Nerdist Founder Has Harsh Words For YouTube

Chris Hardwick, the comedian co-founder of the Nerdist media brand, has nothing nice to say about YouTube. Hardwick told the audience at his Comic-Con panel Saturday that Nerdist, the geek-themed media company he founded and continues to run, will no longer launch new video content on YouTube first. Instead, Hardwick said the company will focus on building a direct audience through its own website and release material on YouTube later.

Hardwick referenced two major complaints about YouTube and the community that surrounds the video platform, and they’re both issues we’ve heard mentioned before by other creators. Hardwick noted YouTube’s lack of “stickiness,” referring to the significant number of users who come to YouTube in search of a particular video and leave after they found it, rather than hanging out on the site. This can make it difficult for creators of variety content like Nerdist to foster an audience for new projects.

The second complaint is one that YouTube is worked harder to address. Hardwick called out the notoriously toxic YouTube comments section which he described as “a bunch of 13-year-olds who are like, ‘Look at me, I am unattended!’” This is an issue that YouTube had tried to tackle in the past, most recently by forcing users to create Google+ accounts in hopes that tying comments to a real name would cut down on the amount of hate comments on the site. That decision was recently reversed when YouTube revised its commenting policies.

While it’s not likely that Nerdist or any other brand will abandon YouTube entirely, moving the world’s largest video platform to the back of the line for new content is a big change. Nerdist has over 1 million subscribers, and the company, like many of its peers, would probably rather own that audience through their website rather than relying on YouTube as a moderator.

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