Youtube believes it knows what you want to watch – better than you do

the direction YouTube is taking is focusing more and more on the company’s “What to watch” and “Recommended video” algorithms alongside a complete and entirely deliberate disregard for subscriptions as a function. The message was clear: YouTube thinks it knows what people want to watch better than the people themselves,

via I’m worried about YouTube – Hank’s Tumblr.

Youtube’s goal is not for people to watch your videos! Youtube’s goal is for people to watch any videos. The more minutes spent online, the less spent on TV or other past times and the more chances to sell you something with an ad.

Youtube may be intentionally obliterating video producers with small audiences (which is most of the Youtube channels). We don’t generate enough views for Youtube nor sufficient ad revenue so presumably, they wish to discourage niche video producers. Either build content that gets more views (even if you are intentionally aiming for a niche audience) – or give up and go somewhere else.

Where to post videos online?

  •  Youtube – the big kid on the block
  • Flickr – known for still photos, Flickr supports up to 1 GB video uploads
  • Dailymotion – a European-based video site, 2nd biggest in the world after Youtube
  • Vimeo – high quality content

A week ago I posted Fremont Solstice Parade videos on Youtube. Viewership has been abysmal. As previously noted, ordinary Youtube folks (i.e. not Youtube stars) are finding fewer and fewer views of their videos. Youtube has tweaked their search algorithms in a way that popular people get more views, and the less popular, smaller channels, like those of us mere mortals, get fewer and fewer views.

I did a simple experiment: I posted 6 of the same videos I put on Youtube, up on Flickr. Within 4 hours, they’ve had more views than they received on Youtube in a week.

I posted one video on DailyMotion. Within 24 hours its had half as many views as Youtube generated in a week.

That seems to confirm its not the content that is the problem – its Youtube that is the problem. Youtube is prioritizing search results in ways that harm most Youtube video producers and favor a select group.

I’ll have another post on this topic in a moment.

How Much Do YouTubers Make?

More than a year out of date but … How Much Do YouTubers Make? The Top 25 Earning Creators’ Adsense Salaries Revealed [Infographic].

How did they do it? Mostly it was young people just out of college in 2005-2008 – just as Youtube was getting underway. They jumped on to online video as an extension of Facebook social media and self promotion at a time when there were few competitors. They worked to develop their “channels” and their online personalities, building a large following of subscribers.

It has been said that virtually all of today’s Youtube stars used fraudulent methods to up their viewership during the early years. Back then, Youtube promoted videos based on how many views they had – and Youtube had not yet implemented anti-fraud measures.  In those days, early Youtubers would create an HTML page with a hundred or more Youtube players containing their video. And then they would refresh the page repeatedly and watch their viewer counts skyrocket. Youtube put an end to that but others have said essentially all of the top channels in Youtube got their initial high rankings through viewer count manipulation and fraud. Once established at the top of the heap, its easier to stay there.

New “acts” have a much harder time breaking through unless they manage a viral hit, often based on parody. Its got to be shared widely outside of Youtube for it to take off.

How to create 4K 3D Videos for Youtube

Using Sony Vegas Pro (and presumably newer version of Sony Movie Studio)

  • I used the MainConcept AVC/AAC (*.mp4, *.avc) codec
  • I selected Custom Frame size and set width to 3840 and height to 1080.
  • I set maximum bps to 40,000,000
  • I set average bps to 32,000,000
  • On the Project tab, I set Stereoscopic 3D mode to “Side by side (full)”
  • Upload the file to Youtube
  • Add the following as individual “tags” in the Youtube “tags” section:

After Youtube recodes the video, the viewer will include 1440 HD and 2160 4K viewing options. Select your 3D viewing options and select 2160 4K – note, you need a fast Internet connection. This produces a much higher quality 3D image than the normal Youtube 3D configuration.


Using Magix Movie Edit Pro (version 13 – should work on 14 too)

  • Compress the output to an mp4 video as 3840×2160 (not 1080). This creates a vertically stretched “half frame” on the left and right – however, since its 1920 wide, we end up retaining all of the original 1920×1080 on each stream.
  • Set to side by side, half frame (didn’t work for me when I set to full frame side by side)
  • Select a high bit rate such as 40 Mbps or faster
  • Upload to Youtube with the tag yt3d:aspect=15.99:9
  • In Advanced settings, select “This video is already 3D, and then select “Side by side: Left video on left side”.

