Welcome to The Know I’m Mika. I’m John. Are YouTube’s Adpocalypse woes finally coming to an end? For months now the YouTube community has been freaking out about YouTube’s ad policies with demonetization hitting creators left and right, killing off any chances of making money on a video right out of the gate. But now YouTube is saying that that’s all a thing of the past, thanks to a new algorithm update that supposedly is going to make things better with fewer false positives and millions more videos making it through the money gates. Did YouTube make good on its promises? Well, that much remains to be seen. This new algorithm update was announced on the YouTube help forum over the weekend, with a spokesperson writing that “the manual review process has helped the company learn a lot about what should and shouldn’t be flagged for demonetization”. For those unaware this has been an issue plaguing creators for the better part of the year. The post said, “Since August over a million human reviews have helped train and improve this technology and today, we’re releasing an important update that will result in fewer misclassifications overall. As a result, there will be a 30% reduction in the number of videos receiving limited ads as they move to being fully monetized. In other words, millions more videos to become fully monetized”. So, doesn’t that make you feel better about all that money you lost in your videos? It was all in the service of learning! Cool… The post goes on to say, “For your channel, you may see icons that were previously yellow turn to green. You may also see icons of a previously green turn to yellow — this updated system is an improvement, but it’s not perfect. We know there’s much more work to do, so if you feel the yellow icon is a mistake, please continue to appeal”. YouTube wrapped things up by saying this update was only possible because of the feedback people gave through the appeals process. And of course the creator community is incredibly important to them, and they’re grateful for your patience as they’ve worked to make their systems better, bring advertisers back to the platform and to push updates that’ll help protect your revenue. If you’ve missed out on all the to do about YouTube’s demonetization problems, the whole snafu started around April, when just about all of YouTube’s major advertisers pulled support for the platform following ad placement next to… Let’s just say it’s controversial subject matter. YouTube’s ad business lost hundreds of millions in the fallout after that, and the company had to pivot very quickly to become a more family-friendly platform. The quick and dirty way to do that was through a pretty aggressive algorithm that demonetized any video that could possibly be construed as “controversial”. It’s a fun word. This was referred to as the “Adpocalypse”, and it hit loads of creators in a way that left many with the choice of becoming less reliant on YouTube. As a result of all that, a spotlight got placed on gaming videos in particular because some of them violate YouTube’s ad-friendly guidelines due to depictions of fake violence. We’ve seen some instances where any videos related to a particular game like, Call of Duty or Destiny, are automatically demonetized. And sometimes it’s a little bit less straightforward than that. Over the last few months, creators have been reporting the most random demonetized videos you can think of, because their channels at some point have been delisted as being advertiser friendly. The rough part of it for these creators is that their videos are basically demonetized until YouTube can manually review them. But, in that time they miss out on any potential revenue. Considering most of the videos revenue is made in those first few days, creators completely miss out by the time the manual review process is over and the demonetization is reversed. All these developments, of course, for some creators to double dip with multiple platforms like Twitch and Patreon, in order to supplement the money they’d lost from YouTube. But, then things got even worse for some of them once YouTube start cracking down on things like, outbound links leading off the site. Recently, it was announced that users had to join YouTube’s Partner Program in order to add end cards with external links (you know like links to a Patreon page or a Twitch channel). On top of that the partner program limits the end cards channels with 10,000 total public views or more that puts a bit of a strain on small dedicated channels of Patreon followings, limiting their ability to get off the ground. But, all those woes are in the past, right?
Sure…Totally Because YouTube is totally fix all of it’s demonetization problems once and for all and everything’s great forever, Amen? Good news everyone, it’s fixed! We’re good..
Yeah? Well, that much remains to be seen, at the moment. All it takes is a few searches on Twitter, as well as angry comments in the announcement post itself, to see that things still aren’t well in YouTube Land. I don’t want to go to YouTube Land, that sounds like a scary place.
Right? There are dozens of posts with creators still saying the algorithm is messed up, and that just about every one of their videos is getting demonetized no matter the subject of the video itself. To be fair, we’re still in the early days of this update so, it’ll probably just you know take a little bit of time to get a sense of how it’s doing in the wild and whether or not they’re machine learning has learned… At all.
Sure. We did some checking around on our side of things, and while some in the RoosterTeeth family say that things seem to have improved from where they were earlier this year, others aren’t so sure, and some of the people who we spoke with expect things to get worse as we hit Q4. Gotta love things gettin’ worse. Yep. Part of that has to do with some political fears being stirred up by controversies regarding propaganda and ad buying on social media sites. We’re not gonna get into the politics of that, but there are worries from advertisers and platforms alike about getting caught up in government oversight and regulations. And it’s making advertisers a little bit nervous about blanket ad bets. The long story short is that despite all this people are still rethinking the way they use YouTube. Larger creators will of course be fine, as always, but the middle tier and smaller creators will probably be hit the hardest. For YouTube’s part, it looks like they’ve… …~tried~… to make good on some of their promises to fix things for creators. In addition to this algorithm update they also announced some Twitch-like features last month to help mitigate the impact for some, so…
Sure, if you can’t fix it copy it. So, as always time will tell if YouTube’s on its way back up for creators, or if we’ll keep seeing the same issues that we’ve seen throughout 2017. What do you guys think of YouTube’s new algorithm update that’s supposed to fix demonetization? Has your channel been fixed? You still gettin’ demonetized? Let us know in the comments! For future updates on YouTube news remember to like this video, and if you’re new around here, subscribe to The Know. And sometimes it’s a little bit less straightforward than that. Over the last few months creators have been reporting the most random demonetized videos you can think of because, their channels at some point have had… …Fears being stirred up by controversies regarding propaganda and ad bullying on social media sites. Offscreen: Ad buying!
Mica: Ad buying. What’s “ad bullying”?
I don’t know, I just went with it.