May 25, 2009
YouTube to Hulu Tube?
As of late I've come across a lot of YouTube complaint videos. These vary from subtle criticisms to full blown conspiracy theories, but the one thing that they all reinforce is the fact that it's tough to get noticed on YouTube.
I've griped about this myself. I'm not a YouTube partner (someone who receives a commission of ad revenue for their video views) and I've never been featured on the site. My goal has never been to make money from YouTube necessarily, but I approached the site with the goal to stir up some attention to open doors for myself elsewhere. My own frustration is that while partners are featured and viral videos of random gags draw in millions of views, the majority of YouTube content creators literally become buried.
What has resulted is a hierarchy, where prominent YouTubers can dominant the main pages while others who are invested in creating quality content (such as myself) are relegated to use only their own self-promotion to even have a chance at attracting outside views. The problem is that YouTube is big. Too big. Without any randomization or a more diverse system of featuring videos, having a hit is becoming more about luck and being associated with other popular videos than it is about quality.
Part of the issue is that there's a lot of money to be made with a site as popular as YouTube. I can understand the desire to cash in from both advertisers and creators, but that also comes at a cost.
Personally, I have a lot to be happy about, and my YouTube experience has come with some of the rewards I had hoped it would outside of the site itself (like invites from festivals, etc.). It's a great tool that I use regularly, but the shift to cater to advertisers is hurting the little guy. Some would say it was only a matter of time, but I think the evolution of the site should include more middle room and less top page focus. What I'd really like to see is YouTube try and reform itself to highlight various creators more randomly - perhaps create spin-off versions of the site that highlight different types of content while still feeding into each other. Whether people chose to watch or not will come down to quality anyway, but being in a position to even receive views is still very difficult.
What are your thoughts on this?
I've posted one of the more popular complaint videos I found below. While it seems a bit sensationalist, there are several good points that highlight the evolution of YouTube from free video forum to advertising giant.
Hulu Tube - Phasing You Out of YouTube