YouTube Red and the Fall of the Holy Roman Empire

I haven’t watched cable television consistently for about five years, instead, I get most of my entertainment from websites like YouTube. Whenever I started to make my switch from conventional media to YouTube, it was much smaller than it is today and throughout the years I’ve seen it grow up in different ways. First it allowed creators to monetize their content, then it started offering content that was on the level of television, now it is trying to offer even better content without ads in the way of YouTube Red . Being someone who spends hours on the site every day a service like YouTube Red should be a dream to me; however, I’m not super jazzed about it like I think I’m meant to be. I’m not saying I love to watch ads on YouTube but at this point I’ve accepted it as something that comes along with service and helps whoever I decide to watch. I also don’t love the fact that there will be exclusive programs for subscribers of the service. I feel that this could create a divide in the community on YouTube, which might hurt the website in the future. Let’s take a look at one of the most powerful nations the world had ever known, Rome. When Constantine became the emperor of Rome he declared that Christianity shall be the main religion and split the empire into western Rome and Constantinople. This led to weak leadership and the fall of western Rome, which eventually led to the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks and turning into Istanbul. To relate this to YouTube, imagine that YouTube is Rome before Constantine and that YouTube Red is Constantine. YouTube Red will prompt creators to make content specifically for the service, likely because YouTube has paid them, which will leave viewers with the choice to either pay or not be able to see certain videos. After this happens a couple of times people will start to pick sides as to which YouTube they prefer and eventually YouTube will start to put forth more effort to accommodate which side nets them the most cash. As the divide between free and paid YouTube grows new websites will emerge that will try to poach whichever side is being neglected, and YouTube’s user base will spread to the different services, leaving only one side of YouTube left which could also be  poached by websites offering a more focused service. YouTube is run by some pretty smart people though and is the main source of income for many of its users, so it will probably find new ways to strive as a platform, and as someone who watches it everyday I hope it can enjoy continued success without losing itself.

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