How YouTube is rigged against independent video creators

Welcome! I'm Simon Owens and this is my tech and media newsletter. If you've received it then you either subscribed or someone forwarded it to you. If you fit into the latter camp, then you can subscribe over here. Or just click on this handy little button:

As an independent content creator, I can attest to this constant feeling that the game is rigged against you, that no matter how high in quality your content is, the platforms in charge of your distribution will suddenly pull the rug out from under you and redirect your readership elsewhere. Take LinkedIn as an example. A few years back, I started publishing articles to its publishing platform, and LinkedIn’s editors, in order to reward me for this behavior, placed me on some kind of list that recommended me as a person that other LinkedIn users should follow. After about a year or two, I’d amassed about 64,000 followers on LinkedIn. Which was awesome! My posts to LinkedIn had high visibility and I was able to generate a lot of engagement on my content.

But as soon as LinkedIn giveth, LinkedIn taketh away. A few months ago, I started noticing that my posts were reaching fewer and fewer of my followers. Today, it’s not uncommon for a LinkedIn post to be seen by fewer than 200 people, which is a tiny fraction of my 64,000 followers. What was once a very promising distribution platform for my content now delivers very few actual readers.

Why am I talking about this? Two reasons. The first: I interviewed one of the editors responsible for distributing content on LinkedIn. The second: I wrote about another platform that seems to be alienating its independent content creators: YouTube. Let’s jump right into it...

Why LinkedIn hired the world’s top business journalists

LinkedIn has an editorial staff of 60, and these editors are responsible for everything from curating user content to producing their own original reporting. [link]

How YouTube is rigged against independent video creators

Many YouTubers maintain a longstanding belief that YouTube has turned its back on its creators. Mainstream entertainment companies that produce ad-friendly, premium content are seeing the red carpet rolled out for them at the expense of independent video creators who feel they’re being pushed aside. [link]

Do you like the content I create?

So not everyone knows this, but I make my living as a freelance writer and content strategist. Ghost-written op-eds. Content marketing. White papers. Social media strategy. Take a look here at my list of services and let me know if your company or organization could use my help. [link]

Other news:

It turns out that the great TV show exodus from Netflix was overrated. Many of its licensing deals extend well into the next decade. [link]

The bestselling author Tim Ferris has launched an experiment in which he forgoes all advertising on his hit podcast in exchange for direct listener support. This article attempts to predict how much money Ferris will generate from his efforts. [link]

Why isn't Facebook doing a good job of converting readers into paying subscribers? Because it's successfully turned content into a cheap commodity. Its users just aren't loyal news readers and therefore they're not primed to pay for content. [link]

"Dynamically inserted ads, which are added to podcasts when they are downloaded instead of when they are first released, comprised 48.8% of podcast ads sold last year, up from 41.7% the year before." [link]

"[30% of publisher executives] said they believe YouTube offers the most meaningful long-term revenue opportunities for publishers, ahead of Facebook and Google AMP, each with 24% of the vote, and Instagram and Apple News at 8% and 7% respectively." [link]

***

Do you like this newsletter? Could you do me a favor and recommend it to your social media followers? Here, I've even created some sample language for you to use:

I've really been enjoying @simonowens' tech and media newsletter https://simonowens.substack.com

Thanks!