Youtube's Monopoly: 4 Things for Student Content Creators to Watch Out


YouTube opened many opportunities for students. But there are several things content creators should watch out for. There are currently a lot of concerns raised by individuals who make a living off YouTube. This article looks at the top factors that might affect a student content creator in 2021.


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YouTube's Algorithm

The algorithm that recommends videos on youtube can be pretty frustrating to deal with. This can become the bane of emerging content creators. Newbies often struggle to gather a large enough following. And in order to get on the algorithm's radar, you have to be a relatively big player. This remains true regardless of the quality of your videos.


YouTube also seems to have too much sway with its algorithms. The supercomputer that runs the platform was built for a single purpose, and that is to get viewers to spend as much time watching videos on the platform as possible. To achieve this, it has to recommend videos that it assumes will capture people's attention. And that's precisely where the problem arises. No one took the time to teach the system how it should do that.


Youtube uses an AI that teaches itself through trial and error. It then uses statistical analysis to figure out what people might want to watch more. If someone searches for something like ‘assistance with your college assignments’ the algorithm will assume they like such information and recommend more of it.


Another problem with this approach is that the algorithm sometimes ends up showing people videos that are not helpful but attention-grabbing. This problem significantly affects content creators. Instead of the algorithm showing their high-quality and informative content, it often highlights superficial videos with a lot of speculation and conspiracy.

Competitor Trolling

Youtube's algorithm also encourages competitors to promote their videos alongside each other. Since it is an open platform, anyone can make comments on any video as long as they are logged in. While this is a good thing, sometimes a content creator can get comments with links to competitor videos.


For instance, let's say a creator is making content advertising their essay writer service or a study help platform. Another creator can show up in the comment and try to sell their own trustworthy essay writing service. This will affect the original creator’s conversion rates due to unnecessary competition and trolling.


Besides, Youtube also includes a collection of similar videos after a creator's video is finished. This might encourage people to leave the current channel and visit someone else. Fortunately, there are ways to combat this. Although it comes at the price of disabling your comment section altogether.


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Recently, YouTube passed a regulation requiring all its content creators, to state whether their content is for kids or adults. And this is mandatory regardless of where they are and what type of content they make. This has dramatically hurt monetization on the platform. Now all content creators run the risk of getting penalized if their content is mislabeled.


This regulation was passed after youtube was fined for collecting data from kids under the age of 13.


As a result, the platform now expects all its content creators to comply with COPPA. If one fails to do that, they might face compliance issues, and their account might even be taken down. When this came into effect, many content creators went into a panic mode, and some even deleted their videos altogether.


Another factor of the COPPA law is that Youtube is now limiting the amount of data they collect from videos marked as being for kids. This means that these videos will not be able to run targeted ads, and therefore, the creator will not be able to monetize their content. High-quality content requires a lot of effort and time to produce. And it simply becomes not worth it if a creator can not make money off of their hard work.


The limit doesn't only affect targeted ads. All other monetization aspects like donation buttons and live chat donations are disabled on youtube videos marked for kids. Apart from the money issues, these videos can't be saved in playlists, watched later, and can even be permanently unsearchable. It even goes beyond youtube as these videos may not show up in google search results as well.

Content ID

It’s crucial for a student content creator to understand how YouTube deals with stealing content from other creators. YouTube recently implemented a Content ID system. This helps copyright owners identify, manage, and protect their content.


To leverage this feature and protect your content from theft, it's encouraged to build an extensive catalog of content. Only creators with a lot of content can register and submit their work for digital fingerprinting. This content is then processed and labeled as ACR. This means it will be recognized automatically and taken down should anyone else, but the owner upload it.

The Takeaway


The above is quite discouraging for student content creators. However, it’s important to note that Youtube is still a lucrative and promising venture for students. They just need to keep up with all the changes and innovatively re-strategize their content creation processes.