Youtube dropping monetization for storm videos (not April Fool's)

Feb 4, 2012
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Do you think that really would be easier?
Point taken, maybe "more worthwhile" would be a better way to frame that statement.

Because if their current scrub/AI engine is turning off xx% of Youtube's revenue from advertisers, they are in the business to make money. This will be hurting their bottom line.

Anyway, it does give me the sense we are turning into a Nanny state. Total and udder disappointment in Youtube's cry to appease the left.
 
Mar 30, 2008
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www.benholcomb.com
Tornado videos on youtube are a dime a dozen anyway. Unless you get something truly remarkable, they aren't making real money anymore. No big deal, it was fun while it lasted.

FWIW, none of my videos have been demonetized. I never used the sensationalized wording though.
 

Dan Robinson

Staff member
Jan 14, 2011
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stormhighway.com
EDIT/UPDATE: Some unconfirmed information is coming out that advertising on some of the network Youtube channels may be controlled by the network's own internal departments, and that they are not using the same Adsense system as the rest of the platform. The end result is the same, however, in terms of video licensed to include the Youtube platform should be charged at a premium if original clips are not monetizable natively.

PREVIOUSLY POSTED: The Youtube advertising controversy is escalating. As most had suspected, we are starting to get confirmation that Youtube is under pressure from corporate advertisers, in collusion with mainstream media, to steer advertising dollars toward traditional broadcasters and away from competing independent journalists on the platform. The end goal is essentially to monopolize corporate mainstream media control over news reporting and commentary.

This is being done by granting mainstream media channels a blanket exemption from Youtube's stringent new advertiser-friendly guidelines:

https://twitter.com/GamesAttorney/status/916667604495773697

One way to look at this is if mainstream media succeeds in gaining a controlling interest in Youtube's content (by causing competing independent creators to die off due to lack of funding), then we should be justified in a return to pre-2012 video licensing rates (or higher) when it comes to weather footage. This isn't a retaliatory prospect, just business.

Chasers and brokers alike (anyone who sells video) need to watch this issue closely as it unfolds, as the potential to get taken advantage of will be ever-present. Youtube right now is bigger than ANY television network in it is reach and user base, and any license for use on that platform should be valued and paid for accordingly! Many of the independent journalists and commentators on Youtube have viewership rates exceeding mainstream network channels. Mainstream media is well aware of this, and we can expect fierce battles as they continue fighting for survival in the face of the threat. They are not going to lay down quietly and let Youtube wipe them out, and anyone licensing video needs to be on high alert for shenanigans.

If you haven't been doing it already, I would embargo Youtube completely on any licenses you sell. If anyone wants a Youtube license, the rate should be two to three times what you charge for a network, and should ALWAYS include a time limit (10 days, 30 days, etc). Don't let any of them post a video on there indefinitely (in perpetuity).
 
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May 6, 2017
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Many of the independent journalists and commentators on Youtube have viewership rates exceeding mainstream network channels. Mainstream media is well aware of this, and we can expect fierce battles as they continue fighting for survival in the face of the threat.
Again, this is why the Wall Street Journal went after Youtube and his 57 million subscribers and how this whole mess started.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTCDfE_sKnM
 
Oct 10, 2004
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Dan, I seem to remember that you're a railfan as well as a storm chaser. The bulk of my YouTube activity is on my train channel, https://www.youtube.com/user/HighIronofWisconsin

Two of my last seven uploads have been flagged as "not suitable for all advertisers," each about two days after uploading. I have no idea what could possibly be triggering that. In both cases I requested manual review, but a box popped up that said they wouldn't do it until it reached 1,000 views. However, both videos were enabled back to full monetization after about 12-18 hours, despite not having reached the alleged 1,000 view threshold.

I can understand advertiser's desire not to have their brand associated with certain types of content, but as usual YouTube went overly heavy-handed and put the burden on the user...and I really can't see what's objectionable about spectacular videos of nature's fury in action.

As a creator, I'd also like to have some degree of control over what ads are associated with my videos. When I watch my own videos on browsers without an ad blocker (especially during the recent election season), it is by no means rare for me to see ads promoting causes or candidates I oppose. I don't want their money, and I'd rather not have my content provide a platform for them.
 

Dan Robinson

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Jan 14, 2011
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Another update from my channel. The video that previously seemed to be restored after appeal is once again listed as "not suitable for all advertisers", and now a another of my most popular videos has been hit this morning. So, that's my top 3 performing (and earning) videos now in this state, with one appeal rejected and two pending.

The next step for me, if the appeals are denied (and I expect they will be, based on everything I've been hearing from other channel owners) is to set all of the videos to private and convert the top performing videos to pay-per-view. I don't expect that will be very popular with users, but it's the only other option at this point. EDIT: And of course, Youtube has indicated it is shutting down its paid content option for pay-per-view videos. Wow, this is looking very much like the end of my association with Youtube.

Andy, there are certain words that can trigger the algorithm - anything that can even be remotely considered controversial or "disaster" related. In my case, it was words like "crash" and "accident" which I changed to things like "slides" and "spinouts".
 
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Oct 10, 2004
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Another update from my channel. The video that previously seemed to be restored after appeal is once again listed as "not suitable for all advertisers", and now a another of my most popular videos has been hit this morning. So, that's my top 3 performing (and earning) videos now in this state, with one appeal rejected and two pending.

