Friday, July 27, 2012

RESPONSE: #Rant "The Ugly Truth About YouTube & Business"


I am sure that by now you all have seen the video above by Taren916 or have seen some of the responses to it. I watched the video in it's entirety then went about my business. It wasn't until I saw this thread on Long Hair Care Forum that I was even inclined to respond. The varied responses in the thread highlight how a message can be interpreted in many different ways. Before I delve into the main points covered in the video I will say this, it was too long of a video. There were 32+ minutes of room for Taren's message to be misinterpreted as it surely was. 

In this video Taren is making a few points--despite the length of it all. She is saying that a) Companies have an advertising budget, b) YouTubers are cheap advertisement mostly only requiring free product as payment, c) The company makes money from purchases influenced by the video and the YouTuber doesn't get a cut, d) It isn't fair to the YouTuber and YouTubers need to realize their worth. There was also a perceived--just my opinion--peppering of "Viewers shouldn't get mad at YouTubers who receive free product because they are actually being cheated" but that isn't said in the video so I didn't include it in the points. 

What sparked this video was the video Taren posted right before this one giving a review of a skincare line. She wasn't crazy about most of the products and was honest about that. The video received a lot of negative responses from people disliking sponsored videos. This is exactly what I want to talk about in my response. I'm not necessarily talking about Taren's's been done. I'm more so talking about her topic of advertising and YouTube.

Many viewers distrust sponsored reviews. This is a basic known in the YouTube world. But what I've noticed about people who only do positive reviews of products they've received is that they often have a policy--either on their website/blog or their YouTube channel--in which they state that they do not promise a review to the company. Bottom line, if they do not like the product, they will not do a review. So if a YouTuber has 5 sponsored videos--all positive--there is no telling how many products they have actually received in total and chose not to review because they disliked the product. So, they may indeed honestly like the product, but because we cannot balance that out with dislikes it appears fishy.

This is the very reason that I review EVERYTHING no matter what. If a product is something that you would never even try, don't even accept it. If it is something you would try, review it even if it didn't go as imagined. I don't receive free products, but the products I do reviews on I give an honest review of. I think it creates a record of honesty with the viewers/readers and is also constructive for the company. You don't think they modify their products based on what WE are saying? You bet they are because a buck is a buck is a buck. 

So, to sum it all up. I am not mad at Taren. She tried to explain that YouTubers aren't really trying to mislead the public and in fact aren't really paid as one would think. Was the video good for business...probably not. Lastly, I am pro "not so great reviews" as they are honest and Taren's review of those skin products was just that...HONEST!

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