They will leave us in 2023… The YouTube Game is dead

You can judge it unhealthy or bad luck but here is the sad truth: the editorial staff are used to preparing obituaries of personality who are likely to leave us in the months to come. Stopping at nothing for more transparency, 20 minutes has decided to reveal some of the obituaries we have put in the fridge for 2023. Today, we are revealing the YouTube Game obituary.

“This is the filming in which I have invested the most, it is the WORST launch of a video on my channel. Hard blow”: it is with these words that the videographer Cyprien reacted a few days ago on Twitter to the number of views of his latest short film, Fujisan. 20 hours after its publication, the video had been seen only 430,000 times, against 1.1 million times on average, according to the youtubeur. Bad choice of release date? Algorithmic sorcery? Or the sign that in 2023, the YouTube Game is destined for certain death?

Because yes, if you have been using the platform for several years, you will not be surprised to see the gap, even the gap, which is widening between YouTube and the other platforms, Instagram and Tik Tok in the lead. Some creators of historical content, such as Cyprien, McFly & Carlito or EnjoyPhoenix are seeing their views decrease (and therefore their income), and/or are developing on other platforms that are much more in tune with the times. In short, the YouTube Game is running out of steam, and there are fears that 2023 will end it with a click.

A losing platform

One of the reasons for this announced death of the YouTube Game is first of all the loss of speed of the platform itself, faced with competition from all sides, in particular by its streaming competitor Twitch; and by its little sister short Tik Tok videos. Among Generation Z, that of teenagers, YouTube and Tik Tok are neck and neck, far ahead of Instagram or WhatsApp. Especially since war seems to have been declared between the two platforms: YouTube has started using “shorts”, these short videos that can be consumed quickly, like on… Tik Tok. On his side, the Chinese application would test its horizontal mode, as reported by the media TechCrunch. Are YouTube and its 2 billion users worried about being swallowed up by Tik Tok, which has more than 1.7 billion users worldwide, and which continues to grow?

For content creators, including the stars of the YouTube Game, they saw in Tik Tok a competing medium and for some complementary. New content creators emerging from the platform can count on an algorithm that multiplies views and engagement, for reduced costs. For the two platforms, it is also the battle for revenue: thus, last September, YouTube, acquired by Google, announced that from 2023, it will pay 45% of the advertising revenue generated by short Shorts videos to their creators. A way to differentiate itself from Tik Tok, which currently only has a fixed amount fund without revenue sharing, but whose remuneration would be much more advantageous than on YouTube. Because here again, on the Internet, money remains the sinews of war.

Creators who follow and resemble each other

Especially since some videographers have been present on the platform for more than fifteen years: Cyprien, Norman, Natoo… Faces known and recognized by the general public, who have had to adapt to an audience that grew up with them. The YouTube Game is evolving, changing, as evidenced by the success of gaming YouTubers like Michou or Inoxtag, which are also present on Twitch, for example. For others like Squeezie or McFly & Carlito, it was always necessary to find new concepts, while the gap is widening between their age and their target audience. Some jokes no longer make teenagers laugh, as we saw in the comments of the last “Stand-up de merde”, published a month ago. The pee poo humor and the sometimes excessive reactions of the two YouTubers had the gift of causing many negative comments, a sign that the YouTube Game of 2022 is very different from that of 2012.

Elsewhere on YouTube, on the side of beauty and lifestyle influencers, the videos follow and look alike, from sanitized vlogs thinly disguised product placements. The advent of influence marketing on Instagram and Tik Tok has gone through this: YouTubers are no longer the first influencers. EnjoyPhoenix, with twelve years of activity on the platform, announced in its vlogmas that it wanted to reposition itself vis-à-vis YouTube, in particular by being more present on Twitch. A new era in what was the very essence of the video sector of Google. Even very influential videographers like Léna Situations have developed concepts to get out of YouTube while keeping the platform as a base of support, in particular by developing its brand and its pop-up stores.

An ecosystem shaken by scandals

How can we talk about the death of the YouTube Game without talking about the dismantling of its idols? In recent months, many videographers have been accused of very serious facts. of a youtuber Squeezie’s first tweet of 2018 at the opening of legal investigations a few months ago, the hashtag #Balancetonyoutubeur shed light on the words and actions of certain big French-speaking names on the platform. Last June, it was a Mediapart investigation around the videographer Léo Grasset, aka Dirty Biology, which collects the testimony of several women who accuse him of psychological and sexual violence, and one of rape. A few weeks ago, Norman Thavaud, alias Norman Fait des Vidéos, iconic figure of the YouTube Game, was placed in police custody following seven complaints of rape and corruption of minors. YouTube has decided to demonetize certain channels, such as Norman’s, but alsoExperiment Boy or MarvelFitness, but also to reinforce its arsenal of sanctions : thus the platform will be able to take certain measures in the event of “inappropriate behavior”, including offline.

Scandals and controversies on YouTube are frequent: in the last few weeks alone, the latest videos of Cyrus North on her sex doll or Gaëlle Garcia Diaz on drag have been the subject of numerous criticisms on social networks. But these “bad buzz” weaken the platform and its creators, who seem to some to be struggling to renew themselves. Added to this is a still mysterious algorithm, which highlights some videos and not others: a gigantic black box which conditions the income of videographers, and over which they have no control. Finally, there is the question of advertisers: if NordVPN or Rhinoshield continue to sponsor half of the French-speaking YouTube Game, it is to be feared that the economic model of content creators is to be found elsewhere, particularly on the side of other platforms. In short, will 2023 sound the death of the YouTube Game as we know it today? There is much to fear that yes, with two possible outcomes: a renewal of the platform for the better, or an inevitable decline.

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They will leave us in 2023… The YouTube Game is dead

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