Ads Are Not Evil

            Advertisements are not necessarily evil. It is easy to use words like “corporation” to make YouTube seem evil. Saying that YouTube is corrupted by Google because of the shift to monetization seems to be a statement given when only looking at the surface of the argument, but just digging a little deeper one can find that there are a lot of factors that go into YouTube and monetization is just a logical step. Yes, YouTube did start as a simply website in which users could upload videos and any other user for free without the disturbance of ads can watch them. This is fantastic, I would never argue against this, but this system has some flaws, the largest of which is that it stunts growth.

YouTube is free, and freely allows users to upload content. This system is great because it allows amateurs to upload content and share ideas together. This is simple and fun and it is where YouTube began, but the site has moved on from that, now it is a site that is full of a lot of impressive and legitimately entertaining content. But, this did not just happen through the magic of free publishing, no it happened because talented creators were able to get money and use it to make quality films.

            Just as a simple example take Waverly Films, a YouTube group started six years ago early in the days of YouTube. Five years ago Master Prankers they released what was considered a quality video visually at the time, compare this with a video only two years later, Doctors With Guns, and the quality of the visuals jumps greatly. This does not have to do with a growth in talent or new technology, the group was simply became more affordable for YouTubers to invest in quality equipment as the ability to gain funds improved over the years.

            This leads to my larger point, is that when you watch a YouTube video the ad revenue does not just entirely go into the pocket of some greedy corporation, instead thanks to the YouTube Partner program the people who actually make the content get paid for the views they receive allowing them to make more quality work in the future. (Now if anyone reading this likes to just throw a “biased argument” at me because I am a YouTube Partner, that is fine, I cannot stop you).

            The point is that YouTube is a very entertaining place, but it can only do that if money is going to the people who need it to make the content. Now the Partner program is a great way to do this, but admittedly it is not the only one. YouTuber FreddieW used a Kickstarter to fund his most recent project, Video Game High School.  Ads are annoying but they only cost you the time it takes to watch them, where with the  Kickstarter model you as the viewer are expected to pay money for the content to be created so that everyone can watch it, (the money is coming from somewhere and it is either advertising or you). Another approach is something that RevGames and Phillip DeFranco have taken to which is using sponsored ads which will be mentioned as part of the video in the middle of an episode. This way the viewer still gets to hear the voice of the person they came to watch but the creator can still get paid.

            I understand the complaint about ads, but it is important to understand where content is coming from and how it is being made. Ads may be something that can be fixed to be more user-friendly, but currently they are necessary for making YouTube a site worth visiting.

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