Will YouTube's "Adpocalypse" Kill Everybody's Channels?

4 May 2017, 14:52 | Updated: 6 November 2017, 09:40

We the Unicorns

By Liam Dryden

Hank Green and the Internet Creators Guild are on the case of the massive drop in everyone's ad revenue.

If you haven't been keeping a close eye on the worries of the YouTube community, then you might have missed the latest crisis. In an event being referred to as the "Adpocalypse", YouTubers everywhere are seeing a significant drop in their ad revenue; after several advertisers have pulled out of the platform due to their ads appearing next to extremist content.

Sorry, what?

Allow us to break down how things have happened:

  • Brands' advertising (pre-roll videos, sidebar links etc) is split across every YouTube video eligible to display ads.
  • The resulting revenue generated is then shared across every channel where these ads have appeared. This is how creators make money.
  • However, some of the videos that ads are appearing next to have been accused of promoting extremist values or violent imagery.
  • YouTube have failed to curb the rising tide of extremist videos; leading to major brands ending their advertising campaigns on the site as a precaution.
  • With more and more brands pulling out of YouTube, there are less and less ads available. But they are still being split across the same number of videos.
  • This means that the revenue split is significantly less; and therefore everyone who has ads enabled is getting a huge drop in their payout.

YouTube community leader, entrepreneur and Internet Creators Guild founder Hank Green has taken great interest in solving the Adpocalypse; if it really can be solved at all. But with the help of the ICG and the greater creator community, Hank is working to at least understand the extent of the damage a little more.

Watch Hank's original video on the Adpocalypse below.

Hank is currently collecting data from every kind of YouTube creator; to see just what is happening to different kinds of videos, in terms of revenue being lost. Based on your channel's previous few months of activity, the aim is to see if there is any correlation between type of video and drop in revenue.

Here is what Hank has figured out so far.

And if you're a creator, you can contribute your data to Hank's survey here.

What does the Adpocalypse really mean for every YouTuber?

Well, overall, as long as more major advertisers are dropping out than coming in, YouTube can't really be a reliable source of income for a lot of people. This is something a lot of creators are already facing; and some are even saying their goodbyes to the platform. But with the help of brand deals and crowdfunding sites like Patreon, many aren't depending on ad revenue as much as they used to. So it's still bad news; but it could also signal a major overhaul in how the online video industry really makes its money.

If you aren't stressed about the money, then find out how to start your YouTube career with our "Vlogging 101" series below.