Spotify’s yearly song and podcast wrap is something Spotify users across the globe look to in anticipation following a year of listening. Now with Youtube coming forward with their release of their new “Wrap up”, Youtube music listeners are giving spotify a run for its money as well as its listeners. The new feature shared on monday reveals who users favorite artist, genre, song, music video as well as their favorite playlist to round out 2021. Many of the features of the new Youtube music app closely resemble that of the Spotify yearly round up. The new wrap up allows diversity amongst streaming platforms to allow people who don’t just use spotify to express their favorite artist and playlist. Something that spotify users have been doing for years. So now is the time for all music fans to go out and share your yearly music favorite for the world to see!Continue reading “YouTube Music introduces 2021 wrap up to compete with Spotify’s yearly personal song wrap up”
Roku and Google owned Youtube strike deal to keep Youtube on newer Roku devices
The decision to keep the Google owned platform Youtube, on their newer devices comes with a multiyear distribution deal between the two companies. The decision to keep the app on the Roku platform comes just a day before Googles deadline to keep Youtube or cut off the main Youtube app. This agreement with Google and Roku also allowed Youtube to be restored to Rokus channel platform just a few hours after the decision was finalized on Wednesday afternoon. Youtube is known for being the world’s largest platform of digital videos with a total number of more than 2 billion monthly visitors to the site. The decision to allow the app back onto Roku streaming services will allow many to enjoy and watch Youtube all while still staying on the Roku platform. The Roku platform is also well aware of the fact that even though Google owns one of their largest used apps, Google is still a huge competitor in the field of streaming TV with some of the others being Android TV, and Apple TV.Continue reading “Roku and Google owned Youtube strike deal to keep Youtube on newer Roku devices”
What YouTube’s removal of the dislike button could mean for the future of the public sphere…
Earlier this month, YouTube officially removed the dislike counter on every video on their platform. The dislike button will still be active, but the number of dislikes on a video will be private, only to be viewed by the creator through the YouTube analytics tab. YouTube’s publicly stated reasoning for this change was the result of an experiment performed back in March of 2021. “…we experimented with the dislike button to see whether or not changes could help better protect our creators from harassment, and reduce dislike attacks — where people work to drive up the number of dislikes on a creator’s videos” From the experiment they concluded that, “they [creators] were less likely to target a video’s dislike button to drive up the count. In short, our experiment data showed a reduction in dislike attacking behavior.” Matt Koval, head creator liaison at YouTube, released a video addressing the change, explaining that the removal of the dislike counter was necessary to combat creator harassment since, “half of YouTube’s mission is to give everyone a voice”. But it’s statements like that, that a majority of the YouTube community feels that the company’s decision was both tone-deaf and inauthentic.
YouTube claims that this meant to help out the smaller creators, but a quick glance at the comment section on Matt Koval’s announcement video reveals that almost every creator, regardless of audience size, is against this change… everyone except for the most powerful. The majority of YouTube videos that have a massive ratio of dislikes to likes tend to be mega corporations and brands, political press conferences and news networks, and somewhat ironically, YouTube’s own official content. In fact, the most disliked video on the platform to date was YouTube Rewind 2018.
It is key to remember that the reactionary functions on a YouTube video (the comment section and like/dislike buttons), are a form of the public sphere; a space that can be metaphysical, where people can come together and exchange options and ideas. Any comment section or online forum is a public sphere, but by removing the dislike button, YouTube is removing a tool of expression that helps the public communicate in this metaphysical sphere. By limiting access within this sphere, we have less of an authentic understanding of public opinion. Matt Koval briefly stated towards the end of his announcement video that many other platforms don’t even have a dislike button, therefor we’ll probably all get used to this change in no time. Right?
Well, take a look a video on Instagram that a majority of viewers didn’t enjoy. It’s very likely that the top pinned comments from users that read something along the line of “use me as the dislike button”, are overwhelmed with upvotes. When in doubt, we want our opinions to be heard, so we’ll always find ways to communicate that within the public sphere. I predict that it won’t be long before pinned comments take the place of the dislike button, and YouTube either has to reassess their decision to remove the dislike counter, or decide to disable comments altogether.
With great platform comes great responsibility!
How two of YouTube’s most popular content creators are utilizing their massive fanbase to clean up the ocean.
