What Does The YouTube Adpocalypse Mean For Creators?
YouTube has been making a lot of changes in recent months that are starting to affect the revenue of creators. This isn't just about individual creators alone, but any and all brands, companies, and personalities on YouTube. With everything from individual videos to full channels being demonetized, what does this mean for creators big and small?
Wait, What IS the Adpocalypse?
The adpocalypse is basically this: advertisers have started to pull ads from YouTube because of content that is considered controversial. If we go back to PewDiePie's controversy of using racial slurs in a few of his gaming videos, many consider that the start of the "adpocalypse." The Wall Street Journal pulled ads that were running on his channel, and it caused a chain of events of advertisers being more wary about what videos their ads are running on. This is completely understandable.
The problem, however, is defining the line of what is controversial. There have been talks of YouTube being hypocritical in claiming they won't run ads on videos about tragedy, but will run ads on a major television station's channel covering just that. Famed vlogger Casey Neistat was victim of this rule when he was trying to raise money for those affected by the shooting in Las Vegas by donating the money he'd make through AdSense. But with YouTube not running ads on that video, due to it discussing a tragedy, he couldn't actually make the funds he wanted to donate.
The line of what is sensitive material or not has been blurred and it's causing a lot of perfectly fine videos to get docked from being monetized. YouTube's "learning machine" still has a lot of learning to do.
So what does this mean for creators?
They need to find other avenues of making money, if video creation is where they are putting all their eggs. YouTubers can no longer just rely on their channels, but need to build an overall personal brand. That personal brand can extend to other means of income outside of ad revenue.
What revenue streams work well?
- Affiliate Links: The beauty of YouTube descriptions on the ability to add in whatever you'd like as added value to your video. Recommending gift ideas? Link to them on the description. Use the same camera set up for your vlogs? List those items in your description. There are affiliate programs for almost every brand you can think of and its the best way to capitalize on your audience.
- Classes: It's very likely that something you are discussing is enriching your audience, which is what is driving them there in the first place. Consider how you can expand this in an educational way; it's easy to create classes for sites like Udemy and Skillshare and expand your offerings off YouTube.
- SuperChat: Consider live streaming more frequently in order to capitalize on SuperChat. SuperChat is a YouTube feature that allows fans to pay their chosen denomination of money to have their message pinned to the top of chat for some time. You can encourage donations by offering something to those who give; a shout-out, a tweet to them, or first in line for answering questions during a Q&A.
- Patreon: Patreon is much talked about and a little controversial, but a great option if you have extra content you can offer subscribers. Think of it as almost an ongoing Kickstarter for the channel; you offer tiered rewards depending on how much a patron gives. Your rewards can be anything you dream up, which can expand on your own creative endeavors.
Is the Adpocalypse the end of YouTube? Likely not, but until their demonetization bots learn to better differentiate truly sensitive material from harmless content, finding other streams of revenue is the smartest thing a creator can do.
Want to learn more about how to optimize your YouTube channel and build extra revenue streams? Contact me at ChristineMelgarejo@gmail.com or through the contact page to set up a 15 minute consultation!