Monday, July 08, 2019

David Pakman produces analysis showing YouTube is trying to drive out independent media, at least on political topics

David Pakman made a major video today “Shock: YouTube Is Now Corporate Media”, for Alphabet.

The moniker on the YouTube splash page says “YouTube Destroying Political Channels”.

Pakman says that this is not about Left v Right.  It is about Corporate v Independent.

Pakman says it is within their legal right, but against the original spirit of YouTube. As Lior Leser has discussed before on YouTuberLaw, there are good questions as to whether some tech companies and even payment processors are behaving in a collusive manner to stifle competition, which would be illegal. Leser has a complaint before the Federal Trade Commission on this.

This particular video of Pakman’s is running ads (his videos showing Trump acting like a baby get demonetized instantly).

In general, ratings and profits at legacy media have been hurting, and jobs have been lost.  Even medium sized companies (Buzzfeed) have been affected. Some independent channels (like Tim Pool’s) have done very well covering politics, with little overhead.  There isn’t much doubt that some people in legacy companies see indie “scabs” as a threat to their jobs.
But there are many interesting channels, mostly about life issues, that are only occasionally political (they tend toward libertarianism when they are).  Undergraduate Harvard student John Fish does phenomenally.  Even these independent channels could displace revenue from legacy television, cable, and theatrical films.  It's not clear, however, that these kinds of channels have been affected (yet). 

Update: July 10, 2019

Bostwiki sheds some light on this, as he works for mainstream media.  He says that mainstream media companies have the power to define the "Overton Window".

Pakman followed up with another alarming video here

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