I’ve just had a quick scroll through Youtube and once again there were a lot of quitting videos uploaded over this weekend. Now it’s the beginning of the year, people set goals or move focus but this year has really been about quitting not building Youtube presence and doing less videos. I began to think why this is, and then it hit me. For the vast majority of people 2023 was the first year in which being a creator or content producer stalled or even fell. After at least a decade of youtube growing for most people, this trend finally came to an end in 23. Most people I knwo still had good subscribtion rates but most saws views drop, and in some cases, plummet and most saw ad revenue and general revenue fall as well. To be a successful youtuber means hard work, posting lots of content and to be fair being on the ball. As I have mentioned elsewhere when revenues fall and it becomes harder todo what you love then many get disillusioned and some may decide to quit.
So why is this happening? Well I think it’s the same problem that ALL the social media platforms are struggling with. Costs have risen, this is true of both the platform and the creators, and it is now an expensive hobby to create decent videos. People want high quality content and are far less likely to put up with a grainy smartphone video with awful audio. If it’s something they want to watch they will just find another version with better quality. This also means that if they are not enjoying something they’ll click away or move onto something else (thanks Tik Tok!) Heck even Tik Tok has seen it’s bubble burst for many! The sheer vast amount of content nowadays means people will have multiple alternatives on multiple platforms and this dilution is affecting everybody. We also have to factor in youtubes constant need to monetise and increase subs as it struggles with still large debts. There has been a decline in youtube premium and music members as people try to cut their monthly subs, something that is hitting nearly all the main platforms and again I’ve touched on that elsewhere. The last whammy is that for many livestreams seem to have gone from being cool, to just another content type, and my personal experience is that the golden age of livestreams is well and truly gone.
So, in summary, I think this is a general trend of how the tinternet and social media is going. People are spending less time doom scrolling and more time with some traditional media types like TV. This realignment will continue throughout 2024 but I’m still glad of the whole youtube ecosystem, I still think it’s the best general platform to distribute video. However I also have high hopes that this year is the year that people embrace Peertube as the no ads and no forcing you into watching certain things IS the way forward – as long as people can get some reward for their work.
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