Gabe sent over the strip with the subject line “Is this too much?” and I told him it’s virtually impossible to tell things like that. I didn’t suggest, though I will suggest now, that I’m not the best person to ask for information of this kind. I’m something of an “advance scout” when it comes to conceptual territory. I’m not saying I’m right about things necessarily, just that I tend to range in the zone where the reproducible and the reliable give way to the untrammeled abstract. I mean, look at that sentence. It’s like Exhibit A.
YouTube’s “adpocalypse” continues simmer behind the cool, glass facade of the platform, the newest ghostly manifestation of which is them altering the deal further for the smallest creators on the platform. They suggested that ninety percent of people at the level of performance they foreclosed were only making $2.50 a month, which is kind of a dick thing to say though maybe it makes sense to them. As someone who has made a living - and made a living for others - off my creative work, that’s only their first $2.50. People routinely frame their first dollar. It’s more than money. Mike and I used to click our own ads back in the day, just click them and click them. That was the first time we ever made money at this shit.
What I’m saying is that this is a pretty aristocratic maneuver, all told. After they got kicked in the teeth for their first announcement, they trained a Markov chain generator with a corpus of history’s worst apologies and had it excrete this phrase:
Our recent changes to the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) are designed to curb bad actors, stabilize creator revenue and provide greater assurances to advertisers around where their ads are placed.
“Greater assurances around where their ads are placed” is really the only functional part of this, the only portion which has any material substance. Everything else is simply attached to the root concept with layers and layers of brown packing tape. They have one goal, and I’m not even saying they shouldn’t have that goal. Just say it, though: say it out loud. You’ll punish thousands of people to protect those who have threatened the very existence of the platform.
You can’t make the case that these smaller-scale YouTubers are the problem. By definition, these smaller broadcasters aren’t being seen. Not by many. The people who are actually abrading the entire model have followers in the eight figures. Those are the articles and videos I’ve seen - YouTube’s poster children. People who become a millionaire - again, or for a third, fourth, or tenth time - every month of the year.