arent the main issue here however. It’s a sense of continued and growing frustration with YouTube -spawning movements like the #SaveYouTube campaign- its policies and the general attitude of the site as a whole.

A lot of the ways in which bigger creators got a leg up in the past simply don’t exist any more or have been redirected towards already popular channels.

Stuff like getting featured on the main page or appearing in the recommended videos section and although the community has gone a long way in picking up the slack there’s always going to be people who slip through the sizeable cracks.

Stabilisation

When taken together with things like the new London Creator Space and programs like YouTube Next Vlogger and NextUp a picture forms of a business trying to consolidate its gains and standardise skills and pathways to success in an industry where technical proficiency can vary from the profound to the mediocre.

It could well be a risky move, there’s a good chance it may simply limit creativity, create a stiff model for how creators should work and interact with their audience that could stunt them in the long term and make the industry even harder to break into.

Then again it might usher in a new generation of ultra-proficient creators while improving the already substantial profiles of the people who did it the old fashioned way.

Damned if I know, feel free to have your say though.

Filed under stealth mountain don't catch no journalists youtube rewards program youtube rewards youtube online video partner program youtube creators gold play button saveyoutube save youtube campaign hank green nerimon alex day kristina horner nextup next up next vlogger london creator space italktosnakes vlogbrothers charlieissocoollike charlie mcdonnel charliemcdonnell

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#SaveYouTube and the Continued Power of the YouTube Community

[So far I’ve given you a heap of news, a web TV review and a little dab of opinion here and there. So here’s that great big slab of journalistically questionable content I’ve been promising. With icing and a cherry on top. Enjoy.]

In the light of some slightly panic stricken videos (x,x,x) precipitated by that big ol’ nasty sub purge you’d be forgiven for thinking that the YouTube community had become a fractured, cold place for partners to eke out a living.

A Stalin’s Russia of online video; where guys called Igor offer sub4sub on the black market while big YouTubers ride past in limousines on their way to a meeting at YouTube headquarters.

Existing Issues

In addition to the alleged “active” subscriber losses a lot of the issues raised concern format changes to YouTube’s homepage layout -which Onision describes as “absolutely disgusting”- the integration of the social network Google+ into the account registration process and ongoing problems with subscription boxes.

None of these are new issues but the confusion caused by the sub purge and the subsequent handling of that confusion by YouTube has brought them to the forefront of people’s minds once again.

Communication

YouTube’s lack of communication with their partners and the dismissive tone inherent in what communication there has been certainly hasn’t helped

"We’ve also heard some viewers are concerned that they’ve been unsubscribed from channels. This isn’t happening"

Regardless of whether their concerns are valid worried people aren’t going to be producing their best content and flat out denying everything isn’t the most productive way of engaging with the people you’re supposed to help.

Collabrakadabra

^ A large group of Vloggers gathered behind Collabrakadabra’s campaign and many fans created art in a show of support

If the YouTube community really is falling apart nobody seems to have told the large group of YouTubers and the collab channel they gathered around in support of last month.

They’re called Collabrakadabra and they were competing on King of the Web -a competition usually dominated by the giants of online video- in last months special “Viva La VidCon” category to claim two VidCon tickets and hotel accommodations.

That’s all they were in it for, they had one member who couldn’t make it VidCon this year and they wanted everyone to be there so they could meet each other and hang out.

Community Support

Vloggers like Liam DrydenMorganPaigeLoves and Voldy along with prominent tumblr blogger Vondell Swain reblogged appeals for votes and asked their own followers to vote for the channel.

Some even submitted their cheesy endorsements of the “collabradors” to be edited into their campaign videos.

Australian make-up tutorialist and comedy vlogger Louna Maroun also pledged her support despite originally running against them in the Viva La Vidcon category.

She later went on to abandon her campaign altogether and forwarded all of the votes she got from that point on to the collab channel.

"I recently discovered a gorgeous group channel called "Collabrakadabra" They are 5 lovely people on there who all met online, and would like to meet each other in person. The only way they can do this is at Vidcon"

Change

YouTube is going to continue to expand as the world of web TV and user generated content begins to claim a lot of the viewers currently held by traditional media.

It’s going to change quite a bit too; YouTube is already becoming more business like and is moving towards a network style format. A lot of channels will focus more on entertaining the masses than on holding a conversation between themselves and a small group of subscribers.

There’s also the chance that all of that could turn out to be completely the wrong choice for online video and that everything will change once again or even several times over.

What holds the community together during that time won’t be perfect homepage layouts but the connections between creators and the people who view and engage with their content.

The YouTube community doesn’t need saving but maybe creators like onision do.

Large scale change over short periods always precedes extinction and perhaps the top 100 are already too similar to the t-rex of old. Massive, powerful and ultimately unable to adapt to a changing environment.

I’m back, baby

John Mortimer.

Filed under youtube community youtube collabrakadabra onision nanceswithwolves nancy wren Harry Tomlimson Lloyd Pyes Sonnet Stockmar adamvloghart i think saveyoutube saveyotube Liam Dryden Louna Maroun KingoftheWeb online video