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YouTube’s commercialization favors corporation over content

Adiba Shakeel, opinion editor

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Throughout the years, YouTube has evolved from a place to post funny cat videos to emotional videos of people using their voices to spread positivity. But now it seems that YouTube is commercialized and filled with negativity revolving around scandals from YouTubers themselves.

When many people first started watching YouTube, it was for funny videos to get a laugh out of. Then it turned into something else, people started using YouTube to express their voices on issues that pertain to large masses of people. Now, Youtubers see this platform as a money making device and will go to any extent in order to do so.

“The original YouTube was all ‘Charlie bit my finger’,” junior Jacob Schoen said. “Nowadays, if you post that same video in 2017, it would not get famous. There’s so much on there that you would have to be the best of the best.”

One reason why YouTube is lacking is the trends. Once a popular YouTuber has uploaded a new video that got a substantial amount of views, hundreds of other same videos are made. Such as food taste tests, chubby bunny challenge, reaction videos. These get so old so quickly when you can find thousands of them on YouTube. This also takes away from the actual YouTubers creating real content.

YouTube hasn’t always been this superficial. When it first started out in 2005, there were many kinds of YouTubers on top of the list, they all made original content and worked hard. PewDiePie, currently the most subscribed YouTuber, started out his channel when YouTube was new, now he is the most subscribed.

“From an educational standpoint, YouTube is a great platform,” business teacher Karen Roberts said. “Aspiring entrepreneurs or maybe people who just want to get noticed to some extent have an opportunity to hit a mass market for free.

There was this article where it said that Bethany Mota, a very popular beauty guru, makes over 500k a year just from her videos, because she would get millions of views on her videos. But now, ever since she got famous she posts less and gets way less views compared to earlier. Looking back at some videos on YouTube, it can be so easily seen when someone is just uploading for the sake of uploading, rather than to get a reaction or spark insight.

Many people who do videos just for the sake of money end up making their video seem very superficial and forced. YouTube probably never intended for young adults to give up their education for something that is not guaranteed. Since it has so much content, it’s hard to stand out.

To get directly paid by YouTube, one must have at least 1,000 subscribers. Then the YouTuber must link their account to Google AdSense, YouTube charges advertisers when viewers watch 30 seconds or more of the ad, and typically charge around 18 cents per view. YouTubers can also choose what they want to advertise in their videos, such as beauty products, apps and certain items. Companies can also contact YouTubers for advertisement. Through this, the companies, such as Audible.com, directly pays the YouTubers money to advertise their products in their videos. Some YouTubers that have promoted Audible in the past are Tyler Oakley, with over seven million subscribers and Connor Franta, with over five million subscribers.

“You’re not guaranteed to get popular through YouTube,” senior Ryan Heuer said. “A lot of people just get lucky they got popular and use it to pay their college tuition.

YouTube has been drawing unnecessary attention to people who haven’t really been contributing much to any community. Such Youtubers are usually problematic in their society and online. In fact, there is a YouTube channel named “Drama Alert” with over three million subscribers just to cover any type of drama that occurs in online communities.

For YouTube to improve, they need to stay closer to their roots. Instead of selling themselves out and commercializing them, I believe they need to pay closer attention people who actually work hard and create exceptional and informative content. They could start off by reducing the amount of ads they place on their website. YouTube should also promote YouTubers who create original content more, not just the ones with more subscribers. YouTubers who are in it to make money should just quit, so people with actual passion have a chance to create their own platform.

“The content is just not quality anymore,” Schoen said. “It’s just there, it’s not about being creative anymore, they just know what to create in order to get people excited and talking about it.”

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YouTube’s commercialization favors corporation over content