Why Do The Big Get Bigger?

So this is something I think about quite a lot, and its something a lot of people have addressed, yet nothing ever seems to change or be done about it. The rich get richer is a concept incredibly prevolent in our world right now, and its the same principles that are crossing over into sites such as YouTube and Twitch, and is an issue for not only the smaller guys, but also the sites themselves.

What do I mean by this idea anyway? If you are reading this you probably already know, and you see it everywhere. The more popular you are, the more shares, RT’s etc. you get, therefore you get more publicity, and it all builds up as you go. Now this seems like a relatively sensible system, of course if a lot of people are watching a particular video, or sharing a particular post, then its going to get a lot of attention, as clearly there’s something significant about it. However, while this works on a case-by-case basis, its not a very good principle to base your entire website model on.

Take for example YouTube. Now its still a relatively young website, and is still growing regularly there’s no real doubt about that. But you notice now that its harder and harder for new names to break into the spotlight. Its possible of course, but its getting harder. Now I’m not saying everyone is entitled to be featured on the front page, or be shown around like they’re some sort of hero, but I do think its important that there is some balance.

And this isn’t all just for the benefit of the smaller YouTubers either. You are already seeing it, people are releasing books, going to radio, TV, voice acting, there are Youtubers not necessarily leaving, but widening their options, finding other avenues to go down. These bigger guys aren’t going to be around forever, and the problem is that there’s not enough support given in order to have new up and coming people to replace them when they do leave.

YouTube isn’t going to suddenly go dry overnight, but you are seeing a change in what people are doing. There are many small creators out there who struggle to get any recognition for some really great content, and it shouldn’t be up to them getting lucky and having their video seen by someone already established to get a boost. The websites involved need to try to do more to bring up new people, because their current system is rather short sighted, and in the long term it just will not last.

– Adam Gaffney

YouTube Red and its Misconceptions

BIG EDIT: This soundcloud goes more in-depth and has some extra info from YouTube, but basically confirms the general ideas presented here, feel free to check it out also.

So YouTube Red was just announced and there’s a lot of things being thrown around in regards to its implementation and the conditions. Obviously I am not an official source, but after reading through several of the interviews and articles, I feel I have gotten a good enough idea about it to answer some of the issues raised.

1) YouTube Creators will need to pay the $10/month subscription fee or have their videos removed.

This is the biggest one I’ve seen kicking around is that YouTube Creators would have to pay for the subscription service. Now from what I can tell, this is arising from some bad wording in some of the articles posted, for example this image here. 

Now, I can see how this can be taken the wrong way, this was a case of bad wording on the articles part. However what it is actually trying to say is that creators need to sign up to ALLOW the service. YouTube is doing this to prevent people from feeling like they are losing value for their money, as there would still be ads on those opting out of the scheme. However, YouTube creators do not need to pay for the service if they do not wish to, this just means that Red users will not see ads on their videos.

2) But if ads aren’t shown, then why not just use Adblock?

There is a fundamental difference between a service like Adblock and the subscription service being proposed here. First I need to explain a little about how Content Creators make their living on YouTube. Excluding networks and taking it down to the basics, YouTubers are paid via ad revenue from their videos. The way this works is on a CPM system, or a Cost Per Mille, which means that the YouTubers get paid that CPM per 1,000 ad views. That’s important, it isn’t video views, but AD views.

Now, exact numbers from content creators cannot be released due to their contracts generally, but CPM’s can vary wildly based on your audience size, potential reach etc, however for this example, lets say that a creator is earning $3 CPM. 45% of this is taken by YouTube straight away, which brings us down to $1.65 CPM. Now, most YouTubers are with a network which would make the CPM’s lower as they take a cut, but lets assume the Creators get the full 55%. We can estimate the value of 1 ad view to be around 0.17c, which as you can imagine is not a lot, however if your videos get large amounts of views it does add up.

Now if 1 person signs up for Red, you lose that 0.17c from the video. But say they watched 50 hours of YouTube that month, and only 5 minutes of that was your content. That Red user would be earning you, after YouTubes 45%, 0.92c. So even with such a miniscule amount, you would earn more from that user than you would them watching an ad.

Of course, this is all speculation, and there are a lot of assumptions, but generally you would be earning much more from Red viewers than ad viewers. HOWEVER, if you use adblock, then that creator is getting paid nothing for your view, and in many cases, ~60% of viewers do adblock content, so you can see how that could become an issue. Some of these people might however, subscribe to Red, and not need to use adblock, and that way you are now earning income from someone you previously earned nothing from.

3) Youtube is supposed to be free, if people start paying then won’t they get a better experience?

