With YouTube now disallowing AdBlockers, I predict in about a year’s time, YouTube will lose a huge amount of money and users. More than that, most users will scramble to either find a new platform or resort back to digital piracy. What’s needed in the interim to shock the powers-that-be over at YouTube is a user strike where we cause a mass black out on the site through halting usage on a mass scale. Naturally, not everyone will follow but the bulk of people should immediately begin pulling the plugin until either YouTube reverses their policies or until an alternative is found.
Here’s the thing about YouTube (and other digital streaming/video platforms). The tech at this stage isn’t special. While content hosting will always be problematic as a result of high costs in disk usage, memory, networking, etc., the actual ability to replicate the video aspects at scale isn’t as difficult compared to a decade or two ago. Many companies are starting to create their own platforms for video to avoid revenue or data sharing and prevent companies like YouTube from becoming monoliths of data empires. That puts a company like Google/Alphabet in jeopardy because the competition to retain customers will be stiff.
YouTube’s biggest strength over the years was an easily accessible platform for sharing video. In the past 10-15 years, they’ve slowly become more ad friendly and less supportive of the average content creators. Thus, platforms like TikTok and to a lesser degree Instagram with their stories, were born or popularized. Even music isn’t something that YouTube can be considered a dominant platform since Spotify has managed to become one of premier sites that people are willing to pay for. So what’s really left at YouTube that will appeal to the casual audience?
I can’t really see YouTube being much more than a trash platform. Their shorts one minute clips are wretched because they’re supposed to be a direct competition to TikTok. I know more people are moving towards TikTok for stuff that YouTube used to be great at such as how-to videos. Instead, YouTube has become this cluster of horrible reaction videos or crap content with robots filling and hundreds of fake accounts trying to leech views.
In sad truth, the reality is that the spirit of what once was an idealistic democratization of technology has devolved into the business-as-usual set out attitudes. YouTube, as a result of Google folding into Alphabet, is a dying beast. There will always be something else better capturing the spirit of what was intended but the minute advertising, public trading, etc. get involved, the original intent or idea slowly gets sold off.