Youtube Adpocalypse: Advertiser speaks out

Aractus 09, April, 2017

What started out as an ad boycott by several large corporations and governments, has quickly grown into something else entirely. Full disclosure: I encourage all my readers to install uBlock Origin immediately, if you don’t already have it installed, all all devices. It is a featured extension in Firefox. Adblockers are one of the best defences against internet malware, and works hand-in-hand with antivirus software and other technological safeguards to keep you safe. It’s not worth the risk to you not to be using it.

Now that’s out of the way, have a look at this video:

Interestingly, Dave has actually understated the severity of his channel’s situation! By that I mean that given my interest in the Trump fiasco, his videos typically appear in my recommended videos. Yet today, they were nowhere to be seen.

It has been revealed that in his case, he has an advertiser who specifically chooses his channel because she likes it to advertise on, but Youtube is blocking her ads from appearing on it. If you’re still under the delusion that Google operates under a manta of “do no evil”, hopefully this has broken that illusion for you. Here is a screenshot of the email she sent to Dave:


Looks to me like Google is purposefully doing this to appease competitors. For all I know, big publishers have paid to have ads removed from these channels. You know, kind of like how Uber pays big sums to drive out taxi operators by subsidising rides. Maybe Trump himself paid to silence the channel? I absolutely abhor anticompetitive behaviour like this. But this goes to show why Youtube is actually a terrible thing for the internet. Do you know, for example, that they apply foreign guidelines (i.e. US guidelines) to determine what is considered “mature content”?

This brings me I think back to the start of all this. Dave, if he so wanted to, could partner directly with advertisers and read out their ads instead. Of course that would be impracticable for his backlog of videos, but it is an option available to him if he wanted to diversify his revenue steam from the beginning. Now I doubt that he could make the same amount of money doing it that way as opposed to letting Youtube run pre/post-roll ads in the video (they’re not going to keep paying for old videos the way youtube advertisers do), but it’s something he could have done in a proportion of his videos… or something he could start doing immediately if he so wanted while there’s a Youtube blackout of ads on his videos. He could do it with the above advertiser instead of simply reading her email to him.

Youtube though is a fundamentally broken content delivery system, and I’m surprised that it hasn’t collapsed under its own weight.

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