.......

Andy, there are certain words that can trigger the algorithm - anything that can even be remotely considered controversial or "disaster" related. In my case, it was words like "crash" and "accident" which I changed to things like "slides" and "spinouts".
1.) That's ominous, I'll have to keep my eye on the two videos that look like they've won appeal.

2.) Again, I understand the desire of advertisers (and YouTube itself) not to be seen as supporting certain types of content such as hate speech or videos done purely for shock value, but this just seems overboard and guaranteed to cause headaches for/drive away perfectly innocuous users like you and me.

I've been combing over my video manager on both my channels and haven't noticed any other videos flagged except the two recent uploads on my train channel. My other channel has been unaffected, including my storm videos, although none of them are particularly spectacular/popular. The one video I have that shows significant storm damage (after the Stoughton, WI F3 that just missed my family's house in August, 2005), I never monetized in the first place out of respect for my neighbors. The only other "disaster" related video I have is one of an automobile fire, that is still monetized as well.
 

Dan Robinson

Staff member
Jan 14, 2011
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Another quick update. I have had a total of 15 videos demonetized since this all started. I appealed every one. Four of those were among my highest-viewed videos, and I have received verdicts on those: I lost one appeal and won three. The rest of the videos pending appeal have lower view counts and will not be reviewed until they reach the 1,000-additional-views-in-30-days threshold.

The one video where I lost the appeal was one I hadn't yet edited the description and tags to remove all of the possible trigger words (I didn't know about the trigger words at the time). The three that were re-approved were edited to remove all possible trigger words. That one video is essentially lost unless I re-upload it, I can't have it appealed again.

So, it looks like if you are hit with this, make sure you edit the title, tags and description to remove all possible words that could be associated with a tragedy or natural disaster, then submit an appeal. It does not look like the word "tornado" itself will trigger the demonetization algorithm, if it does, then I think you will win your appeal as long as there aren't any other trigger words in your description/tags. Make sure you do all of the edits BEFORE hitting the "appeal" link, as if you lose the appeal, you don't get another chance.
 
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Jul 2, 2016
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You Tube offered me a contract,years back,and I turned them down. Their offer was a 55/45 with me getting the latter... I thought that was BS !
Why should they get MORE than me? Plus,I am in for the fun-of-it,and if they started paying me,I might start taking more risks than I should then, if I were not being paid. I do not want,or my family/friends want me being deep six(ded). :)
 
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Dan Robinson

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Jan 14, 2011
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If you have a multi-million view video, the payout can be larger than equivalent TV licensing to all networks. It is really hit and miss though as to what will get views. My storm videos don't tend to do as well as my winter driving ones. I have one million+ tornado video, Mulvane and one million+ lightning compilation. Some of my other high-view videos don't fit the mold either. I have a brown recluse spider video and a steam locomotive video each with a half a million views, both have earned more than I probably would have ever made from licensing them for stock (and I do occasionally make a stock sale or two from Youtube exposure).

My feeling is that it's worth putting them out there. Every video isn't going to go viral. Out of the 450 or so videos I have on my channel, I only have 11 that have topped a million views. Fast-paced compilations of your best work tend to do better than individual clips, and videos that have a storyline also have a better shot at success (look at Hank Schyma's channel). Also, videos don't go viral overnight. Many of my high-view videos took a year or more to start taking off. Youtube requires a long-term strategy.
 
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Oct 10, 2004
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It's really weird now because my experience has been different from what Dan is reporting. Five out of my last ten uploads on my train channel have been changed to a yellow "not suitable for most advertisers" condition about 12 hours after uploading and initial monetization. Each time I've requested manual review with no changes to title, description or tags (as they all accurately describe the video and its content and are used to help potential interested viewers find them in search results) and a popup tells me that it will not be reviewed until it receives 1,000 views in seven days (which is unlikely). Despite this, within another 12 hours or so the video is brought back to fully monetized (green icon).

Very strange and frustrating.
 
Whilst I'm in no way as qualified as you guys on this subject, one thing sticks in my mind: Advertisers put there material on all commercial TV channels, where programming can be almost anything (e.g. disaster documentaries, movies - which can be violent, the news, etc etc) - so what's different about YT? Is it because advertisers don't know which videos they will be 'added' to on YT, but they determine which TV channels and timeslots they want to be in?
 
May 6, 2017
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Like I have said before, Youtube as a revenue source is dead. We only use it for CMS to catch copyright pirates but beyond that it is over for any serious revenue.
 
I'm assuming YouTube's long term plan is to become a clearing (stock) house / agent for profitable videos under more restrictive contracts (like stock imaging) as opposed to a massive, uncontrolled depository. It would certainly generate more income and I'm sure they will eventually require an agreement allowing them to distribute and market the clips. A brilliant commercial move. This is happening all over the Internet, the concept of offering free, very non-restrictive services then slowly altering the format and rules for profit, just like Facebook did.
 
Well, here you go.... I seriously doubt YouTube is hiring 10k people to simply remove "offensive" material. It's all about the new marketing plan I noted in my last post.

It's also somewhat scary that their own sensors are going to decide what is offensive and what is not. You can expect a Supreme Court 1st Amendment battle about this down the line.

http://fox5sandiego.com/2017/12/10/google-is-hiring-10000-people-to-clean-up-youtube/