2018 could be the year that YouTube comes down hard on piracy and those that promote it. YouTubers who have built their reputations around sharing the latest apk for getting copyrighted material for free may find themselves in hot water or at the very least un-monetized. This because of a couple of things. But first of all YouTube is going to be hiring more reviewers. The uptick in hiring is due to YouTube’s problem with its kids content being littered with material not meant for or inappropriate for children. The result is that YouTube is going to have more eyes on content.
It’s not just kids content that has drawn more scrutiny on YouTube. The heavily used platform has also been working to take down channels that promote hate speech. Racially insensitive and graphic content has come under fire because, while YouTube might well just seem like some open platform, it is really an advertising platform that monetizes the work of creators who are primarily self-funded. That has worked out well for YouTube in many cases for the creators, but advertisers have started getting uncomfortable with being associated with certain kinds of content. In the case of advertisers on say a network broadcast or a cable channel they can say “we don’t want our ads on “said show”. In the case of YouTube, the company is simply flipping the switch on content that violates its standards. As of now the focus has been based more on sensitivity to the audience or users. But there is a very sensitive group that is making a lot of noise lately. Copyright holders and major media companies.
I believe that in the current climate Piracy will be the next big focus of YouTube’s content monitors. Why? Because first of all, the film/TV industry has begun to be much more aggressive about the distribution of digital content. Android Box sellers who claim no responsibility for APKs and or Kodi Addons have been arrested in Europe simply for selling TV boxes. Websites that promote TV for Free using 3rd party Kodi add-ons have been named in lawsuits. Second of all Google has lots of skin in the game at this point. It sells movies and TV shows through the Google Play Store, It has exclusive content on YouTube Red and now is marketing its own TV platform. What happens when a network partner runs across a video saying “Get HBO with the Best Android APK Ever” or pushing some service that provides IPTV streams? YouTube is likely going to send out a quick letter informing the user that their channel is being shut down.
We can talk for days about why piracy is popular, why it has existed for so long and why it will continue in some form in the future. Chris Brass covered the topic recently in the article Why Piracy Exists. Agree with the conclusion or not the fact that it is being targetted has caused more than a few developers to walk away from what they have been working on including most recently the Android APK known as Droid Buddy as well as an APK called TerrariumTV. Its developer shut down the TerrariumTV website. Nonetheless, YouTubers are still cashing in on the subject. Will Google continue to look at its media partners and allow advertisers to finance the promotion of theft? We will see.