The entire YouTube home page used to be curated.
Felicia Williams, or whoever had the position of Features Editor, would sift through hundreds of thousands of YouTube uploads and keep up to speed with some of the site’s most popular and up-and-coming content creators. Every day, she’d make 10 or 20 some video selections to occupy a slice of much-valued real estate on YouTube.com. A feature on the homepage was worth tens of thousands of subscribers, hundreds of thousands of views, and marked an inflection point in many a videomakers’ careers. It heralded the start of their success.
That was before the Viacom vs. YouTube lawsuit.
Let’s say you’re an online video destination being sued for $1 billion by an international multimedia conglomerate who’s alleging you aren’t properly vetting content uploaded to your site for acts of copyright infringement. And let’s say your defense is you abide by DMCA take down policies. If you also plead you have no capabilities to monitor all the content on your site for potential acts of copyright infringement, then it’s probably not a good idea to employ individuals to monitor all the content on your site, even if it’s just to search for videos that are awesome.
Google also didn’t like the curated YouTube homepage for another reason. It’s run by humans, not computers. The $200+ billion company that acquired YouTube makes its money based on complicated search and advertising algorithms, not editorial decisions made by individuals. Human curation certainly has its place in the world, just not in the world of Google.
But now YouTube’s implemented a kind of monthly contest with the intent to bring some of its kingmaker, curation status back to the homepage and jumpstart the careers of online video’s rising stars.
On the Rise is a monthly YouTube initiative which selects a handful of YouTubers “whose susbcriber rate has quickly accelerated in the last 30 days, but who still have less than 100,000 subscribers.” YouTube then lets the community vote on one channel to be featured on its homepage and get promoted through the video-sharing site’s social media outlets. The idea is views, subscribers, and online video financial self-sufficiency will follow.
Who’s the first On the Rise Spotlight winner? With 57% of the 42,385 total votes, Emilynoel83. She’s a 26-year-old cosmetics guru whose Beauty Brodcast program “isn’t just about makeup….but also positivity, fun, and inner beauty.”
Check out Emily’s look good and feel good beauty vids and stay tuned each month to find out which YouTubers are On the Rise.