Friday, March 23, 2012

Why are some YouTube Partners losing money?

TheWillofDC posted a great video two days ago and I would like to respond to it. Now if anyone wants to look at the original version of these 3.0 channel designs when they were in beta you can see them here

So it has improved since then but I do hope one day YouTube gives us more colors and not just this grey. However this is not the first time YouTube has redesigned the channels and it won't be the last.

Now what is causing a lot of drop in views is two fold. First there is the redesign of the home page that YouTube had last month. While the previous layout did promote those who were already popular, the new layout promotes subscriptions up front. In addition to the subscriptions YouTube also is heavily promoting suggested videos based on previous viewing history. This is a great way to find new content.

The new subscription center does have a bug. It has resulted in what is known as video bumping. The home page only holds about 14 videos. So if you subscribe to a few hundred channels like I do it can be kind of tricky to see all the content. Channels that have their sharing features enabled to share any time they comment on a video results in their video being bumped to the top of the list any time they reply to a comment in their video. This bumps others who do not enable comment sharing to be bumped down the list.

Many of the top YouTube Partners got a lot of their views from the home page as YouTube would feature the top 4 videos in every cateogory. People such as CharlesTrippy and iJustine are well known for posting in the wrong category in order to get one of these coveted 4 spots.

Now in order to get to the categories you have to do a few mouse clicks. Not everyone does that. As such those who previously benefited from being in the top 4 for their category are seeing a drop.

The other factor that changed revenue for a lot of people is the new way YouTube promotes related videos.

While this change was primarily aimed at combating the Reply Channels it also hampers the ability to be a viewwhore. I have talked to a lot of people who have seen their earnings drop from several hundred a day down to just 20-40 dollars a day. One of my good friends Grahamandfriends sadly went the viewwhore route to earn that big money. He was previously earning 3 times what I was on YouTube but now he is hurting. Claims to have taken a 80% drop in revenue.

Now this is not to say that I haven't occasionally viewwhored myself. However my channel is not based on viewwhoring. A look through my channel will show I think maybe 3 or 4 videos that could be viewwhoring. A bulk of my videos are watched most of the way through and usually have a high number of user engagement.

Another thing I do is I constantly link my videos together in playlists or shows or via annotation. The idea is when someone watches one of my videos, I want them to watch another one next. Here is where my views come from.

I had to edit out a few days when I was hit with that votebot that gave me 800,000 bogus views. However, as you can see my views for the most part have remained constant between 12,000 and 15,000 views per day. Most of my views come from search. A lot of my tutorials are my higher viewed videos. Another large percentage comes from being in Related Videos and you will see that the new algorithm did not change my view counts.

So while I may not have made a much money as the viewwhores did back in the day, I am the one who is not fretting about losing views and money right now. It also appears that YouTube is leveling the playing field even more by not promoting people who were already popular. New talent is being discovered and that is good news for us smaller channels who put out decent content.