YouTube – Quantity, Not Quality

Dear YouTube:

Thank you for your kind note this morning informing me that you no longer care about small video creators.

YouTube Letter

I do understand your challenge. Advertisers want to reach eyeballs, but do have a problem with their ads being placed on videos made by terrorists, racists, copyright thieves and other disgusting people.

And parents might have been concerned when they discovered the horrifying content that qualified to be shown on the YouTube Kids Channel.

But now you are really under pressure after one of your top stars, with over 15 million subscribers, posted a video displaying a dead body. Yep, an actual suicide victim. Shown on YouTube.

In your defense, he did have it well hidden by putting the dead body on only half of the thumbnail. And only several thousand people flagged the video as a violation of “community standards.”

Maybe if he had put the dead body on the entire thumbnail or millions of people had flagged the video, someone on your team would have noticed.

Never fear, after the video was up over 24 hours and viewed millions of times, you acted swiftly by . . . doing absolutely nothing. He took the video down himself.

At least you didn’t promote that video in your trending list. Oh, wait, you did.

Well, finally, after a week, you acted decisively – by giving Logan Paul a “strike” and removing him from the “top tier” Google Preferred advertising level – meaning you will pay him fewer millions of dollars.

Ouch, that must sting.

Meanwhile, you gave us small creators a “strike out” and removed us from all advertising dollars.

We get zip and Logan Paul gets to keep earning millions. That will teach him. And the fact that you keep 45% of what he earns has absolutely nothing to do with it, right?

Summary Page

Last year, you announced a plan where a new channel had to receive 10,000 total views before being considered for advertising. That would give the community a chance to see the video product and flag any standards concerns. It knocked out one of my channels, but, still, that move made some sense, though it did encourage producers to go for “flashy” videos that would attract a lot of viewers quickly.

But today’s announcement is a death knell for small creators – 1,000 subscribers PLUS 4,000 hours (240,000 minutes) within the past 12 months. And, by the way, will do absolutely nothing to prevent the next inappropriate video from one of your mega-stars.

One of my channels, The Thundering Herd, has 258 subscribers and recorded just over 70,000 minutes of views last year. And you are being quite clear – you don’t want this channel. Unless, of course, I somehow miraculously receive 240,000 minutes of viewing time in the next 30 days – nearly 4 times what I had all of last year.

YouTube Earnings for 2017

Don’t worry about the fact the channel has been posting videos for nine years without any complaints. If your goal was simply to ensure that the videos for advertisers were non-offensive, taking into account the length of time a channel has existed would be an easy criteria.

But cute and non-offensive doesn’t draw the viewers you want. You want views, damnit. Your new corporate slogan should be “Quantity, Not Quality.” Tom Peters would be so proud.

After all, let’s be real. Your new criteria has absolutely nothing to do with quality. Nothing about standards. Nothing about decency. Your new criteria says it all – you want volume. Anyone who can bring you lots of views is welcome. And the rest of us can just go . . . fly a kite.

There I go again, being all G rated and totally unacceptable to YouTube advertising standards.

Here is what you are hoping. You are thinking, it is not much money for the small creators.

And you are right. The Thundering Herd channel made $34.85 from YouTube last year. The money really isn’t the issue. It never has been.

What you want, though, is for small creators like me to continue to post videos because you know people will watch my video and then click on another video. And another video. And so on. Earning you money while paying us nothing.

In other words, you want to use small creators but you don’t want to reward them.

But I have another offer for you. Keep Logan Paul. You can have him.

We will find another home. I’m sure you won’t miss us.

More Essays


  1. Sea Wolf on January 17, 2018 at 10:34 am

    Please let us all know as here you move to. 🙂

  2. Sherri Painter on January 17, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    Well said. Very well said. Just let us know where you go and your fans will follow.

  3. Cindy on January 17, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    Wherever you go, we will follow.

  4. Jean Burkhardt on January 19, 2018 at 6:01 am

    I too so enjoy the daily newsletters and videos and I too will FOLLOW The Thundering Herd wherever they go!!!!

  5. Zoe on January 19, 2018 at 7:19 am

    Bravo, perfectly stated. Oh btw Paul Logan is still part of a bigger u-tube enterprise maybe they are hoping for more dead bodies, more press time.

  6. Juno's mom on January 19, 2018 at 1:23 pm


Leave a Comment