YouTube has changed a lot in its years on the internet. From the original short funny cat videos and tutorials on how to put together your new computer, the website has now evolved into something much bigger. With many YouTubers beginning to create mini productions and episodic content, a five-minute long video is no longer accepted, and often times warrants an unsubscription. Although this is mostly a good thing for both creators and fans, it has caused some minor uproar due to the unrealisitc expectations being set for creators by their audiences.
With longer videos comes more preparation, and with that comes longer time frames in between new videos being uploaded. This causes some problems with the audience members, as many of them are used to consistent, weekly upload schedules that are honored by their favorite creators. One huge example of this is Shane Dawson, who has been consistently coming out with feature length videos and series for over a year. The problem created with him, however, is not the time between uploads. Most fans, especially older ones, like Dawson’s target audience, understand that it takes time to create something worth watching. The problem created here is that Dawson consistently tells viewers that a new video will be uploaded after months of waiting, but then postpones the upload longer than expected. This ruins any possible trust that the viewers had created for Dawson, and causes them to wonder what he is really doing in that time off.
Because of their frustrations and impatience, many viewers have begun petitioning for certain YouTubers, like Shane Dawson, to get their series picked up by other media platforms such as Netflix. Because of his not-so-family-friendly content, including things such as profane language, sexual innuendos and government conspiracies, companies do not want to pay for their advertisements to play at the beginning of Dawson’s content. This causes monetary concerns for the YouTubers who this affects, considering that for many of them, this is their only source of income. The goal set by fans is not entirely unrealistic, as a fellow YouTuber Colleen Ballinger had a two season run with her Netflix Original Series “Haters Back Off.” However, it is pretty unlikely when not even YouTube themselves will give Dawson and other creators in his same situation the time of day.
However difficult it may be, the hard work put into these series does not go unnoticed. Although sometimes the negatives seem to outweigh the positives, there is no denying that these longer, well-crafted videos are gaining traction. Dawson’s most successful series yet, “The Secret World of Jeffree Star” currently boasts 35 million views on its first installment, amassing 122 million across all five parts of the series, posted in August 2018. These views equate to more people finding the channel, meaning that more people subscribe and watch the new content in the future. Dawson’s channel currently has 20 million subscribers, although he is still not treated as a proper celebrity, due to the stigma around gaining fame through social media.
Creators on the platform, such as Shane Dawson, have begun to seriously step up their game. Although they may not be recognized by the entertainment industry, the general public does not dismiss their hard work. Their new content is innovative, and is something that the platform has been longing for since its creation. They have not only transformed the platform into something new – they have turned it into what it should have been from the start.
Grace Barnett // Staff Writer