When YouTube wanted to punish political pundit Steven Crowder In the midst of the public outcry sparked by his homophobic remarks, his first act was to disable Crowder's ability to show ads on its videos. The purpose of the punishment was to remove an essential source of income, which was a strong incentive for Crowder to change his behavior. But Crowder did not care: "It's really not a big deal for us," I said.
Crowder sells t-shirts, hats, stickers and subscriptions for more videos on its website. It is on this site that he indicates that most of the money from his chain comes from. Selling merchandise and subscriptions via other platforms is not just a way for creators to earn more money, it 's also a way for creators to s & #' s; To isolate obsolete rules and algorithms from YouTube. And that means that if a creator's ads are cut for any reason, they will still have a source of revenue.
The creators understand that "YouTube can do everything it wants," said Wyatt Jenkins, vice president of products at Patreon. The edge. Because of this, they began to look for ways to establish other relationships with their viewers. "They tell me," If I want to do that and make a living, I should probably have my best fans in my world. "
Removing the ability of a channel to run ads is supposed to send a message stating that YouTube punishes creators who think outside the box. The society said this in a blog of June 5, recalling that channels that are constantly grappling "against our hate speech policies will be suspended from YouTube's partner program, which means they will not show ads on their channel." subscriptions to channels, according to YouTube.
For future YouTubers who rely on these revenues, this can be a huge problem. Many people who have just entered the YouTube partner program, a threshold that means that a creator can start generating ad revenue, depend on that advertising money early in his career. Chains that face daily monetization problems, one of the most important issues in the community, have a hard time understanding what works and what does not work. But for major creators, who still retain their ability to reach a large number of subscribers, the penalty does not necessarily meet YouTube's goals.
Established creators – like Crowder, which reaches more than 4 million people – often have a wide audience ready to buy products, which greatly reduces the severity of the sentence. Last year, when YouTube repressed videos and removed ads from the number of channels, it bypassed the impact by signing referrals or opening Patreon accounts, allowing them to continue exactly as before.
YouTube will probably not be a high profile channel either. If the content of a channel is at the limit, it means that it will not violate the rules of YouTube but will be considered prejudicial, the moderators will allow the broadcast of videos. Demonetizing videos in a channel gives YouTube the impression of a strong action, even if that action is not always effective.
Felix "PewDiePie" Kjellberg said in a video about YouTube ads last year that it was difficult to rely solely on ad revenue. "It's inefficient, unstable and an unsafe revenue model," According to the biggest creator of YouTube. Most of YouTube's creators "are not sticking to ad revenue," said Kjellberg.
Merchandise and subscription services on third-party websites are essential to becoming a full-time YouTube creator by 2019. YouTube's main stars, including Jake Paul, James Charles, Emma Chamberlainand David Dobrik were established among the secondary enterprises of the sale of goods.
Some creators, like Dobrik, have invested a lot in the creation of a merchandise line in order to continue to publish edgy images this could put the advertisers uncomfortable. Others were just worried for another "adpocalypse" term used in the community to invite advertisers to suspend their spending on YouTube after controversial events. The merch line of Dobrik has been so successful that one Two-day pop-up shop in the Tribeca neighborhood of New York earlier this year, sold both days.
Changes to YouTube's advertising policy have forced creators in recent years to find new ways to monetize, regardless of their threat, as YouTube's removal of advertising is even less punishable. Carlos Maza, the Vox The Crowder host targeted by homophobic insults pointed out that YouTube's punishment did not prevent Crowd from using his YouTube channel as a means of selling products and expanding his audience. (The edge is part of Vox Media, which also owns Vox.)
"YouTube has given bigots the go-ahead to make fun of LGBT and color people, and continues to help these bigots by finding them new subscribers to sell merch," Maza tweeted on June 8th. "This is not negligence, it is actively help the spread of bigotry."
Crowder is well aware of this dynamic. It is benefited from a significant increase in the number of memberships Since the beginning of the incident with Maza, Maza has stated that Maza had sold "more members to a mug club than anyone in the company's history".
"Demonetization does not work", Maza tweeted after YouTube's decision. "The aggressors use it as proof that they are" discriminated against. "Then they earn millions by selling merchandise, organizing concerts and having their supporters support them in Patreon. Advertising revenues are not the problem.It is the platform. "
Patreon has become a hub for creators looking to spread their income opportunities. Creators like Philip DeFranco, a popular commentator on YouTube, and Kinda Funny, a collective of gaming personalities and comedians, earn about $ 50,000 extra per month with Patreon. They also keep 90% of this income, with Patreon decreasing by 10%. That's more than what 60/40 creators have on YouTube.
But having access to a powerful tool such as Patreon means that creators must abide by the company's strict rules for moderation. Jenkins said The edge that unlike those like YouTube, Patreon does not believe that it is permissible for its members to sell whatever they want under the guise of "freedom of expression". The result is losing "people who belong to this cohort of freedom of expression," according to Jenkins. It is a decision that the company made some time ago and to which it remained faithful.
"When a creator crosses the line of exclusion excluding the exhortations of people, as I would argue that Jordan Peterson or someone else does, they will cross the line, "said Jenkins." That 's the limit we' ve created. A number of people are no longer in Patreon for these reasons. "
Patreon's activities have continued to grow at a steady pace over the past few years, even with a firm stance on moderation. Patreon has prohibited creators who use their services from selling products or creating harmful or obnoxious content. For those who can work according to the guidelines of the company, this allows them financial freedom that makes YouTube demonetization virtually useless.
Ads are still at the heart of monetization for most YouTubers, and it's clear that the company always revokes ad privileges as a form of moderation. But Crowder's response to the situation shows that demonetization is not the same as moderation, especially for the biggest creators of the platform.