zaterdag 3 februari 2018

Opinion: Thoughts on YouTube

There have been some changes on YouTube recently, and a lot of channels have been voicing over this, not all that well in most cases.

Of course, it's all about the moneytizing programme that has changed, and now proves an insurmountable cliff for many smaller channels.

Even though I have my own small channel, I never much cared about that part.  Heck, at around 120 subscribers at the time of typing this, it's a very, very small fish in a humongous pond, but I just like to do the occassional vlog instead of blog, most notably the weekly painting desk update.

But I can understand that for some, it was a welcome bit of pocket money and they see that dissipate from one moment to the next.  I believe (for Belgium) it now has to be 1.000 subs and 4.000 clicks or something in order to be able to apply for the partner programme again; no need for me to lie awake of that anyways.

But this also got me looking through the channels I subscribe to, and their numbers of subs and views, and some odd things caught my attention.

First of all, there are barely any succesfull historical wargame channels out there, most hovering around the 500 subs.  On the other hand, often GW channels are going in the thousands of subscribers, and I must admit I find a lot of them "odd" to have that number.  Most of those channels are lore related, and while there are some great ones that lay down possible connections, hypothesise on facts and how they would be able to expand and the likes, there are many others who are just, well, not on that level.

These are channels that do literally nothing else then quote the lore from the novels, codex'es and other official sources, dry and like it is written down.  Add some picture footage of the GW site, and your done.  Originality and creativity zero, yet the amount of subscribers keeps rising.  Are people getting to lazy to even read something for themselves?  This is double sour for those who do create thoughts based on official content in my opinion.  Because hey, this piece is my completely subjective opinion and my youtube tastes...

What I personally do love watching, apart from big guns like Beasts of War 'The Weekender' show on saturdays or the newest build tips from TheTerrainTutor, are battle reports.  And preferably of the not 40k variation, but not so popular game systems like Blood and Plunder, or the Let's Plays from BoW that introduce new games often and you get an idea of how a game plays.  For example, TheMedievalWargamer once did a whole series on how Mortem et Gloriam works and plays, including a solo game battlereport.  I am very intrested in that game system since then, and the fact they literally have a gazillion of free downloadable army lists is a welcome bonus.  But I never would have found that out without watching the first of his series...

A very intresting video I watched a few weeks ago, and set my YouTube related intrest rolling on thinking over channels I subscribed to, was by an australian bloke called Macca.  He talked about "clickbaiting" on YouTube, and how some channels, just to attract more views, literally quoted everything that appeared on the Warhammer Community site.  This allowed them to make 6 to 9 videos of nothing new in the time of a few weeks, and get huge amounts of clicks even though in essence they presented nothing new.  I scrolled a bit through YouTube after seeing that... and he is bloody right.  Out of the top of my head, at least seven "established" (aka, more then 10k subscribers) channels do this.  With something that is perfectly watchable on the official site, and even sooner then they can make those (admitted, often very short) video's that in two cases at least are just the image or text that appeared on the Community site overlaid with the free to use YouTube music.

Logical, because otherwise they would be demonitized for author rights on the music... so see those screaming daemons slaughter all on a tune of a rabbit hopping through the verdant green grass...

Another sort of YouTuber channel that I quit following are those with the god-complex.  They think they just know everything about every army in every gamesystem and any other way is wrong.  Yeah, "That Guy" has discovered YouTube.  These channels often say what you MUST play in order to win, and what they think is the only way to go.  Though after a bit of research, I never see their names in the top spots of big tournaments, so they are probably the king of the local hobbystore, and only if the really good players, that can create win opportunities with even a "basic" army (yes; the fluff armies, on how they should look instead of min max forces) are on holidays.  The tone of those channels, in all their patronizing, quickly turned me of, yet those are the guys with the big subscriber numbers.  So apart from reading, has humanity also stopped thinking for itself?

So yes, YouTube might be a bit of a very, very mixed candy these days, and unfortunatly, the change in the programme might actually be the downfall of the smaller channels out to earn perhaps some sidemoneys.  Because in our capitalist world, this IS a motivation to do such things after all.  They might either try to boost their numbers with becoming yet another clickbait or lore reader channel, or they might quit making the effort to remain on YouTube.

Or they stoutly sail on and keep giving us original and fun content!

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