As the ever-lasting debate surrounding YouTube changing continues throughout the community, an unlikely creator has waded into the discussion: Markiplier.
The smooth-voiced gamer posted a 13-minute straight vlog to his channel last night, and within his rambling made a very astute observation: that creators often fall into the trap of making what they know will be popular, instead of what they’d like to do creatively.
“YouTube is my life. YouTube is everything I do,” admits Mark. “It’s literally the only priority I have in my daily life – and that’s because I love doing it.”
“I love doing it, and that makes me self-reflective on what YouTube is turning into.”
Mark’s reflection on his four years on YouTube have led him to notice amongst the community what he refers to as a “self-fulfilling cycle of pessimism”; which, roughly described, is the constant need for more views, influence and money, combined with a change in attitude amongst creators in the way they obtain it.
“People want more,” explains Mark, describing the cycle, “And then more people want more, and want other people to have less, because they want more.”
“It’s becoming less of a community about making cool videos for you guys, which is what is always has been and should be about”.
Mark goes on to explain the “weird Democratic process” in which creators make content for their subscribers, and then continue to make more the things that resonate the best with their audience, and less of the things that pull in less views – a process which, he believes, “stifles creativity for the sake of creativity”.
“I had more fun making a video where I stared at a banana for 5 minutes – and 1.7 million people watched it!”
“And that’s the great thing about YouTube: Anyone can put up anything!” declares Mark. “But that is happening less and less.”
This ties in quite nicely with the opinions in the last “YouTube existential crisis” video we discussed from Jack Howard, who believed that he could no longer find content on the site for himself to watch. And as a creator, this may be down to the cycle that Mark references – As more creators create content catered to their audiences, the spontaneously creative things that other YouTubers might enjoy are made a lot less frequently. But Mark still believes it is possible to escape the cycle of pessimism – and the audience needs to help.
“I don’t know how to fix it, because I don’t think I can,” he admits. “But I know you guys can, because you are the ones in control of everything. We, the YouTube creators, we are indebted to you for everything we have.”
“In the meantime, thanks for letting me be stupid in front of millions of people”.