Not many celebrities have ever been very humble, which brings me to e celebs, particularly those on YouTube. They seem pretty sure about themselves, especially when they make claims along the lines that we have crossed before, the fall of legacy media. Now, of course, old media is beginning to be phased out, but as we discussed before, it's not really dying as much as it is changing. One particular claim that I can’t seem to shake was made by you tuber Todric Hall (http://youtube.com/todrickhall) who said on the video “You Tubers React to YouTube Rewind 2015” after being asked about the future of YouTube: “TV is just going to be a thing of the past and everyone’s just going to watch YouTube”. Okay, Todric, are you kidding me? The best part is that this was said almost 6 months ago, and since then, YouTube has seen massive amounts of change, which has not always been good.
As YouTube evolved through this year, we’ve seen a lot of shifts in the focus of these celebrities that inhabit the site, to a corporate overtone, with focus on views, drama, and ownership. We saw this especially at two points, the React World announcement, and the Drama Alert scandals. Anyways, I’m not going to act like this is a revolutionary statement that's never been said before, because Todric Hall will not be the first or last to make such a bold claim. I’m, also, not going to act like I’ve never said statements like this one myself, or others haven't said similar things about their own products or services. It's not uncommon to praise yourself, and have confidence in your actions, even if that faith is misplaced. Needless to say, to me at least, it comes off as pretty hysterical when very gung-ho creators (and followers) on a network which is slowly itself transforming into TV makes claims about how TV won't be around for very long.
Classic Hollywood and news media have been ruthless rivals for the last decade, engaging in a contest of who can get the most loyal viewers in the shortest amount of time. It’s been made obvious before that the YouTube style of humor is clearly not designed for TV (ala, annoying Orange and Fred), and even though we’ve come a long way from the mindless screaming of old, we can still clearly see that they just don’t go together. But TV clearly works on YouTube. The recently added feature of YouTube Red, where Google funds and turns its biggest celebrities and stars into their own “TV” shows, only serves to further the growing trend of making YouTube a TV network. We are, also, clearly beginning to see a 1%, as the largest creators keep getting bigger, while the several million low channels, with 20 subscribers, wallow in shame. We, also, begin to see originals outmoded, as traditional YouTube sensations like Smosh and Fred are being replaced with gamers, vloggers, and pretty much anyone that can sell the most t-shirts and plushies at Walmart. Not saying that any of those were especially funny, or clever, or artistic, but still, it was something no one has ever seen before and that is why they got so big to begin with. Going on, I’m also starting to see YouTube threatening my business on the internet, and the major media companies, as their so called celebrities are forming large allegiances together to form YouTube networks. Large shows such as TheFineBros, as I mentioned before, at one point even tried to franchise their content to make even more money in foreign nations and in other places they could otherwise not reach. This, also, gets concerning whenever YouTube Rewind comes around, and the platform makes it clear as day exactly who their biggest stars are, and how much they feed off of trends rather that originality.
If you take a look at the current YouTube space, you'll see it dominated by five archetypes that further increase my fear for its future. The vloggers who complain and gloat about their lives, as well as, the occasional problem, the reactors who basically just react to internet trends and world events with no substance besides that, and the gamers who sadly have gotten a bad reputation as the shouting and yelling members of their community. Then there are the critics, who are basically just cynical bastards, and, of course, the traditional, old stars that still follow the old YouTube ways. The old traditional relics, however, will not be featured in the rewind. That honor belongs to only the most subscribed and the most popular, which sadly often defaults to the vloggers and the gamers, as in the case of the granddaddy himself, Pewdiepie.
Believe me; I have respect for the YouTube originals, I’m just sad to see that Google is turning a platform, based on the concept of TV for anyone, into a money machine, after its recently discovered gift for raking in millions. I watch YouTube myself, and trust me, I enjoy watching it too, but as I said a few sentences ago, it's sad to see my favorite people be phased out by the likes of certain screaming and ranting individuals yelling as monitors and LOL’ing at vines. I’m, also, being very hypocritical, and am aware that I am, also, a reviewer, and a critic of not just games and movies, but social structures and media. My problem is that all of the legitimate criticism is being phased out by senile fools. I know that they have to get laughs, and I’m ok with that, I just believe that a quality analysis should always come before prejudice and anger.
There is, however, something to be said about the YouTube comments. They are considered to be so bad, that they can only be topped by that of 4chan, and Reddit, but I’m not concerned about that as much as I am how the creators are reacting to them. For a platform that's basic draw is the ability to directly communicate with the creators, it becomes contradictory as many you tubers are beginning to phase out the comment section. It’s pretty pathetic when critics on YouTube can't take criticism themselves, and when a bunch of faceless people rant at them, they get all offended. As you tubers get larger, and can no longer manage their comments, I see more and more every day they just stop caring, or doing away with them all together. Kind of like an average Joe winning the lottery and forgetting that he actually had a family.
Now before I go, allow me to make one final comparison. Who knows, maybe it will shed some light on this subject. Traditional TV operates as follows: A large network supports the idea of a celebrity, by helping to pay them to produce a show on one of their many channels. If that show is popular, than the network gives it more support and more popularity, and ones that fail are tossed out the window and are left in the sea of faceless crowds. YouTube operates as follows: A large social network supporting the idea of an e-celebrity, by helping to pay them to produce content on one of their many channels. If those videos are popular, than the network gives it more support and more popularity, and ones that fail are tossed out the window and are left in the sea of faceless channels. Sound Similar? This small rant may have seemed kind of pointless to you, but the main point I’m trying to make is that when people complain about why TV sucks, remember YouTube isn’t too far behind.
Thanks for reading everyone! Do you think I’m wrong? Make sure you let me know in the comments and on my social pages. Please be nice to each other. Criticism is supported, but angry rants are not. More resources here: Old Media, Old Versus New Media, You Tubers to Celebrities? Once again, thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next time.
By the way, thanks to my social followers. Right now we’re up to 10 on Twitter, which isn’t phenomenal, but still, is pretty cool. Thank you all for expressing interest and I hope you stick around for more!
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