While most influencers with over a million followers may be trying to sell makeup or weightless shakes, two of YouTube’s most influential creators, Mark Rober (20.3 million subscribers) and Mr. Beast (74.1 million subscribers) are calling upon their viewers to aid in a mission to remove 30 million pounds of garbage from the ocean by the new year. This global campaign, named #TeamSeas, was launched on October 29th, with the promise to remove one pound of trash from the ocean for every one dollar that was donated to the campaign. As of now, they have amassed over $15 million in donations. Barely a couple weeks in, #TeamSeas is already halfway to their goal. So how did they do it? Well, let’s start with who these two guys actually are.
Mr. Beast (real name, Jimmy Donaldson) runs a YouTube channel that center on expensive stunts. Some of his most popular uploads titled, “Tipping Pizza Delivery Guys $10,000”, “I Put 100 Million Orbeez In My Friend’s Backyard”, and “I Gave A Homeless Man A Home”. With most of his subscribers being under the age of 18, his content has been considered a positive influence on Gen Z. He is one of the highest paid YouTubers to date, and his ongoing donations to various people and charities has coined him the title of “YouTube’s biggest philanthropist”. Mark Rober, is also a very successful humanitarian. He is a former engineer of NASA, that now spends his time making videos related to science and inventing. His entertaining yet educational videos are wildly popular, with some of the most viewed including, “Glitter Bomb vs Porch Pirates”, “Backyard Squirrel Maze”, and “World’s Largest Jello Pool”.
Rober and Mr. Beast are no strangers to charity, in fact, this isn’t even their first rodeo together. Back in 2020, they launched a similar campaign to raise $20 million to plant 20 million trees. With the success of #TeamTrees, they decided set a higher goal for #TeamSeas. These are the ways in which they spread awareness so efficiently. First, they teamed up with over a hundred influential YouTubers. #TeamSeas is not only backed by famous creators that include Hank Green, Physics Girl, MKBHD, Colin and Samir, and Safiya Nygaard, but every creator has made their own video, in their own signature style, to raise awareness for the campaign. Rober and Mr. Beast have also partnered with The Ocean Cleanup, where half of the donations will be allocated to. Rober featured their non-profit in his campaign’s announcement video titled, “This Robot Eats Trash”, to show off the company’s invention called, FRED, a solar-powered, semi-autonomous marine robot capable of collecting marine plastic pollution without the need for fossil fuels or a human crew. It can optimized to clean trash from any type of water, and #TeamSeas are hoping the success of their campaign will also bring these inventions to the forefront of environmental activism.
YouTube hides public dislike counts to prevent public shaming
YouTube has announced to gradually make the dislike counts private across YouTube. The company stated the change is to ensure respectful interactions between viewers and creators. Moreover, they said, “Creators will still be able to find their exact dislike counts in YouTube Studio, along with other existing metrics, if they would like to understand how their content is performing.” The dislike button also serves to tune viewers’ recommendations.
“We want to create an inclusive and respectful environment where creators have the opportunity to succeed and feel safe to express themselves.”YouTube Official Blog
YouTube explained their decision with the results of experiments with the dislike button earlier this year. As part of these experiments, viewers could still dislike videos, but the count was not visible to them. Therefore, viewers were less likely to target a video’s dislike button to drive up the count.
Furthermore, the experiment showed that smaller channels are more often targeted by dislike attacking or harassment. Therefore, with YouTube’s decision to hide the dislike counts, they want to support smaller creators in particular.
It is questionable if dislike counts going private are really going to protect creators from harassment in social media. Moreover, some users criticize that not being able to see public dislikes could lead to more users watching videos that include misinformation or hidden ads.
Youtube’s Removing The Dislike Counter From Videos
Youtube was launched in 2005 and has since come to be one of the internet’s defining websites. In its 16 years of existing Youtube has gone through a number of notable changes. Youtube’s team has announced one such change recently that’s set to alter the platform forever. Dislikes on a given Youtube video will soon only be visible to the creators of said video.
Youtube announced this upcoming change to the platform on November 10th 2021. Their decision to go forward with this alteration to the platform was coloured by their recently implementing this alteration with a test group of users. Proceeding the test run of the new way the dislike button functions the company voiced its contentment with how it altered how users engaged with content stating:
“Based on what we learned, we’re making the dislike counts private across YouTube,”
The like button and the dislike button on Youtube serve to inform the algorithm what it is people do and don’t want to see. Youtube’s opting to hide the number of dislikes videos receive came as a result of the platform wanting to dissuade users from disliking videos in mass to the ends of causing problems for the video’s creator. What this change to the platform won’t do is take away the ability of users to dislike videos altogether.
