Frustration is a severe understatement to describe how low-level YouTube content creators have felt in the past year. That is why people have been calling for the menage a moi giant, PornHub to take the helm and offer alternative services to host the content that YouTube has shunned.
It was perhaps inevitable, the roaring 20s-style opportunity that YouTube provided was magnificent, with real chances for people to start earning money, but it couldn’t last. The system, as with all media, favoured controversy, leading creators to produce increasingly distasteful content. Clicks and engagement were vital, and this worked for a while.
Controversies, such as the Logan Paul scandal, were a significant factor in the change in policy. Now advertisers are incredibly wary of what content they are associated with, forcing YouTube to add additional screening processes.
We are passionate about protecting our users, advertisers and creators and making sure YouTube is not a place that can be co-opted by bad actors. While we took several steps last year to protect advertisers from inappropriate content, we know we need to do more to ensure that their ads run alongside content that reflects their values.
Paul Muret, Vice President of YouTube, at the start of 2018
In all fairness to YouTube, they needed to make a change, but the change that was made was not a very fair one. While creators like Logan Paul were still able to have their content monetised, smaller creators now have stricter requirements to fulfil.
These requirements actually led to some popular but niche channels quitting making videos because they just weren’t sustainable under the new conditions. Below is one example of what a small channel will see:
It should be noted that the 4000 hours is to be watched in the past year and is not a lifetime value. For many content creators, this can mean demonetisation if they fail to meet that.
So it’s no wonder that YouTube is already dead to some video makers, who are abandoning its skeleton for the real bone zone.
Just a heads up
As you may have guessed, this article will be discussing PornHub. While it doesn’t contain any directly NSFW (“not safe for work”) content that could get you in trouble with your boss or parents, it does talk about a website which hosts such stuff. If that makes you want to cry, grab a kleenex, wipe up, and get on with your day…
Like the rest of us.
Why should Pornhub replace YouTube?
The thing is, porn is a significant online phenomenon which requires lots of resources. Streaming that much content to people globally requires a high-quality infrastructure. The numbers speak for themselves. Rather a lot of people watch porn.
This doesn’t quite come near the size of YouTube, with its billion-view music videos and large youth user-base, but it certainly can take on the giant.
Since the major issues with YouTube have crippled the viability of channels, there needs to be a better platform to host the content.
I believe PornHub operates such a platform, or at least, they have a foundation to expand upwards.
On top of that, they have been very forward-thinking in terms of the online world. A notable example is when they made fun of YouTube for announcing that they were going to use moving thumbnails, something which PornHub had been using for some time.
— Pornhub ARIA (@Pornhub) July 14, 2017
I should be clear here; I am not suggesting that in amongst all the naughty stuff they implement categories for funny cat videos and Minecraft tutorials. That would be extremely harmful to children who could stumble upon the more adult end of the site. If there was a way, however, for the website to adopt a sister domain (admittedly not a problem as the company owns an adult industry web empire) which had similar content guidelines to YouTube, then it would end up being just as safe.
Let’s call it “Video Hub” for now…
So PornHub already has a Safe For Work (SFW) category page, but it is in amongst the unclothed content, so currently, you are never more than a click away from seeing flesh.
It is already in use, with musicians releasing and debuting albums on the site. A small number of people are already using Pornhub to upload SFW content in opposition to YouTube, but until the website adopts a segregated section for the safe content, it will remain off most family’s bookmark bar.
There have been talks, even amongst the staff at PornHub, on adopting this model, but there are concerns that even with their infrastructure, their site may go down.
One of the pros of using YouTube was to be able to profit off content and have it linked to the Adsense accounts for their websites, all under the same banner.
But since Google has been throttling small creators, no money is worse than inconvenient money. Pornhub already offers great analytics and has a thriving ad community.
Their advertising policy is very similar to YouTube, and so for creators uploading content, there would be a similar stream of revenue, albeit not from Google’s Adsense. This has its pros and cons, partly because it unshackles creators from Google’s system, but also because it can mean running multiple ad services, which already take time to reach payment thresholds for the smaller creators.
Run by a more ethical business?
This is certainly going to ruffle some feathers, but companies like PornHub are major businesses with regular offices and ordinary people as staff. While there are plenty of studies on either side of the fence examining ethics, it is more “business” than “creep running server in parents basement”.
Nowadays sites like PornHub offer communities for people to upload their content, make money, and be in control. There will always be a disdain for the liberalisation of sex, but PornHub does go out of its way to do its part, not just for the safety of its contributors, but of positive sexual attitudes and health as a whole.
It really is a role model in corporate social responsibility.
At the end of last year, they announced a scheme to support the mental health of adult entertainment industry performers, something which many PG companies will shy away from.
“We’re proud to announce our partnership with Pineapple Support on the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.
The marginalization of sex workers leaves many of them without the ability to treat mental illness – due to the lack of sex worker friendly therapists, exceedingly high costs associated with therapy, or perhaps even a lack of mental health practitioners within a reasonable distance from where the model may live.
This is only compounded by the negative social stigma still problematically associated with sex work, which we believe is a form of violence.”
– Natalia Maurlan, director of Modelhub, which is part of the PornHub network.
On April 16 2019, they launched their “Beesexual” campaign, to help solve the crisis of dwindling bee populations.
“Bees play a major part in making our food.
Unfortunately however, bees are facing a precarious situation and struggling for survival.
With over 110 million daily visitors, we thought our users could come together to lend a helping hand and help conserve this precious species.
It’s our duty to ensure bees continue to fornicate and pollinate.”
-Corey Price, VP, Pornhub.
The bottom line
It is unlikely that this will happen exactly as we want, and YouTube surely won’t fully die. Not with Google relying on it as a major income source. But perhaps it doesn’t have to be that way. Maybe the mere discussion of this topic will cause Google to reevaluate their platform, and bring it back to a stage where videos are sustainable for the smaller creators.