YouTube sensation, PewDiePie earned a staggering $7 million in 2014 according to figures from Expressen, and continues to attract large audiences every day. This unbelievable success story indicates that it’s possible to forge a full-time career on YouTube. However, PewPieDie is an extreme case and it’s incredibly difficult to receive large funds unless you have a huge subscriber base. Only recently, Google admitted YouTube wasn’t profitable and have decided to launch YouTube Red, a subscription based service designed to combat these financial problems.
When monetization occurs, videos are plastered with adverts which can vary dramatically in length. As you might expect, viewers feel quite frustrated having to deal with the advert onslaught and use Adblock to make a more instant form of content. PewDiePie decided to openly discuss the damaging effect of Adblock and said in a Tumblr post:
“Using Adblock doesn’t mean you’re clever and above the system.”
“YouTube Red exist largely as an effort to counter Adblock.”
“YouTube Red exist because using Adblock has actual consequences.”
“Personally, I’m ok with if you use AdBlock on my videos. Ads are annoying, I get it, I’m not here to complain about that,”
“But for smaller channels, this number can be devastating.”
According to the channel’s official statistics, 40% of PewDiePie’s viewership currently use Adblock. This is a figure which has dramatically increased in the last few years. Content creators are relying on donations, Patreon backers, and other funding to produce videos. However, the intrusive manner which some of these adverts are implemented in explains why people feel so inclined to block them. On another note, YouTube was originally setup as a form of community media, and some people believe the content should be free, and hobby-based.
I decided to ask a few of my followers on Twitter about Youtube Red, and the typical consensus is best summed up in this tweet:
@jwilliamsona47 Waste of money.
— Envy x Dub (@EnvyxDub) November 1, 2015
Adblock and its impact is a polarizing issue and continues to spark quite a lively debate. It’s not illegal, and within the open internet’s philosophy, but it is undoubtedly reducing the revenue streams of content creators. PewDiePie’s comments seem a little rash given the massive success of his channel and this move could create bad PR. Although, perhaps he feels with such a large audience, YouTube Red will become a viable alternative. That’s the main problem though, as only 0.01% of channels will be able to attain a loyal viewership prepared to pay the monthly fee. I can pretty much guarantee, the majority of these will be hugely popular channels, and not the smaller ones PewDiePie is apparently trying to protect.
Do you use Adblock? Do you disable it to support sites your know and trust? Let us know in the comments section below.