Brandon Strader

OCR monetizing mixes on YouTube

350 posts in this topic

This is something that needs to be addressed now that OCR has taken the plunge into monetizing the work of remixers on YouTube. This is the latest stop on the slippery slope of monetization that has been taking place on OCR. As far as I know, nobody was made aware that this change was going to be implemented. In short, it would be nice to know when this started and why.

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I don't like it.  Don't get me wrong.  Ocremix has brought me a lot of opportunity and fans but the focus should be on the artist more than the entity of ocremix.   You guys have basically taken the liberty to make money off of music you didn't make and that's unfair 

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OCR flinging themselves off the deep end.

Sucking on the dick nipple of money and mediocrity.

I'd unsub from their youtube channel this instant if it were actually good enough to be a subscription of mine.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Ivan Hakštok said:

This probably has nothing to do with ocremix. Same thing happened on the Dwelling of Duels youtube channel, and the thing is simple - if youtube recognizes the vgm source, even for a small part, it automatically monetizes the video.

they still get 20% after the publisher gets their 80

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Every video I checked was monetized with ads, so unless every publisher claimed every video, I don't think that's the cause.

Not asking anyone to take my word for it, open Microsoft Edge or any browser you have with no ad block, and look for yourself.

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5 minutes ago, Brandon Strader said:

Every video I checked was monetized with ads, so unless every publisher claimed every video, I don't think that's the cause.

I just went through 20 random remixes and only 3 had ads.

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I just went through every single video on their YT channel and saw no ads.

 

Don't mind that I have Magic Actions installed that removes all ads.  But yea, no ads here.

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I found the first mix to be monetized --

Super Mario 64 ReMix by Emunator & Chimpazilla: 'Ripples of Hope' [File Select] (#3366)  

Every mix after that, that isn't a trailer, seems to be monetized. Started monetizing on June 14th. Started almost a month ago and nobody noticed.

(note: I forgot it was August)

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Maybe it is due to a new update in YouTube's bot, design, or something else, as Ivan suggested. My association got a video monetized (due to the use of a copyrighted song) although our monetization is deactivated. I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation (and there's no need to jump to OCR's throat without their explanation).

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No matter how you slice it, it just doesn't look good when a site that has always been there to deliver free vgm mixes to peoples' ears, despite having had trouble in the past with Square-Enix and has a thread explaining why the mixes cannot be on Spotify due to licensing...it still has monetized mixes on YouTube. As was suggested, it could be that it auto-monetizes them, but that still doesn't make me feel better about it.

If you want to put money into the site to keep online, it should be purely voluntary via buying a T-Shirt or straight-up donating.

 

 

 

 

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If it's auto-monetized because of copyright claims, there's nothing you can do about it. Also, in that case, exactly 0% of the ad revenue is going to the channel owner.

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2 minutes ago, Ivan Hakštok said:

If it's auto-monetized because of copyright claims, there's nothing you can do about it. Also, in that case, exactly 0% of the ad revenue is going to the channel owner.

Can confirm. Several of my uploads are the same way. I don't see a dime from monetization when it happens.

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13 minutes ago, Ivan Hakštok said:

If it's auto-monetized because of copyright claims, there's nothing you can do about it. Also, in that case, exactly 0% of the ad revenue is going to the channel owner.

Great, instead it goes to the publisher and probably some to YouTube - who can make money off a totally for fun fan arrangement I made - including people who bitched about those fan arrangements' existence. I'd rather they just strike it down to be honest. If there is going to be money involved in fan arrangements, I'd just not bother with OCR or YouTube and licence the tracks myself.

Every remixer on here does this for fun and if it turns out their work winds up making someone else money, I suspect more will be hesitant to submit to OCR or post it on YouTube.

 

 

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I think monetization is only applied to each new upload after it's activated. That could explain why it's just the last month of uploads that are monetized. If a publisher had instead done it, it would have been all of the videos under the umbrella of that publisher.

I'm all for waiting to see the answer, that was the purpose of the thread, not to get everyone to jump down their throat, though if this is something they'll be doing now the community deserves to know and have their input....just don't know why it hasn't been mentioned over the last month.

Did we all really miss this because we use adblock??

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4 hours ago, Brandon Strader said:

I'm all for waiting to see the answer, that was the purpose of the thread, not to get everyone to jump down their throat, though if this is something they'll be doing now the community deserves to know and have their input....just don't know why it hasn't been mentioned over the last month.

