Why I gave up on YouTube

Disclaimer: this post was originally written for Tumblr on January 29, 2023. It is here for preservation, because although YouTube has tried to backpedal… honestly, not much has changed for the better.

Hi. I am, or was, a small-time YouTube Partner. I have been described as “somewhat popular”. That’s some context to say, I’m speaking about my life inside the system.

So YouTube’s revenue has been decreasing. I don’t think that’s a well-known fact; this is something they would want desperately to hide, right?

Seems like it can only get worse; it’s in a corporate decomposition stage where the product is about as good as it gets but $ growth is expected for investors. So now it’s cut and restrict the product to get people to pay and add more ads.

– Deleted Reddit user

So instead of taking a step back, analyzing their product or their future, or even (God forbid) admitting that YouTube doesn’t need to make more money, they are now shaking their Partners for our fucking pocket change.

Here are the relevant policy changes:

  • If your video gets demonetized, they apparently plan to take the money you earned from that video OUT OF YOUR BANK ACCOUNT.
  • Videos now cannot have ANY swears in their intro. Previously, we were allowed “the usage of moderate profanity (e.g., shit and bitch) in the first 30 seconds”.
  • This applies retroactively to all videos made before the policy change.

Holy shit, they’ve invented an infinite money generator! Every video that was allowed to say “shit” in the intro is now a gotcha!

But we wouldn’t just blindly agree to this, right? Certainly not me.

Yeah, well… they bundled this change of TOS in with an update hyping that “Now you can make money off of shorts!!”. I actually had no idea that Shorts weren’t already monetizable, because I thought I was making a couple pennies off of a video they had auto-converted into a Short, so I was pretty pissed and just blindly agreed to it.

This time I can’t even be bitter about the big-name YouTubers. I’ve seen creators with millions of subscribers expressing that they are basically fucked.

All of this because YouTube is just straight up not making (budgeting?) enough money to pay its creators. Even my audience hates being on YT to watch my videos. But do they know, well beyond “oh, being a creator must be hard”, that the website is actively cannibalizing itself?

Oh, and in case you didn’t know, YouTube takes a 55% revenue cut, and your channel gets deprioritized if you’re not uploading over-10-minutes-long videos daily.

Sooo… fuck it, right?

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