Google has announced that it is killing off its YouTube Originals division. This team was responsible for programs like Scare PewDiePie and Cobra Kai, which eventually moved to Netflix. YouTube Kids and Black Voices will remain active brands under the YouTube umbrella. In a statement, YouTube said that it will be focusing on supporting creators instead of producing original content. This change in strategy comes after years of mixed messaging from Google about the importance of original programming.
What was the YouTube Originals brand?
YouTube Originals was a team within YouTube that was responsible for creating original content. This programming included shows like Hometown Showdown and SiGNALS. The division has not created a lot of content that was popular among viewers (except Cobra Kai, which became popular after its move to Netflix).
In general, the content created under the brand was big-budget versions of content that was already being created on YouTube, with a few notable exceptions. Nothing about what was happening seemed original or creative, making it a big departure from a platform that had built its reputation on original and creative work from individual creators.
Why did Google kill off YouTube Originals?
Google has been sending mixed messages about the importance of original programming for YouTube for years. In some cases, it seemed like YouTube was trying to compete with Netflix and other streaming services by creating its own content. In other cases, it seemed that YouTube was trying to compete with traditional cable with YouTube TV. Then there's YouTube Music - a constantly confusing message about what the YouTube brand was supposed to be.
With YouTube Originals, however, the company had sent the strongest message to creators that the company believed they could do fine without them. However, this strategy never really paid off, as YouTube Originals produced content that was not well-received by viewers. In a statement announcing the closure of YouTube Originals, Google said that it will be focusing on supporting creators instead of producing original content.
What does this mean for creators?
This change in focus means that YouTube will be investing more resources into helping creators make better content. This could include things like better production values or more marketing support. YouTube has also said that it will be expanding its funding for YouTube Creators Academy, which provides training and education to creators.
This change is good news for creators who have been frustrated with the lack of support they've received from YouTube in recent years. It's unclear how this will impact the overall quality of content on YouTube, but it seems like YouTube is finally ready to invest in its creators.
There are other issues going on between YouTube and creators that still need to be dealt with. Many creators feel their work is being hindered by content policies within the company, often leaving creators not knowing what is and is not acceptable day to day. Also, statistics are getting harder to trust, with views disappearing long after the fact without and clear explanation as to why. Before YouTube can become the go-to place for creators that it once was, it's got a lot more work to do.
What do you think about Google's decision to kill off YouTube Originals? Let us know in the comments!