In terms of ads, yes, that’s what they are paying for. However, the division of content will be under the creators control, and as such most creators will still offer their regular content, whilst making extra content they wouldn’t have made without Red for behind the paywall. I can understand why people would feel they were “losing out”, but in actuality, that content would never have been created anyway, and as long as the creators do their regular stuff for free still, you won’t notice a difference. If creators start locking their main content behind the paywall, then that’s the creator screwing you over, not YouTube Red.

There’s no denying that YouTube Red has its flaws, its a very similar system to Twitch Turbo, although I think that Red at the moment looks like it’ll reward creators a bit better than Turbo does for streamers. Again this is all based on assumption and speculation, however generally, there is no reason right now to get up in arms about Red. Hopefully more information about cuts and such will be released, and much more clarity and transparency is needed, however the way it is right now, Red lives only to benefit those who wish to buy into it and the creators, and those who don’t subscribe will most likely still get the same old YouTube they are used to.

EDIT: I will keep a look out for more information and update this as necessary, but based on my assumptions and current information we have access to my calculations are correct, feel free to contact me on twitter if you think there are any errors!

If you are unsure, feel free to ask me, and also give these articles a read over, as these are my general sources.

BBC
Variety
The Verge

Things Have Been Hectic

So, as you can probably get from the Title, things have been rather busy for me recently. If you didn’t get that, you might as well give up reading just now to be honest, maybe just get a job throwing rocks at delinquents. Or licking cacti.

Now that they’re all gone, I’ve really not had a seconds peace the last two weeks. If I haven’t been buying presents I’ve been seeing my girlfriend, or seeing my Dad, or going out with friends, or studying for exams, or streaming when possible, or trying not to run out of money, or spending any small free time I have trying to 100% Binding of Isaac: Rebirth. I know half of that seems rather relaxing, but believe me, it most certainly is not.

For example, I had fun streaming games. I still do have fun streaming games, its great. But just the other day, this happened, and by god, that changed a lot. Within 1 minute of that tweet going out, I’d gained 15 twitter followers, 150 viewers, and 60 twitch followers. I all of a sudden had over 100 people watching me talk shite about a game at 1am. And I was loving it.

Believe it or not, the number actually lasted high for a while. It dropped below 50 after 2 hours of streaming, and ended on a solid 20, with the final count being an extra 64 twitch followers. I couldn’t believe what just happened. And not only was it amazing, but also terrifying. I now have 213 followers on twitch, and I barely get the chance to stream. I’ve been making an effort to stream more recently, but the problem is it came around Christmas time, and my dad was back, so naturally I’ve actually had less time than I would normally find myself with during a regular week.

So because of all this, I’m pushing myself to try to take any time I can to stream, as I don’t want all these people to forget me. For the love of god, I had 2 1M+ YouTubers watching, one actually lasting for 2 hours (Link here). I feel so lucky to maybe actually have a chance to take off on Twitch here, yet I also feel like I don’t have a chance in hell, because I cannot for the life of me find the time to bloody stream. This is becoming a serious dilemma for me, and I’m really unsure of what I should do at this stage. Obviously I will continue to stream, but what if everyone forgets about me in that time? Just some thoughts. I really want to capitalise on this opportunity Dan from Nerd³ gave me with this, but I don’t know if I’m too late or not.

Another thing is the fact that today was the first time I’d been on my PC since last Wednesday, LAST WEDNESDAY FOR CHRIST’S SAKE. I had Christmas obviously, then my girlfriend stayed through boxing day, we then went to her grans the 27th, and I stayed until this morning, well, technically yesterday morning now (morning of the 29th I’ll say). So this has put extra stress on the whole twitch thing. I’ve tried to stay on twitter as much as I can and keep people engaged with me, but there’s only so much you can do.

I’m also not sure what to do about uploading to YouTube again. I have a plan of action, a Vlog every second day, as an update thing, and a daily scheduled gaming video. But the problem is, I’m so busy with Twitch and everything else I cannot find any time to fit this in. I don’t want to just simply upload Twitch Highlights, as I want it to take on a life of its own, but I also don’t want to stop streaming, or even cancel seeing my friends to make time for everything.

Ultimately, I really see an opportunity here to really grow myself on the internet, and make myself known in the community, but I don’t know how to go about it, or if I’m just wasting my time. I will continue to do streaming as it is something I enjoy, but I don’t know how to pick up YouTube, and whether or not to try to make the extra time and effort to give to it, when I don’t know if it will give back or not. I feel like the only thing I can do is try.

My Weekend

So this weekend has actually been pretty awesome! I streamed for almost three hours yesterday over on Twitch, and then I went and stayed at my girlfriends for the night! Today (well, yesterday now), I went to snooker and had a nice lazy day. Had a really good weekend, and tomorrow, I’m gonna be streaming for as long as I can, think its gonna be for a good while! To get my schedule for streaming, just click here and it will be constantly updated also!
Anyway, tell me, what did you guys do this weekend, anything fun or special?