After encoding, this shows up as a 4k 2160 3D video and plays as you would expect, but at a much higher image quality.

How Old is ‘Too Old’ To Be A YouTube Star?

Almost none are over the age of 40 – sounds just like Hollywood, doesn’t it? 🙂

… the youngest performer (from the numbers, painstakingly, I could gather, mind you) is the South Korean guitarist Sungha Jung (“jwcfree,” subscriber rank: 113) who is 16-years-old. The oldest is one of the guys from The Piano Guys (subscriber rank: 125) who is 47. The mean age of a top YouTuber is 27

via How Old is ‘Too Old’ To Be A YouTube Star?.

Which is the same average age as it was in 2006 – in other words it’s not increasing. Young YouTubers are starting to think about this – and realizing their own careers may be nearing an end as they pass through 30 years old.

“the biggest demographic of YouTube viewers are 18-34 [year old] females”

How YouTube selects which videos to recommend in search and recommendations

From the Youtube page here:

YouTube suggests videos in search and recommendations that are likely to increase how much overall time a viewer spends watching and uses watch time to improve the ranking of videos in search and recommendations. If people click on your videos and stick around to watch, your videos are more likely to appear more often in suggested and recommended videos and growth in new views could increase. If your videos drive more watch time or inspire your viewers to check out a related video (either yours or someone else’s) your channel gets an advantage!


Is it impossible to get views on Youtube anymore?

Last week I was at Seattle’s Fremont Solstice Parade (including naked bike ride) and the affiliated Honk! Fest West.

(Some photos in the Flickr viewer are NSFW.)

I posted still photos on Flickr, each of which has had thousands of views. In fact, in the past few days, I’ve accumulated about 100,000 photo views, mostly for the Solstice Parade, and about 1/4th for Honk Fest and other photos on my web page.

Youtube? Hardly anything. After several days, just over one hundred people watched one of the naked bike ride videos! Two of the parade videos have zero views!

I have seen videos on Youtube and online blog and forum posts lamenting the difficulty in getting anyone to watch their videos anymore. In the past, it did not seem hard to get at least hundreds to a few thousand views. Now, its becoming difficulty to even get tens of views!

What are other people experiencing?

Is  Youtube search prioritizing its matches to give higher priority to those videos that have monetized (run ads) their videos?

Youtube relies on independent content creators to produce their Youtube content. If most are seeing their viewership drop, they will give up – or at least post less to Youtube. And that would not be good for the Youtube business model!

Recommend using Side-by-Side 3D for Youtube uploads

This past week I mastered several video clips taken at Seattle’s Fremont Solstice Parade and Honk! Fest West – all in 3D, most of them shot using a Sony TD10 3D camcorder.

When I watched them on Youtube they looked basically like over compressed crap. It did not seem to be matter if I used Sony Vegas or Magix Movie Edit to produce the file.

Tonight I did some experimenting and concluded that given two identical upload files (in terms of bit rates) to YouTube – but with one in side-by-side format and the other in top-over-bottom format, that the top-over-bottom format came out looking worse. Consistently.

This seems odd since the TD10 records two full 1920×1080/60i streams. When combining for 3D, we should be able to take the odd scan lines from one stream and the even scan lines from the other stream and not worry about de-interlacing since we only need half the scan lines.

Well, for whatever reason, the side-by-side looks noticeably better than the top-over-bottom after uploading to Youtube. Both formats looked fine on my 3D TV when I played them directly from the original MP4 files on a hard drive.

Recommendation: Use side-by-side format when uploading 3D to Youtube.

Would be interested to know if others have experimented with these formats?

How to file comments on FAA proposal to ban FPV model aircraft

See FAA proposes ban on First-Person View (FPV) model aircraft operation

Then, file your comments on the proposed regulation by going to: – Rule Document. Then click on the Comment Now button in the upper right.

Your comments become part of the public record which the FAA must consider in implementing its proposed rule interpretation or rule making procedure.