Soon, we will all be Pepsi adverts.
YouTube is now mainstream and the mainstream media don’t like it. Companies have shifted emphesis in their advertising budgets away from TV and newspapers, to online advertising, creating imaginative and compelling content especially for YouTube to delight the masses such as the recent Pepsi advert (Pepsi was on sale at 50 cents per bottle at my local supermarket today, for some reason, great deal!)
Unfortunately for YouTubers the extra $0.01 per 100,000 views comes with strings attached (advertisers are not this generous unless they get to rule the world as part of the deal). Many of the corporations are putting pressure on YouTube to clean up the site.
What makes YouTube great is that content creators communicate directly with their subscribers without any of the red tape of mainstream media – lawyers, executives, shareholders, advertisers. This is what makes the internet what it is.
These advertisers quite understandably however don’t want their brands appearing alongside offensive content (racist videos, sexism and Pepsi adverts) but as usual the term ‘family friendly’ has crept in and soon, like worried parents wondering what their 8 year old is watching in-between 6 hour Minecraft sessions, the advertisers are worried about satire, comedy and freedom of thought.
For Pepsi, to create that Molotov cocktail of a commercial, takes bad judgement and even worst taste. For these companies to then turn around and start dictating to YouTube what they deem acceptable content on the site – well that has alarm bells ringing for me, big time. The committees who run these corporations are absolutely the antithesis of creativity.
Then, if YouTube begins to fail as a platform, Google has only got itself to blame. It didn’t stand up for its most subscribed star when he came under attack from the Wall Street Journal and Google has consistently failed to make the most of the good content it has hidden on the site under the click bate. It lacks any kind of editorial direction or curatorship, being completely algorithm and numbers driven. I miss the old days of television where you’d tune into your favourite channel every night and there would be something mildly interesting and a broad range of episodic content. Although I subscribe to various channels on YouTube and sometimes I know exactly what I want to type into the search bar, there are other times when I wish I didn’t have to work so hard to find this stuff in the first place.
Another area where Google has failed to get a grip is on the YouTube comments which allow people to post under pretty much whatever name they want. Sometime tell me how that makes any sense! It is so easy to mimic the name of the YouTube channel and trick people into following links they think are posted by the channel itself. Things like this seem so obviously wrong and yet they haven’t even tried to fix the issue.
Google needs to start standing up for YouTube and standing up to the advertising industry as well.
If they can’t even stand up for their own YouTubers like PewDiePe I doubt they will be much better at standing up to big money.