  • We were testing the waters, getting an idea of how it would work, the different settings involved, how obtrusive it would be, etc. We did legitimately want to see whether people would notice, and when.
  • The community definitely deserves to know and provide input, and if a majority (or potentially a plurality) of artists are uncomfortable with it, we can reassess, but I'll lay out the general thinking below and you can see what you think.
  • We can use this thread to discuss; just need to keep things civil & productive.
6 hours ago, Lucavi00 said:

OCR flinging themselves off the deep end.

Sucking on the dick nipple of money and mediocrity.

I'd unsub from their youtube channel this instant if it were actually good enough to be a subscription of mine.

This is not civil or productive; I'm confused why you're still registered and taking the time to chime in, if you're so convinced that the music is mediocre, which is kind of an insult to all artists contributing to this thread, either way...

6 hours ago, bLiNd said:

I don't like it.  Don't get me wrong.  Ocremix has brought me a lot of opportunity and fans but the focus should be on the artist more than the entity of ocremix.   You guys have basically taken the liberty to make money off of music you didn't make and that's unfair 

So this is surprising to me, because the way we see it, ads on videos are not materially different from ads on the website, all of which go directly towards funding the site. Nothing has changed, policy-wise.

From http://ocremix.org/info/Content_Policy

Quote

This license explicitly prohibits OverClocked ReMix from distributing submitted materials for for-profit endeavors. All revenue generated by advertising presented in the context of submitted materials will be used for costs directly associated with the operation and promotion of OverClocked ReMix.

This remains 100% true; the only difference is that the ads are on YouTube instead of the website. We'd like to minimize or even eliminate ads on the website in favor of YouTube, primarily because they're more annoying, less relevant, affect layout/usability, and don't accomplish much. Based on @bLiNd's reaction, and perhaps others, it seems like people are drawing a major distinction between YouTube ads and ads on this website, and that's what this conversation needs to focus on, because from a policy perspective, again, nothing has changed - any $$$ goes towards operation & promotion, and the net effect is just that ads are offloaded from the site and onto videos, where we feel they make a bit more sense. No unskippable ads, FYI.

There are other benefits to being a partner channel, including enhanced reach and protection from instant takedowns, that seem to make this a smart move for us, but nothing is concrete - let's talk it through, but let's focus on the core question: how is this different from the status quo?

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1 hour ago, Geoffrey Taucer said:

I have no objections. It's no different than advertisements on the site going to help pay for the site.

I'm kind of baffled that it's provoked such a negative reaction

I think perhaps some people draw a strong line between web ads & YouTube ads, but I'm waiting to hear why that is - it definitely deserves to be talked about, and I'm going to apologize in advance to any artists who feel we should have informed them first BEFORE even testing the waters. We see these ads as equivalent to the existing web ads, as being preferable to them, and as not representing a change in our existing policy, and we wanted a "dry run" & to measure their impact as scientifically as possible.

I'm interested in where this thread goes, and eager to answer any questions. Depending on the outcome, an official announcement will be made & sent out to artists in case folks don't monitor the forums. Some quick points:

  1. @Brandon Strader's right in that we started testing this on June 13th of this year
  2. Since that date, $130.99 in ad revenue was generated from ALL YouTube ads combined, a portion of which goes to our channel network
  3. This is considerably less than what web ads USED to make, but ever since we tweaked them to get rid of obnoxious & irrelevant content, web ads have tanked... so this is more than they ARE making at present.
  4. It's worth noting that it took two months for anyone to really notice... in my mind this is a successful experiment JUST in terms of gauging the impact to the average viewer/listener.
  5. Ads have NOT yet been enabled for the 3000+ video back catalog - we are waiting to do that based on the outcome of this conversation and after an official announcement. At that point the ad $$$ would obviously be more, but it won't be one video, or even one artist's videos, making a huge contribution to that - it's the aggregate.
  6. We were also hoping to time that announcement with a parallel announcement of filing for 501c3 status and debuting new artist pages which do a better job of promoting the artist than our current layout.

So, why would we do this at all when the Patreon is completely covering the site's operating costs, with SURPLUS?

