Demonetizing YouTube creators can backfire


YouTube creators are increasingly turning to outside sources of revenue online, according to a new study by Cornell Tech, and that may not always be a good thing.

60% of the channels included in the study have used at least one form of “alternative monetization” to monetize their content outside of the YouTube Partner Program.

These strategies are especially important for creators creating what researchers call “problematic” content, such as B. Channels that create Alt-Right, Alt-Lite or Manosphere related videos. The study found that 68% of these channels used at least one form of alternative monetization, compared to 56% for other channels.

YouTube’s algorithm demonstrates videos that violate its content guidelines for the affiliate program that contains hateful, inflammatory or degrading content in order to protect advertising interests on the website.

Monetization – and demonetization – has been part of the YouTube ecosystem since it began sharing money with creators in 2008. The model has seen some bumps along the way, such as algorithm changes in 2017 that led to claims of mass demonetization, as described as “adpocalypse.

Because alt-right creators may make less money from advertising on YouTube, they tend to contribute to donation-based posts on sites like Patreon or through cryptocurrency and promoting their own merchandise. A YouTuber links her SubscribeStar and PayPal in the description of a video captured by the Canadian truckers’ strike. Another posts a video about a media conspiracy theory with links to his Teespring merch, his books on Amazon, and his Patreon. Each video has over 100,000 views.

Donation platforms have received mixed responses from alt-right users on their sites. 2020, Patreon cracked down on profiles spreading information in support of the QAnon conspiracy. SubscribeStar‘s guidelines condemn “[making] bigotry and hate your main source of income,” although the study found that 15% of the channels in their dataset used them to create problematic content. payment giants like PayPal are even less specific, although these platforms are not specifically designed for paid content creators.

Still, the study highlights that the use of alternative revenue streams on YouTube is increasing, and not just among problem YouTubers. It is a way for people to be compensated for their online work and in some cases to make a living.

In response to a request for comment, a YouTube spokesperson referenced the 10 different ways to monetize content through its affiliate program, including more recent additions like “Super Thanks,” which allows viewers to donate to creators directly on the site, and a $100 million fund for creators who create short films that are videos , which are limited to 60 seconds.

Regardless of whether the way forward is monetization on the YouTube website or off, there is no easy solution. At the very least, the data from Cornell Tech’s study serves as a benchmark for the growth and retention of alt-right voices on the platform, whether their videos are advertiser-friendly or not. Demonetizing YouTube creators can backfire


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