I was afraid of posting anything, because a lot of people on here don't seem to like to actually read threads, but this is something I've wanted to get off my chest for a while; I'm tired of the hustle that is YouTube. Sadly since I don't watch a lot of TV, and there are still a few things like Red Letter Media, or MVs I enjoy watching on there, so I always find myself going back to it to find something worth watching, but it's gotten so hard to do.
I'm glad that Youtube provided opportunity for some talented content creators to do it as a full time job thing, and considering the years of entertainment they provided, they probably deserve it, but I also really miss the YOU part of YouTube. The part where people could just share their hobbies and passions. When YouTube was new, I was the kind of person who occasionally did a game review, or made some AMVs. Some of those actually got a few hundred thousand views, and it was fun and made me happy to see people enjoyed what I made. One in particular got so many people saying it was their favorite AMV, so that stuck with me. It was just a hobby, because I enjoyed editing, and I made people happy. I enjoyed just interacting with others about stuff I made, but I didn't keep doing the game reviews, because Nintendo fans are jerks. A lot of them didn't seem to like my less than perfect review of Mario Kart Wii, so I didn't keep doing that as long, but I digress. The point is, there was a time when you could just do YouTube videos as a hobby, and still get some amount of engagement with others. Now every thing is so run by what the algorithm wants, that doing something because you or your viewers want it seem all but lost on YouTube.
YouTube has become all about the money, and as someone who just wants to watch fun content, this is what makes me sad the most. I escaped watching regular TV, because I was tired of being dictated what type of content was alright to watch, but now YouTube might as well be television. You got videos censoring swear words for fear of pissing off advertisers, you got people doing videos strictly because it's what's trending at the moment. Instead of making thumbnails that actually tell you about the video you're going to watch, they often have people making dumb faces, and if you go to a creator's profile, so many of the thumbnails look near identical because it's what works on YouTube I guess? Let's not even start with the constant thumbnails with people making dumb faces on them.
These people aren't happy unless they're constantly monetizing EVERYTHING. I won't knock them for wanting to be a monetized YouTube channel, go nuts, but a common factor with so many people I've watched in the past couple years is they get sooooo upset if even one video underperforms, or is not monetized. Somebody like Angry Joe as an example, he probably made a dozen videos complaining about copyright claims, because oh no, this guy worth over 1 million dollars didn't make money on one video he made. I get it, some people feel they need to be paid for their "work", but at some point when a lot of the content by these creators comes down to sitting in a chair, talking, and maybe some minor editing.....get over it. You can make another one in an hour probably. It's hard to feel sorry for someone not able to monetize their content, when they're still making money from any number of sources. Twitch subscribers, patreons, donations...they're bringing in money constantly from so many different directions. Stop crying that you only made $10,000 today, instead of $11,000.
I know this is running kind of long, but let me give one more example. I follow a game streamer/let's player who does daily videos where he posts 20-30 minute videos of a let's play per day. Often times, I actually just wait till an entire game is posted to even watch them because I hate watching them in short chunks, but he's entertaining enough to wait it out. He's got a fanbase that is sizeable I'd say, sizeable enough that I would be happy to get what he does if I was in his shoes. However instead of just trying to appeal to those fans, he keeps chasing this never ending idea of "I must follow follow the algorithm and grow! that's all that matters", at least that's how it comes off to me. In his comments, or discord chat, he'll have members in his fanbase community say "I love watching you play this game", and hope he would follow it up, or actually finish a game he starts, but he doesn't care about that, if it doesn't meet his view count demands, he'll quit that game half way through, and go back to doing more Zelda randomizers, because they might get 10k views per video, rather than what he considers a "low" view count of 7-8k views, which I guess that's what he seems to consider a failure.
I've dabbled into doing YouTube/streamer stuff, but no one watches, so I don't usually stick with it, but this guy has what would be the dream for me. A supportive and consistent fanbase that's been with him for years, which is easily enough to live off of. Yet he seems to hate his fans, and doesn't care about doing what makes them happy, but rather what the algorithm says might make him get bigger. That's what drives me nuts. It's like, dude clearly makes enough money to live happy. That's just the YouTube side of it, the guy still has an average of 1200 or more subscribers a month on his twitch channel, not to mention the donations of money or bits every day I've seen him stream.
I find it frustrating because I would do the kind of content he does even without the money aspect. I would be so grateful that people were actually watching and wanting to interact with me, but I don't do it, because every time I try, no one watches, and that's more discouraging. People like the creator I mention don't even don't even see their viewers as people, and in fact often just look down on them.
TLDR: Sorry if this is long post, but I am just a wordy type of person, and wanted to get my point across. Basically, I am tired of the over monetization of YouTube, and how it made so much of the content homogenized. You can't find people making videos for the love of a hobby, or passion anymore, but rather how much money it can make them. Does this actually make anyone happy? The creators seem miserable, and I would hope the viewers would tire out on all the same-ness of everything.