YouTube Rewind hides its biggest community moments to appease advertisersAdstoppi Web Traffic
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Most creators would probably point to Logan Paul’s controversy surrounding his time in Japan’s Aokigahara forest, a multimillion-dollar boxing match between some of YouTube’s most prolific individuals, and the seemingly never-ending battle between PewDiePie and Bollywood production company T-Series. There were also multiple breakups between adored YouTubers, the rise of Johnny Johnny Yes Papa as a phenomenon, and Shane Dawson ruling the digital space by reimagining what YouTubers could create.
None of these moments appear in YouTube Rewind, the streaming service’s year-end wrap-up video, but that isn’t too surprising. YouTube Rewind is an annual look back at the trends, creators, and moments that YouTube executives and employees consider the most noteworthy. It’s a presentation of what makes YouTube unique, specifically designed to market its creators to advertisers in the hopes of securing large deals. The lack of these moments reiterates the divide between how the platform wants to be seen and the actual culture that creators participate in.
This year, those people include actors like Will Smith and comedians like Jon Oliver. It includes mainstream stars like Fortnite’s Ninja, and some of YouTube’s most notable creators who have worked in traditional Hollywood — Casey Neistat, Lilly Singh, and Liza Koshy. These creators are beloved and influential, but most importantly, they’re not controversial. They work with big brands and big celebrities, and they represent the switch to a digital MTV that YouTube is trying to become.
The message from YouTube to marketers was clear: these are the people you want to invest time to watch and whose videos you should run ads on.
Jake and Logan Paul don’t appear in this year’s Rewind. Neither does KSI. PewDiePie, David Dobrik, Shane Dawson, and Erika Costell — some of the most talked-about YouTube creators this year — are also absent. It’s unclear who was asked and who wasn’t, but their absences are some of the biggest questions fans have after watching the video.
The reaction from the YouTube community is openly hostile; there are more than 250,000 downvotes on the video at the time of this writing — nearly 100,000 more than those who upvoted it. It’s not that YouTube’s video completely misses the mark. There are references to trends like mukbang videos (a popular food challenge), conversations about creator burnout, spotlights on popular collaboration teams like Sister Squad (Emma Chamberlain, James Charles, and the Dolan Twins) and, of course, Fortnite.
Ignoring the moments that YouTube’s community cares about and pays attention to, like a boxing match that brought in nearly 1 million live viewers, hides an enormous part of the platform’s cultural shift. It feels disingenuous like YouTube is hiding its uglier side under a carpet while showing guests around.
This is something that’s happened before, and, as more attention is paid to creators who participate in controversial activities, it will continue to arise.
Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg addressed YouTube Rewind absentees in 2017. It was the first time in three years that Kjellberg wasn’t invited to star in the video — a big moment for the platform, considering he’s their most popular independent personality. His disappearance followed Kjellberg’s most controversial year. Videos that included anti-Semitic imagery led to Kjellberg losing his YouTube Red series, Scare PewDiePie, and his removal from Google’s top ad platform. Most importantly, it kicked off a wave of concerned advertisers running from the platform.
Read more: https://www.theverge.com/2018/12/6/18129044/youtube-rewind-shane-dawson-logan-paul-jake-pewdiepie-vlog-squad-david-dobrik-boxing-ksi