What is it & what does it mean?
YouTube will offer channel owners a chance to make money from people paying directly to see their videos and YouTube users the option to pay for YouTube subscriptions for £1.28(ish)/$1.99 a month (per channel).
What does this means for YouTube video makers?
Well it means that they get their money in a more direct form and don't have to rely on people watching the ads in front of their videos, which will no doubt make sure they actually DO get paid. Ultimately it will simply mean that the pay that these YouTubers receive is more secure. Unlike with ads, which can be skipped or blocked completely by adblockers, paying for subscriptions means that YouTubers get their money no matter what. It also means that views on mobile devices are irrelevant because as it stands at the moment, YouTubers don't get paid for mobile views on their videos. Obviously this would change if it was payment based.
What does this mean for users?
Well it means you have the option to pay for your favourite channels. Now I say option, and I've been careful to use that term consistently because I'm dead sure it IS an option. Yes, paying is NOT compulsory, however knowing Google no one is making promises it will stay like that.
Basically it seems as simple as this: you pay and you get access to the channel without ads. You don't pay and you still have to watch the ads. At the moment at least that is how it seems to work.
Why it's such an atrocious idea
As the title suggests, I'm really against this new payment option.
I know what you're thinking though:
Mike, if it's just an option, why is that bad? An option is, surely, exactly that: an OPTION.
First of all 'options' tend to lead to compulsory guidelines that you have no say in. Especially on the internet where Google is concerned.
You know that 'option' you have/had for adding in your mobile number or an extra e-mail address to your Google or Hotmail or whatever account? Right? Now you remember how that so-called 'option' turned compulsory, right? When Google said "OK, times up. No more games. Add your fucking phone number or we will screw you." It's the same here.
I'm almost certain that unless the feedback Google receives from the new payment scheme is absolutely TERRIBLE (which I hope and kind of think it will be), in 6 months times, or maybe a couple of years time even, it will no longer be an option. YouTube will be completely payment based. Options tend to be just an illusion of what IS to come for certain. They're there to lure you in to a sense of security that is then broken by you being forced to comply.
This new payment option also sucks because YouTube is a free, community based, video watching website. That's not Google's description of it by the way. That's mine. That's everyone's. That. Is. What. YouTube. IS. The whole point of YouTube, the thing that makes it its own thing is the fact it is free and community based. You could say it's free because it's community based. Or vice versa. Payment/money and community do not go hand in hand. Not most of the time anyway.
YouTube is a job. People like Smosh, KSI, WoodysGamertag, Ray William Johnson; that's their job. They make money off of it. That's OK though. Because we don't pay and the money they make has little to do with us. However the moment, the very moment you bring in what I'll call 'real life money', then it changes. You shove costly subscriptions in people's faces and then that attachment, that 'community spirit' is as good as dead.
Money is not a good thing. It is what fuels greed and crime. It breaks the community feeling, the connection with people that you have.
You go to a FREE palm reader. In fact, imagine there are LOADS of free palm readers. There is a massive campsite full to the brim of tents full of palm readers, all reading people's palms for free.
You get your palm read every day, which is something that you love - for free remember. The palm reader who serves you and all the other palm readers who you love just as equally do get paid though. Just not by you. They get paid by advertising a news TV channel on a banner above their little tents that they do the palm reading in.
You go there and you have a laugh. You like this person who is reading your palm. You like ALL of them. They like you too. You feel a real connection with them, like you can go there and hang out, get your palm read and have a great time. You feel like they are there, doing what they do, because the love it to bits. And money? pfft. Fuck money.
And when they say 'I'll see you tomorrow!' you know they really mean it, like they WANT to see you tomorrow.
Now let's say that the advertising banner is gone. Who knows why? It's just gone. You go there the next day and the palm reader welcomes you at the front of the tent but stops you from entering saying you now need to pay a couple of pounds/dollars for your palm reading session.
You look around and see every palm reader is requesting money from their 'customers'.
Where is that sense of community now? You can still laugh and chat but it's all part of the deal right? It's like getting a lap-dance. Is that beautiful girl laughing at your jokes and dancing around you because she actually likes you? Maybe. Who knows? But probably not. But if you had a lovely girlfriend who you loved who gave you the same treatment MINUS the money, who is being more, or at least who is appearing, more genuine? Her, or the lap-dancer?
I know that YouTubers get paid via ads anyway, but what I'm trying to say is it is all about the way and manner in which they are paid. And this new subscription based cost will kill, instantly, the community sprit. Remember that they do get paid, sure but at the moment it's free for the user. It's FREE for the user. That's key.
Why else does it suck? Well who is going to pay for YouTube anyway? Pay for channels like Smosh? Nope. Pay for BBC and ITN? Bahahahahahahaha no. We already pay the TV license anyway.
YouTube won't work as a TV-esque service. It just won't. It was popular because it was free and community based. Money won't help that one bit. It will kill YouTube.
One thing got me thinking though. Do these YouTubers even THINK they're good enough at what they do to get paid directly by their subscribers? If they do then I've got to admit, that just killed the community spirit right there. Because money was always a side part in my opinion. It was never the focus or aim of it. If these YouTubers actually think that they should get paid by their subscribers then I'm afraid I've just lost all respect for them. They're supposed to just like you and me, aren't they? Just some guys and girls making videos and, oh, would you look at that, making some money at the same time. But the moment they start classing themselves as 'in with the big boys' and worthy of subscriber payments, then they've got a problem.
I've got no problem with YouTube being a job. I love it. But as Woodysgamertag said: "If we're not connecting, then you're doing it wrong. You suck."
It's not about being a big celebrity or making a shit ton of money, guys. It's about being an awesome community driven person/service that makes people's days and entertains them. Do it fucking right.
What do you think of a payment based YouTube service? Remember it's supposed to be 'optional', so would you 'optionally' subscribe? Do you even watch YouTube? It's more important to me than TV if I'm honest. But what's your take on it all? if you're against it voice your opinion as loud as you can because if everyone against it stands up and shouts out, then the there is more chance that Google will do something about it!
But do you like it? Do you agree with it? If so, why? Please explain exactly what you're thinking about this in the comments!