Did you notice YouTube has started putting ads on all videos now? That’s right, all of them – even if you specifically didn’t want ads before. I must have been the only one that missed that memo on Google’s changing policy (Google owns YouTube, after all). To my unpleasant surprise I found out the hard way and discovered ads were being playing on all my videos. Nothing you can do about it. Someone (Google) is monetizing my content and I’m not getting a penny as a thank you for creating the content to begin with.
They claim it’s to cover their cost – which I get. Hosting video online isn’t necessarily the cheapest thing to do. But still I felt tricked by this classic bait and switch: offering a semi decent video hosting solution for “free”, then slowly removing control and options to customize until eventually you slap ads on everything. Bad move, Google.
Time For A Social Media Detox?
I teach YouTube as part of my social media “detox” strategy. It may still have a place in the bigger picture. But at the same time this move by Google has once again proven that if you rely on a platform that’s owned by someone else things could change overnight, and not necessarily for the better.
Just imagine: your competitor now has the ability to advertise on all that great free content your putting out there. Because putting out free content is what you thought you were supposed to do as part of your marketing strategy. I don’t believe in competition and hope everyone does well, but giving competing companies the ability to advertise their product on my stuff goes too far. Give stuff away and get people interested. This may have had some meaning, but with this YouTube advertising change it requires a change in your end as well. On every single video you may have ever uploaded to the platform. Which could be a lot. So good luck.
Setting things up the right way
If you had set things up the right way and focused on building your own platform instead of participating in somebody else’s, the change may have still annoyed you, but the business impact would have been less severe. I can relatively easily remove my content from YouTube and host it elsewhere. My content first and foremost “lives” on my platform. Whether I add the occasional video to a blog post, or create educational content for my paying clients, I don’t rely on any other platform but the one(s) I own to get that content out there.
If you’re curious to learn what it takes to build your own platform so you stay in control as much as possible, have a look at my Business AutoPilot class.