This article interests me because I frequently use Youtube and thus have a strong opinion about any alteration to the platform. The opinion I have is that I think this change is both good and bad. This change is good so far as it makes negative sentiment harder to provoke on the platform generally. Meanwhile, I believe this change to be bad for the reason that it could be viewed as a type of censorship.
Erskine, Donovan. “YouTube to Make Dislike Counts Private on All Videos.” Shacknews, Shacknews, 10 Nov. 2021, https://www.shacknews.com/article/127617/youtube-to-make-dislike-counts-private-on-all-videos.
Plunkett, Luke. “YouTube Has Removed the Dislike Counter.” Kotaku, Kotaku, 11 Nov. 2021, https://kotaku.com/youtube-has-removed-the-dislike-counter-1848036246.
YouTube to End Rewind After 11 Years
YouTube announced that they will be ending their annual Rewind videos after years of criticism and backlash.
YouTube Rewind, started in 2010, is a yearly recap video of all of the site’s trends, popular, and music, featuring top creators on the site. The videos have become some of the most viewed (and disliked) videos on the platform. They are a yearly tradition and a staple within the YouTube community.
The company decided not to release a Rewind for 2020, stating that “But 2020 has been different. And it doesn’t feel right to carry on as if it weren’t.”
Pandemic concerns, as valid as they are, seem to be an excuse to cancel the series, as the Rewind videos have consistently received some of the harshest criticism on the site.
2018’s Rewind became the most disliked video on the platform and holds that title today. Many felt as if the video was pandering towards advertisers rather than featuring the community of users and top creators.
Anxious to avoid the same hate from the previous year, YouTube made 2019’s Rewind as simple and non-controversial as possible by simply making a compilation of the top videos of the year, throwing out all the bells and whistles of the normal Rewind. The change still managed to bring on heavy criticism from users.
Though this is the end of the Rewind series, the site still plans to release yearly recaps in a different format. The stated on Twitter that they plan to “refocus our energies on celebrating you and the trends that make YouTube [fire emoji] with a different and updated kind of experience – stay tuned.”
There are no further details on what this new Rewind experience will be just yet, but YouTube plans to turn to creators to fill in the blanks. Whatever the company decides to do, it would be in their best interest to try and avoid controversy.
YouTube launches first podcast “The Upload: The Rise of the Creator Economy”
YouTube announced the launch of their very first podcast “The Upload: The Rise of the Creator Economy”. Partnering up with National Public Media, YouTube offers a look behind the scenes of the so-called “Creators Economy”, a term to describe the growing numbers of creators who monetize their on-platform effort.
“We wanted to showcase the magic of the creator economy in an entirely new way, by taking people behind the scenes to learn what goes into the businesses of the creators whose videos they watch every day.”– YouTube
This podcast is another way for YouTube to support creators in becoming businesses, which therefore keeps them posting on YouTube regularly. The 5-part-series will be hosted by Britanny Luse, an award-winning journalist, and co-host of For Colored Nerds podcast. In an introduction video, Luse asks her potential future audience: “How much do you really know about how YouTube works? Like how do creators go from uploading a video to running an actual business? What does it take to go from recording in your living room to scaling, hiring a team, and turning your passion into a full-time career?” She will discuss all these questions with her guests, including popular YouTubers like Lilly Singh, Caleb Marshall (The Fitness Marshall), Emmy Cho (emmymade), Leah Bolden (See Jane Drill), the Lau Family (Made with Lau), and rap artist DDG (DDG).
New episodes of “The Upload: The Rise of the Creator Economy” will be released every Wednesday, starting on September 22nd. The podcast is available on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music, Google Podcasts, and more.
Because of YouTube’s pioneering role and enormous influence on other digital media businesses, its’ first podcast is a piece of interesting news. As I want to work in a media company someday, it might be interesting to get some background information on how this giant media business works and how creators can be successful in it.
YouTube’s first podcast is also a reaction to the growing significance of music streaming. In the last year, YouTube reported that YouTube Music itself has more than 77 million subscribers and that music video streaming is at an all-time high. The success of this new audio-offer might influence whether YouTube will dive deeper into the podcast business.