I’ve expressed my deep love for YouTube content creators of all types in the past. The fact that there exists a platform for young creative minds to get their ideas out in a fun and entertaining way (and get paid for it if they play their cards right) is an absolute positive. Even when we complain about policy or interface changes, we still keep coming back because – at the end of the day – it’s the producers creating informative and amusing shows that are the real heroes.
That said, there are some types of channels that just shouldn’t exist; the ones that garner millions of followers despite how horrid they are.
So today, let’s talk about how to sacrifice talent for fame on YouTube and examine a few channel archetypes that frustrate me with their poor quality and paradoxical success.
I may have mentioned in the past how I dislike Commentary videos, but for those who haven’t heard, let me fill you in.
Commentary Videos are essentially VERY low tech Vlogs that replace the man/woman talking into a camera in their living room with a backdrop of video game footage with their commentary dubbed over it; hence the title.
I actually understand the existence of this genre; setting up a YouTube career is a pricey investment and you need to cut corners sometimes. But if you’re just going to talk into a mic for half-an-hour, why not just do a podcast instead of wasting the potential of a visual medium? Even musicians on YouTube are kind enough to display lyrics on screen if they can’t make a video.
Also, most Commentary Video creators have a bad habit not editing their audio. The result is a lot of dead air and pauses that infuriates people like me who crave information-dense material.
And why is it always video games that serve as the backdrop? Why not shoot a walk through the park on your smartphone or play some royalty-free/fair use compliant stock video clips that relate to the topic? At least throw some spiffy images on the screen for visual humor from time to time.
Again, I get the need for this kind of video on a technical and budgetary level, but there’s a certain level of success one reaches when you need to start stepping up your game and put more effort into your craft.
Okay, not all Reaction channels are bad. In fact, the good ones provide a sort of psychosocial service by simulating the sense of community you get while laughing at stupid videos with friends.
But you want to know what the worst reaction videos often forget to do? REACT.
It’s shocking how many videos there are that just have the host/hostess in the corner saying or doing nothing while the video they “react” to runs uninterrupted. At that point, you aren’t adding anything to the original content. and what do we call it when you use someone’s work without adding to it in any way? That’s right, kids; PLAGIARISM.
This is another case where the judicious use of editing could save a video; Simply cut out the dead air and remember to emote to what’s happening on screen. You’ll be far more entertaining and people will be encouraged to seek out the full video – thus supporting the original creators.
Basically, if you must be a Reactor, try to be more like Chadtronic.
What’s that; You never heard of ASMR? Well, it’s short for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. It’s that tingling sensation you get when you hear certain sounds. Some people apparently find it soothing and relaxing.
We had ASMR stuff back in my day… back when we called it WHITE NOISE.
This is another example an audio-centric medium that wastes the potential of being hosted on a visual platform. But that’s not the worst part; That would be the CREEPY AS F*** whispering that people often do while making these things. There’s a video of a guy whispering into the microphone while running a knife across his beard and it seriously feels like I’m being seduced by a serial killer.
I’m not sure if this is a problem for other people, but ASMR isn’t soothing for me; it’s a fear response. It’s the chills down my spine when I hear leaves crunching in the woods or the dull roar of a crowded room that prevents me from hearing what’s behind me. It’s my sign that some funky S*** is going down and I need to get the F*** out of there.
I hope to start a YouTube career myself some day and if I make a video like the ones I described here, I give you all full permission to demand I pay you for a round trip ticket to Manchester, New Hampshire just to give me one of those little tiny flicks to the crotch that barely makes contact but hurts twice as much than if you just kicked me in the nuts.