An extremely fair question. To be honest, I hate managing the money side of OCR, I didn't sign up for this, and it's not something I derive joy in even contemplating. For the 501c3 I'm hoping someone on staff can take on the role of treasurer so I can free myself of it. Nevertheless, answers to the above question:

  • I'm an IT guy. I have backups for my backups. I don't like having a single point of failure, and without a meaningful form of ad revenue, the site's existence would rest solely with Patreon.
  • Membership in a YT network has other benefits... increased reach, an extra level of protection from content matches, etc.
  • Mainly, at least for me, I saw that our web ads completely tanked after we tweaked them to exclude annoying/irrelevant content. I don't think Google's ad model for websites is as good as their model for videos. I'd love to remove most if not all Google ads from this site, and only feature completely relevant stuff like Super Audio Cart, OverClocked Records, and also use that space to promote our existing/upcoming albums.
58 minutes ago, Ivan Hakštok said:

Well, I guess I was wrong then.

But still, it doesn't bug me as long as the revenue is used for running the site and maybe further improvements.

It absolutely is; our content policy still applies, and always will. For the 501c3 filing, there would be additional clarity required surrounding what specifically counts as an operational or promotional cost, tying our hands a bit further, in addition to more specific IRS documentation requirements.

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I'm alright with it, provided the advertisements are going specifically to keep the site functioning, and if you are getting more than that, what's the plan for dealing with the rest of the revenue? As for how its different...

1.) It inherently feels more personal. The ads on the website are simply that, they aren't really attached to the music, but the website as a whole. Youtube ads on the otherhand....

2.) The perception of Youtube Ad Revenue is one of pure profit. People think banner ads help sites function, people think youtube ads are for making money.

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12 minutes ago, k-wix said:

I'm alright with it, provided the advertisements are going specifically to keep the site functioning, and if you are getting more than that, what's the plan for dealing with the rest of the revenue? As for how its different...

1.) It inherently feels more personal. The ads on the website are simply that, they aren't really attached to the music, but the website as a whole. Youtube ads on the otherhand....

2.) The perception of Youtube Ad Revenue is one of pure profit. People think banner ads help sites function, people think youtube ads are for making money.

Good question & points.

At this point in time we have a "budget surplus", but we do anticipate that filing for the 501c3 could be costly - I spoke with Nick from MAGFest, and they had actual counsel, and it took a good long while & cost five figures. I'm hoping we can do something faster & more streamlined and thus (hopefully much!) cheaper, but it's those types of things that are "operational" but only come up once in awhile. Beyond keeping the site functional, we really want to improve it AND the videos themselves, and we've been working on both, so our definition of "operational" includes improvements & striving towards goals, not JUST keeping the wheels turning.

  1. The ads on the website ARE attached to the music in the sense that Google has the power to personalize them based on page content, which is exactly what they do with videos as well, but I hear you... it's a subjective thing, I don't think it's inherent, I think it's perceptual, but I see where you're coming from.
  2. This might be the biggest problem - the perception that YouTube ads are somehow functionally different in terms of how the revenue would be utilized. I don't know... it's not accurate, but I agree that this perception might exist.

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1 hour ago, djpretzel said:

To be honest, I hate managing the money side of OCR, I didn't sign up for this, and it's not something I derive joy in even contemplating. For the 501c3 I'm hoping someone on staff can take on the role of treasurer so I can free myself of it.

Ok since this is public, I'll say this publicly.  I have offered repeatedly to take on this role and we have discussed it.  I have an MBA in Finance and a ton of accounting experience; this is what I do.  I did a budget template and financial statement templates and invited you to the Google sheets, I hope you've looked at them.  It's time to revisit these budgeting templates in a big way.  We need to have some serious conversations about budgeting.  Tom has just started back to school (yesterday), so my time is more available now to work on this with you.  

I totally understand everyone's feelings about YouTube ads, and I share these feelings.  It has a totally different perception than website ads, and it feels more like a personal "fuck you" when you're on YouTube and an ad pops in your face.  I fear that YouTube ads may have a negative impact overall.  But I totally understand your feelings about the different types of ads and your explanations are great.  Let's budget it out to see if it makes sense to continue them, or maybe there are other options we haven't explored yet.

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I already mentioned it on Discord, but frankly I don't care about the YT monetization. For me remixing is just a hobby and I like OCR enough that I wouldn't mind supporting them through ad revenue from YT.

Having said that, I do find YT ads a distraction in general (that Yousician ad is really starting to annoy me!) that prevent me from my need for instant gratification, but that's about as far as it goes for me. A big distinction on YT is that the ads are more in-your-face, even if you can skip them after a few seconds. On a site they are more an ignorable glance in the sidebar, and because of my banner blindness I hardly notice these ads anymore.

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