I published this article as a video on YouTube it would have been demonetized. The title alone would be enough to set off YouTube’s algorithm that scours videos for anything too “controversial.”
I’m not even trying to be controversial. I’m stating a fact. YouTube is dying. And it could very well become the next Myspace by 2030.
I know what you’re thinking, “Myspace? No fucking way YouTube could become the next Myspace?!”
But hear me out. The parameters for YouTube’s failure are exactly how they were for Myspace. Here’s why.
YouTube isn’t Attracting a Younger Audience. But this App is.
According to a recent report from Promo Research, YouTube isn’t the most popular social media platform among teenagers in the U.S.
That title belongs to TikTok.
TikTok is the fastest-growing social media platform in the world. In just three years the Chinese social media app has amassed over 1 billion active users; and in the first quarter of 2020, TikTok generated the highest download for any app ever in a single quarter.
Unlike YouTube, TikTok’s audience is large and it’s growing at an unprecedented rate. But that’s not the only way TikTok is taking over where YouTube failed.
YouTube recently had to create a “Shorts” feature with 60-second videos in an attempt to mimic TikTok’s short-form videos. This led TikTok to float around that they will be releasing long-form videos of up to 10-minutes for their creators.
This is the two platforms officially declaring war on each other — but one has an aging audience while the other has captured younger generations.
YouTube is Dead, Artistically and Creatively
YouTube is tantamount to MySpace in more ways than one.
Before Myspace fell it had become entirely corporatized. The website featured ads and content from celebrities and Fortune 500 companies instead of the independent artists that made it what it was.
This made it possible for Facebook to knock MySpace off its pedestal as it featured fewer ads and a much cleaner user interface.
The same thing is happening to YouTube. The platform is a corporate wasteland filled with ads, clickbait, product placements, and it favors content from celebrities over independent users.
“Back in its golden age the prevailing culture on YouTube was one of creativity, excitement, and virality; anyone could make it big on the platform with just one viral video. This isn’t the case nowadays. YouTube’s demonization of new creators played right into TikTok’s hands.”
In 2022 it’s easier to become a content creator on TikTok than it is on YouTube. YouTube has begun to hate its grassroots underground celebs. They’d rather give money to people that are privately vetted by them.
YouTube caters to the established artist, musician, or celebrity. If you’re not one of those then it’ll be harder for you to get monetized and make it a career.
The War Over Music Videos
The top 10 most-watched videos on YouTube are all music videos.
(And you can believe that Gangnam Style isn’t even one of them?)
This means he who controls the music videos controls the number one video platform.
If they start eating away at the music video market it will be a huge blow to YouTube.
It’s just more ground that TikTok could take from YouTube.
Lil Nas X released a video where he gives Satan a lapdance, licks his nipples, snaps his neck, and puts on his crown of pure evil.
Now, what about the music video for WAP (Wet Ass Pussy) starring Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion. It features the two making out while snakes slither down their exposed cleavage. Certainly, it was demonetized?
It was not.
And this isn’t to say TikTok doesn’t have its own biases, such as criticizing the Chinese Communist Party. But this is only part of the problem. The other is that YouTube clearly favors corporate interests and establishment over independent creators.
At this point, we need anti-trust laws to help break up Facebook, Google, and YouTube. They are almost utilities now, and having them in the hands of a few people is not a good idea.
If the government was smart they would crack them up like the old oil and telephone monopolies.
What would happen if Mark Zuckerburg wanted to run for president or Susan Wojcicki the CEO of YouTube — do you think they wouldn’t use your data for their presidential run? It’s time to break up the giants and scatter their bones.
YouTube Brings Out the Worst in Us
The good thing about creating content on Medium is I don’t have to ask you to “LIKE and SMASH the SUBSCRIBE button, and CLICK THE BELL ICON too so I don’t have to starve.”
I also don’t have to put a picture of my face in the thumbnail with my mouth wide open, and a bunch of “OMGs OMGs OMGs” or red circles and arrows pointing to random shit.
YouTube is cringe. And it’s why people are fleeing to TikTok.
Let me close by saying: I don’t like TikTok. I don’t have the app downloaded and I certainly don’t want to live in a timeline where it replaces YouTube. But I can’t deny that YouTube is its worst enemy, and TikTok is better for content creators in 2022.