How YouTube’s Move to Professional Content Alienates Amateurs

Alienating amateurs

In the beginning of this year YouTube invested 100 million dollar to promote and support YouTube channels with new and original content. Some argued this was Google’s attempt “to become the “next-generation cable provider” but the investment in ‘amateur’ content was small compared to the presumably multi-million investment in professional Hollywood content. YouTube is getting more competition from digital streaming services like Netflix and Hulu and wants to position YouTube and Google Play as networks for high quality content.  However, as discussed in a recent article in the Chigago Tribune, with this renewed focus on more professional produced content YouTube alienates amateur users by courting pros.

(…)YouTube’s thriving amateur core now feels squeezed out by the site’s sweeping transformation from user-generated clips to more professionally produced content, posing a potential dilemma for Google’s long-term ambitions in online video.

YouTube’s fight for ad dollars

Professional amateurs are getting less views and less income as a result of changes in the YouTube algorithm. A move that is applauded by big advertisers but directly affects the way YouTube is perceived by some of its core users:

“The sad thing was when YouTube was first starting out, we didn’t need networks,” said Philip Wang, 28, an independent YouTuber who has made videos professionally since college. “It was people working together and exploring. But now there’s more at stake. People are all fighting for ad dollars, fighting for views.”

New local channels have to produce professional content to engage viewers and create dedicated fans that will return to the platform regularly. Apparently the cute cat and fail video’s are not representative for advertisers so ‘new channels are developed to generate professional high-quality video content which would be “brand safe” for media advertisers‘.

YouTube is not a website

Nowadays YouTube can be accessed from any connected device. The recent introduction of YouTube TV, that allows users to control YouTube on their TV with a second screen, shows the power of YouTube as a customizable TV channel. By focusing on professional content and creating a flow like experience YouTube becomes even more attractive for advertisers to show high quality ads. YouTube is no longer a website with user generated videos but a database with professional content getting ready to compete with TV’s ad dollars.


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