How YouTube Stopped Helping the Music Industry
By: Eli Shafer (@EliBuddies)
I think we all know about the amalgamation of thoughts and opinions that is YouTube. Right off the bat, you can probably name a few artists that came from YouTube or at least have a video or two that they posted up there. 5sos, Christina Grimmie, Max Schneider, to name a few. This makes it seem like it was easy to get from YouTube to fame in just a year or two—especially if you see 5sos’s lucky break—but as of recently, that struggles to hold true. It’s not impossible, but it certainly takes longer.
If you’ve been an avid YouTube follower, or even a YouTuber yourself, you may have faced this problem. Whether it was addressed to you by other YouTubers or you figured out yourself: YouTube isn’t what it used to be. I Don’t say this to follow in the steps of Markiplier and support that amount of drama; I don’t even say it in the same context. I mean the format. This was brought to my attention by a video called ‘I Hate YouTube’ by a channel called ‘I Hate Everything’ (That I really wouldn’t recommend for anyone who doesn’t like rants, that’s all this channel is). He mentioned in the video that the format of YouTube has changed.
YouTube used just to be a blank page with a search bar, not too far from the format that Google still holds today. Now it has ‘recommended videos’ on your homepage, the ones that you’re probably going to click if you came to YouTube because you’re bored. If you’re new to YouTube or your account history is blank, then they’re probably going to recommend big YouTubers like PewDiePie, Good Mythical Morning, or Danisnotonfire, you’re probably also going to see BuzzFeed in there too. This is where the problem lays. YouTube treats their content creators by picking favorites, and other favorites dictate those favorites. Chances are if you’re new to YouTube, you’re not going to be watching young aspiring artists. You’re going to be watching Danisnotonfire, and Jacksepticeye, not that there’s a problem with these people, I, in fact, love these two channels, but what about those younger aspiring artists? Well, most don’t give up, others feel disheartened by YouTube’s lack of support.
The biggest problem is: it’s always been this way. Christina Grimmie took years to get where she got, and Max Schneider only just recently got signed, not to mention if you point out other Youtubers, BriBry, Patty Walters (Lead Singer of As It Is), and Sadie Bolger. You’ve probably never heard of at least one of those people, and if you have heard of all of them, you might not have heard that they were musical artists. YouTube has created this overhanging cliff of famous YouTubers so that the ‘lesser’ ones have to climb to get to the top. There’s nothing wrong with a little challenge, but when it seems like the cliff is getting taller and taller every day, that’s disheartening.
The conclusion? YouTube has stopped supporting who most content creators were and continued supporting the ones that don’t need any more help, the ones so popular that people will search them up anyways. YouTube, aside from being an outlet, was never there for them in the first place. The problem both relies on the viewer and YouTube itself. The viewer, you, gotta share the artists; if you find a singer or guitarist that you like, spam your Twitter/Instagram/Tumblr with love and support for that artist, it helps them. YouTube has to start showing around to others more.