Thoughts on the Interview with YouTube’s Chief Business Officer About the Future of YouTube (or its Inevitable Demise)

Casey Neistat, New York filmmaker and legendary YouTuber, recently interviewed YouTube Chief Business Officer, Robert Kyncl, in regard to the MEGA backlash YouTube received only within the span of a year, most of that backlash surrounding the more recent Logan Paul controversy and what some are calling the adpocalypse.

As an insane Casey Neistat fan, the video was already in my watching queue, but I also was really curious to watch to learn about the future of YouTube. To put it lightly, the interview and topics discussed gave me the hives. You can watch the interview below, which runs just under 20 minutes, or you can read on and see my highlights and lowlights of their little chat.

First, he asked Kyncl if he’d ever made a YouTube video, to which he replied no. Uh, one of the chief executives at YouTube has never created a YouTube video? Interesting. This brought up the point that most of the senior executives at YouTube have never had experience filmmaking, producing, creating, etc. The world’s largest video-making platform is lead by people who have never created videos. Great.

Neistat asked him really good questions and set a perfect stage for Kyncl to clear the air and instill a feeling of hope. However, the only feeling I got was a real unsettled one. Don’t get me wrong, I give major props to Robert Kyncl for agreeing to meet with him and do an interview despite everything that’s going on with YouTube, I just don’t know if it did much for YouTube after all.

Kyncl didn’t really provide any new insight on the Logan Paul controversy, but talked about the very thin line between morality and promoting free speech, a predicament all news or entertainment outlets have. This lead to a conversation about monetization and the “adpocalypse” that YouTube creators experienced less than a year ago.

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For those who are unfamiliar, the adpocalypse refers to when YouTube placed restrictions on which videos can make money from ads, and the vets who make a career off the platform were pissed. Channels had to reach daunting goals before they were considered to generate revenue in an effort to give their algorithm more time to weed out inappropriate content that ad companies did not want to be monetized.

It kinda messed everything up, and was basically a way for YouTube to say, “Hey, we’re not sure if you’re ad-friendly, so in the meantime let’s cut your paycheck until you’re important enough for us to figure it out.”

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The standards that YouTubers must meet to get monetized were revised, so Kyncl commented on that, but just kind of reiterated that YouTube wants as many creators as possible to get that paper. He said, “If you don’t succeed, we don’t succeed, and nobody’s happy,” AKA “gimme the money.”

On being asked what type of creators Kyncl would like to see emerging on YouTube, he really emphasized more outlets for news and education. News? As if we don’t have enough already? Because when people are going to YouTube to look up cat videos or Vine compilations, they want to see the same headline plastered everywhere– right?

Wrong.

YouTube is a hub for creation and filmmaking and should be treated as an escape from the news, not a hotbed for the same depressing headline everyone already knows about. However, Kyncl did say he would like to see more female creators, which I hope everyone can agree on.

The interview ended on a more positive note to distract you from YouTube’s inevitable demise (totally NBD, but like also that is definitely going to happen). Kyncl told Neistat about YouTube’s “Four Freedoms”– their mission to encourage free speech, free opportunity to create and make revenue, freedom of information, and freedom to belong. How touching, I’ll try to think of that as all of my favorite YouTube creators have to deal with this BS.

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