This year has been quite sad for YouTube. While I was still booked often enough to speak about YouTube, I have concerns about YouTube’s market dominance. This year YouTube has seen big competition step in, while the company, at the same time, neglected their content creators.

Twitch

Twitch started approaching YouTube gamers after or at last year’s Twitchcon. For reference, here’s a video of Direwolf20 announcing his plans to start streaming on Twitch. Twitch added video uploads, which means that Twitch cannot only “make” videos from streamed media but also from offline recorded material.

Though this is not the main reason why I feel like YouTube may have seen the best days. As Direwolf20 also explains in his video, “they [Twitch] approached him”, and asked whether he wants to start streaming on their platform. Around the same time I have seen multiple other big YouTube gamers announcing the same thing, with the same story. Twitch actively asked them to check out the upload feature.

Twitch is the biggest online streaming platform for gamers. With enough support form the gamers, they might first become the biggest gaming video and streaming platform, and later the biggest online video and streaming platform. Admittedly, though, it looks more like a minor attack on YouTube.

Streaming

While we’re still on the topic of “streaming”, let’s also look at how much worth YouTube has as a streaming platform. In one word: none. YouTube is the last place I’d go to stream anything. Period.

I don’t recommend businesses to go streaming to YouTube because the expected traffic and interaction is abysmal. Building a community on YouTube is very hard for businesses. Therefore building a community for live streaming (so that actually a handful of folks take part) is even harder.

What Facebook has been doing with streaming is brilliant for businesses. Considering the traffic pages and groups get, using this community for attendance is phenomenal. Using the Facebook and Instagram apps to stream spontaneously is also very easy to do, with many of the same advantages.

Please note however, we do not recommend Facebook for all businesses! Many business want to stream to a closed audience. In those cases, we recommend a business solution. Please get in touch for information.

Demonetization

In the summer one of the biggest changes hit the YouTube creators: demonetization. To give you a brief summary this is demonetization in a nutshell:

YouTube uses an algorithm to analyse the video content itself, as well as the video description and tags to determine which ads to display on the video. YouTube made some changes to this algorithm to make their ad program more “advertiser friendly”. However this change makes it so that many of the uploaded videos by big YouTubers get “demonetised” shortly after their publication. This means that YouTubers get “monetised” for about an hour, and then the video is not able to make any more money. Unfortunately, no one has an ultimate answer to why a video will get demonetised, or what they should do to not get demonetised. There’s no communication from the YouTubers’ partner YouTube to help their own creators stay on the platform.

YouTube was heavily criticized not only because of this inexplicable and sudden change but also because YouTube seemed to have turned against the people that help to make YouTube more money. Before this even, YouTube was known for catering to its content creators. There’s the wonderful Creators Academy where everyone can learn how to make good video content. From editing, to lighting, to storytelling. It’s brilliant because it helps everyone who wants to be part of the whole YouTube community, and ultimately it helps YouTube itself.

I’ve seen many channels who regularly posted videos every single day announce that they’re not going to be able to sustain their business this way. So they left. If only someone might have a slight idea where to go to… Twitch welcomes all new “creators” right now! Instagram, and Facebook are both viable options as well. YouTube dug their own grave with this move.

YouTube Business

Lastly, I want to mention the entire reason that inspired this post: YouTube for Business. I’ve been watching YouTube Director for Business ever since Directr bought Google. With YouTube Director onsite business like zCasting 3000 would have a huge chance to work with other businesses on their videos.

However, the last update of the iOS app makes me worrisome:

The YouTube Director for Business iOS app will no longer be available as of December 1, 2017. After that date, you’ll no longer be able to access unfinished work, so please make sure to wrap up and publish your videos soon.

Doesn’t make me very confident in the future. They do say on their Director onsite site, that they are working on new stuff coming early 2018. I hope they’re not pulling another “demonetization stunt”.

Summary

These are all the major events combined that made YouTube “tick” in 2017. With one bad thing after the next thousands of YouTubers flocked away to other platforms such as Twitch, Facebook, and Instagram. YouTube has lost the streaming game because they don’t take it seriously. Frankly, though, right now it wouldn’t generate a whole lot of traction the way YouTube is built. Getting people on a livestream is much much easier on Facebook, for example. Now that many gamers have been gone from YouTube, I do wonder what’s the dominant content going to be like on YouTube? Personally I am looking forward to 2018, looking at their Director onsite announcement page. Good luck, YouTube!