Thoughts on Youtube's "Adpocalypse"

in #blog4 years ago (edited)
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In my previous post I wrote about PewDiePie dropping the N-Word and I thought of giving few of my thoughts about the whole Youtube's "Adpocalypse" situation.

Youtube/Youtubers are still suffering from the so-called "Adpocalypse", where many advertisers have decided to pull back their ads from Youtube when it came to the mainstream's knowledge that some ads were playing on video(s) including offensive content.

This led to a situation where Youtubers are earning less and less ad revenue, which naturally hinders their ability to produce content on Youtube for a living. Of course, you should never "put all your eggs in one basket", that's just a very risky business decision. 

If you're voluntarily relying on one platform or revenue from just one source, you're in a much more vulnerable position than you need to be. When Youtube makes any kind of changes, you need to adapt or you're possibly not going to survive the consequences that these changes produce.

As a company/brand you should know that your image is very important. In this day and age it might be more important than ever before because of the Internet and how fast and wide the information spreads nowadays.

I can understand why companies can be hesitant on putting their ads on Youtube because of the potential backlash from their ads ending up on videos that could possibly harm their brand. That said, I'm not fully behind the decision of them pulling their ads from Youtube.


I believe that the biggest reason why the "Adpocalypse" grew as big as it did, is because of corporations not understanding the current world that well. I think that's a problem with a large part of "old school" or previous generation corporations. I don't think they are well aware of the current time's culture, media, and marketing.

Think about it this way: You go to Youtube to find some cute cat videos. You scroll down the list of videos and click one of them named "Really funny cat! OMG! NO clickbait!". You then find out that the video is about a white cat whose face is painted black that's eating chicken wings and watermelon while the owner makes some racist remarks.

You've rightfully disgusted by what you've seen. You then notice that at the bottom of the video, there is an ad by PepsiCo. Now the big question is, would you make the assumption that PepsiCo is a racist company or that they would support racist behavior by voluntarily placing ads on racist videos on Youtube?

I think it's safe to say that most people wouldn't make that assumption, although there are always exceptions. I personally think that this is a major reason why companies have been pulling their ads from Youtube. I think that they believe that a critical mass of people would actually make that assumption and consider their company to be pro-racism.

That's one of the reasons why I think that the previous generation corporations are a little bit out of touch.

Youtube's reaction and response

There have been lots of conversations going on about Youtube's actions that they have taken in order to convince companies to come back and start advertising on their platform once again. I personally believe that Youtube has been too radical in their decisions and it seems like a total panic reaction to me. 

I understand that Youtube needs to constantly improve their algorithms so that these kinds of things wouldn't happen. The unfortunate reality is though, that creating and implementing a good enough algorithm that would be able to scan the videos itself is still really, really difficult in this day and age.

This leads to Youtube having two options.

  1. Mostly ignore the advertiser's reactions and just move forward with improving their platform
  2. Start de-monetizing videos based on certain words and tags

By now we already know that they decided to go with the option number two.

As I already mentioned, I believe that they went too far with their actions. This won't destroy Youtube though. It's such a big part of our modern day culture to fall because of this, though this will open up more doors for other platforms to rise and shine.

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