The End?

TRANSCRIPT:

This is not a typical subject for me to discuss, but I felt it was important to get out to my general audience and other content creators who watch my channel.

Because “the more you know” and shit.

Some changes are coming to YouTube, and it could negatively impact a LOT of content creators, and possibly YOUR enjoyment of the platform.

In fact, as of December 10th, my days on YouTube MAY be numbered. As will be the days of many, MANY other YouTubers. The only exceptions may be the massive PewDiePies, Logan Pauls, etc.

According to YouTube’s updated Terms of Service, which will go into effect on December 10th, YouTube, and I quote “may terminate your access, or your Google account’s access to all or part of the service if YouTube believes, in its sole discretion, that provision of the service to you is no longer commercially viable.”

Keep in mind, YouTube has also stated that it “is under no obligation to host or serve content”.

So, to summarize:

1. YouTube is not obliged to host my content or anyone else’s.

2. YouTube can remove anyone from their platform if they are or become “noncommercial” in their opinion. And their opinion ONLY.

And that boils down to what YouTube qualifies as commercially-viable. It does not matter what you or I think.

Look, ultimately, YouTube is a business and is free to employ any sort of policies on their platform that they wish, sink or swim.

I am not making this video to complain, rather I am making it as a heads-up. Mostly for those who enjoy and/or benefit from the content that I create.

I am also making this video for other content creators who are in my boat; particularly the smaller channels and/or channels that do not pull much in the way of ad revenue, or aren’t pulling in ad revenue in the same manner that they used to. Either by virtue of complete or consistent demonetization, and/or poor or dwindling views.

And as I’ve shared on this channel before, many of my videos are instantly demonetized not long after I’ve uploaded them, and many times the appeals process proves to be utterly useless. Many times my appeal is either denied, despite evidence, or indefinitely ignored.

And the reason for demonetization is not always made clear. For example, I’ve had one video demonetized that simply discussed my Christian journey. There was nothing particularly offensive about it, unless you find the topic of Christianity to be offensive.

Furthermore, on average, I’ve only pulled about $25 in ad revenue, per month, over the last 6 months. Again, that’s the average. Some months are more or less than $25.

So, I doubt that my channel would be considered a commercial success in the eyes of YouTube.

Especially when you consider, in comparison, that a channel like PewDiePie pulled $15 million in 2016 alone.

So, I may very well end up on the chopping block after December 10th. You may literally wake one day… someday… even a year or so from now… and my channel may just be gone.

And so may NUMEROUS other channels that you may also watch.

Such as my friend Marcus, aka The Golden One, whose channel was completely demonetized by YouTube back in June of this year.

Now, YouTube has informed the press that their Terms of Service are only being changed “in order to make them easier to read and to ensure they’re up to date”.

But, in reality, the changes only seem to provide YouTube more power and leeway in their decision-making.

And if that wasn’t trouble enough for content creators, in September YouTube was fined a historic $170 million by the Federal Trade Commission over alleged violations of a children’s privacy law.

And in light of this fine, YouTube will be instituting a policy where all content creators must manually mark, per video upload, whether or not their content could possibly appeal to kids. And, unfortunately, the guidelines are quite vague. But, colorful thumbnails and topics such as superheroes do appear to fit the bill.

Ergo, last week’s video discussing an exercise that can help get you the “superhero look”, which featured Henry Cavill’s Superman prominently in the thumbnail, may meet the criteria. Regardless of the fact that I intended that video, as with all of my videos, for mature audiences only.

But, MY opinion and intent doesn’t matter.

And by complying with this new policy, or if a video is determined BY YouTube to qualify, you may lose your video notifications, your comment section, as well as 60%-to-90% of your ad revenue.

And if content creators DON’T manually comply, they could end up facing a $42,000 fine by the FTC for each video that is determine to be “kid-directed” but never marked as such.

So, you can’t simply ignore their policy either.

Now, put that into the larger context of commercial-viability that I had discussed previously, and you can see how this COULD compound troubles for many content creators. After all, reduced ad revenue will likely equate to little-or-no commercial value in the eyes of YouTube.

Obviously, I can’t tell you what the future holds for this channel or any other. If I had the power of precognition, I’d quite possibly be the wealthiest man on earth. Nonetheless, the waters do look very troubled. And the fun is just being continuously drained from the platform.

I’ve never considered YouTube to be a viable career path. I’ve always viewed this channel as a hobby. A labor of love, if you will.

Though, I won’t deny that it IS nice to receive a little something for my efforts. Be that a bit of ad revenue, your pledges on Patreon or SubscribeStar, your use of my affiliate links, such as Amazon, or when you purchase my eBooks. It’s just nice to be appreciated.

I started this channel because friends and family were, frankly, sick of hearing me talk about fitness and nutrition all the time. It was suggested that I start a YouTube channel for that purpose instead. That way people who give a damn could find and listen to me instead.

So, while I’d certainly survive without YouTube, I would still experience a sense of loss. If only the loss of the relationships I’ve built with my audience over the years. And some of you have been with me from the beginning. After all, I’ve been doing this for 5 years and 8 months, and counting.

That’s more than half-the-length of your average marriage here in the US!

If my channel were a child, it’d be in friggin’ Kindergarten right now; almost to first grade!

In any case, I’ll keep on keepin’ on with making my brand of content that you all have come to expect. And, ultimately, let the chips fall where they may.

Anyway, leave your thoughts and comments below.

REFERENCES

Terms of Service – YouTube https://www.youtube.com/t/terms?preview=20191210#main

YouTube says it has ‘no obligation’ to host anyone’s video https://www.theverge.com/2019/11/11/20955864/youtube-terms-of-service-update-terminations-children-content-ftc

YouTube Has Begun Blocking Discriminatory Content Just A Day After Saying It Doesn’t Violate Its Policies https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ryanhatesthis/youtube-block-discriminatory-content

Google will pay $170 million for YouTube’s child privacy violations https://www.theverge.com/2019/9/4/20848949/google-ftc-youtube-child-privacy-violations-fine-170-milliion-coppa-ads

Is A YouTube COPPAcalypse Coming? FTC Rules Could Start Demonetizing Creators In 2020 https://www.tubefilter.com/2019/11/05/youtube-coppa-adpocalypse-ftc-rules-demonetizing-child-directed/

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