So … we got this brilliant letter today from a YouTube Creator that did the research on exactly why the Google Preferred program doesn’t work. We thought it was excellently written and also funny. Normally we would just slap our names on her work and call it a day, but, well, maybe we’re getting less saucy in our old age. Or maybe we’re just lazy? Long story long, we thought it would be way better if we just printed her whole damning letter in its entirety. That way if Google and their would-be advertising cronies decide to reward someone for publicizing what seems like a pretty major design flaw, they’ll put her name on the check too (maybe in slightly smaller print).
On the other hand, if they (more likely) send their cadre of highly-specialized ninja assassins out to carve somebody up, we didn’t know a damn thing about any of this — it was all this Melody girl. So here is her letter (last name withheld because she hasn’t gotten back to me to tell me that she was cool with us publishing her letter — not that it would stop us if she wasn’t — hehehe, it’s Google that says “Don’t Be Evil” not us):
Hi there Rock Stars!
As a YouTube Creator currently making a somewhat decent living making videos, I was very excited about the launch of the Google Preferred Channels Lists. Finally Google was going to prove to advertisers that YT creators are worth the same investment as “traditional” media.
As I started to look over the Top 5% lists in the various verticals, I was a bit confused by the variety in channel sizes and content. There didn’t seem to be a clear rationale behind the curated lists.
I should point out that I’m a very analytically minded person, and I was a corporate Director of Operations for twenty years. Once I see something that doesn’t seem to make sense on the surface, I have to investigate, and I just couldn’t figure out how the Google Algorithm made the choices it did.
I had originally assumed that after the lists were pulled by software there had been a human vetting component. That’s how I would have handled something this important to my business. Someone always needs to confirm the data in a report before it goes live. Imagine the embarrassment or possible backlash if the data you present is inaccurate?
So Saturday night I sat myself down with a cup of tea, and my laptop, and began to methodically review the Top 5% lists in each vertical to see if I could figure out the common denominators.
What became immediately apparent is that there was no human vetting of these lists. I am fairly certain that if the advertisers have staff sitting down and doing what I did last night they are not going to want to fork over those advertising dollars YT is requesting based on these lists. That will be a very bad thing not just for Google, but for us Creators who were hoping that the higher advertising dollars would finally begin to flow into YouTube.
In Margo Georgiadis’ [President, Americas at Google] presentation she stated, “We know that content matters, so we curated Google Preferred. It’s the top 5% of content on YouTube.” She continues, “It’s a limited set of the most popular, engaging and fast growing channels on our platform.”
I suspect that Ms. Georgiadis will be shocked to learn that the following channels are being presented to advertisers as “the most popular, engaging and growing channels” on YouTube. I’ve broken it down by vertical so that I can also point out the errors in placement within the verticals:
COMEDY (aka What is Copyright?)
Google Images + Microsoft Movie = ???
More people of walmart
I’m not going to list all of the Vine channels. Many of which say “if you want us to remove your vine just send us email.”
Howard Stern Copyright violator?
More questionable copyright content. Love the channel name too!
More copyright issues
I don’t think so
Oh so much copyright violation
Says they are moving to another channel
No uploads in a year and unclear if they own the content.
Compilations of content they probably don’t own
So much copyright violation
Ripping off Opie and Anthony
Clerarly states that he is being blocked!!
Comedy or Pop Culture Maybe? This one is a tough call