djpretzel

Ads on OC ReMix YouTube Channel

32 posts in this topic

Hopefully we can avoid a repeat of the drama that occurred on a previous thread discussing this matter.

On Tuesday of last week, all videos on our channel mysteriously had ads enabled without any action on our part; previously ads were limited to a small percentage of videos from artists who had opted in, so we could get some metrics. We have disabled all ads as of today, including for videos that previously had them enabled. This batch change is currently processing on YouTube.

We did inquire with YouTube/Google as to how this change could have happened, as none of us made it directly or intentionally, but they couldn't help us:

Quote

"As far as channel action history is concerned, we are unable to provide any records of it."

It's difficult to understand how an entity so large wouldn't track such actions on a per-user basis, but it's apparently the case.

TL;DR; what's changed since the last time we had this conversation is that OverClocked ReMix is now a project of Game Music Initiative, Inc, a 501c3 non-profit charitable organization...

We've got a board of directors that has met three times this year, we've got separate bank accounts that are not in my name or included on my personal income taxes, no single individual can sell the domain or its intellectual property, and there are legally-binding rules about how the money can be spent, and for what, above and beyond the existing content policy. While the ads were not enabled intentionally, we waited to hear back from Google before disabling them, because we wanted metrics for the entire channel being ad-enabled and because the original plan was to wait for 501c3 status and then revisit the topic.

Our submission agreement has always allowed for advertising in the context of mixes, so long as that revenue is used for the site:

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.

Originally this change rubbed some folks the wrong way and there were heated words about how YouTube ads were somehow profoundly different than website ads; I'm not sure if anyone still feels that way, but either way, "context" is an umbrella term that was never intended to be limiting. The Internet changes and we need to change with it, as best we can.

So, basically:

  1. We have removed almost all ads from our websites. We only want to run promotions for VGM & related stuff that's relevant, and keep that minimal and non-intrusive.
  2. Right now, GMI & OCR are funded primarily by our support on Patreon (you gals & guys are the best!)
  3. However, I've never been comfortable with a single point of failure, and feel like YouTube ads are a good secondary source of support.
  4. From the last week of metrics, full ad-enablement on YouTube adds up to about $25 a day, give or take. For any one artist, myself included, this would be less than a dollar a month.
  5. In addition, YouTube ads *apparently* help SEO and enhance the visibility/reach of the videos, which is important.
  6. I'd like to reach a point with artists where we've built enough trust, through our words and actions but also our new legal status, where this change is understood and appreciated, but we should by all means continue the conversation and see where it takes us.

We previously committed to:

  1. Filing for 501c3 status in this calendar year. (DONE)
  2. Updating the content policy with clarifying language surrounding "advertisements in the context of submitted material" meaning more than just banner ads, with YouTube as a specific example. (PENDING)
  3. Reaching out to artists via forum email addresses, social media, etc. for additional feedback on this topic prior to enabling ads on the back catalog of 3000+ videos. (THIS THREAD + NOTIFICATIONS)

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Not sure what is needed of artists, but I do consent to having ads on videos with my content both past and future.

A bit out there suggestion, maybe add and remove ads in batches depending on need.  If costs to keep the site going go up, increase the amount of videos with ads from a pool of people who consent to get the needed amount.  If costs go down, do the opposite.  Use it as a secondary source of income that varies depending on need.

Unless the metrics of $25 per day come from the week when all ads were enabled.  Then maybe use the whole pool of people who consent.

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I never really understood the issue with ads on YouTube videos given that we had Google ads on individual remix pages for years. Advertisements presented in the context of individual remixes is nothing new; I guess it feels different to people now because YouTube is huge and "monetization" is a word people throw around all the time now.

I'm a little annoyed with Google/YouTube and their mysterious enabling of ads, ESPECIALLY the unskippables. I agree with Dave that it's kind of shocking they don't have logs or an audit trail mechanism for that kind of thing. Kind of concerning, TBH.

In any case, while I wish we had more time to prepare for it, what's done is done. Now that GMI is officially a 501c3, I hope that folks will be on board and won't raise a fuss. Like I said, this isn't actually anything new. I never had problems with ads on the remix pages, so I don't see why I'll have a problem with ads on my mixes.

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I will never get why people have an issue with OCReMix monetising their videos and website. Us artists/remixers get a lot of exposure to a great and supportive community – all without paying a single dime. Why not show some gratitude by helping to fund the website?

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44 minutes ago, JohnStacy said:

Not sure what is needed of artists, but I do consent to having ads on videos with my content both past and future.

A bit out there suggestion, maybe add and remove ads in batches depending on need.  If costs to keep the site going go up, increase the amount of videos with ads from a pool of people who consent to get the needed amount.  If costs go down, do the opposite.  Use it as a secondary source of income that varies depending on need.

Unless the metrics of $25 per day come from the week when all ads were enabled.  Then maybe use the whole pool of people who consent.

Ideally, I think, we'd like to avoid adding too much additional administrative-type items for staff to have to continually maintain.  I feel like we'd be better spending more time on moar music & artist promotion than going back and forth with enabling ads.  Also, I took it as $25 for global ads on (EDIT: not including unskippables), so waiting for times to get tight (which hopefully they don't) before turning them on seems like it would be a case of too little too late.

But yeah, personally I never had an issue with enabling them on mixes in the first place - especially considering the funds fully go to, as ad revenue always has gone to, maintaining & promoting the site itself.

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14 minutes ago, Blake Inc. said:

I will never get why people have an issue with OCReMix monetising their videos and website. Us artists/remixers get a lot of exposure to a great and supportive community – all without paying a single dime. Why not show some gratitude by helping to fund the website?

As I recall, the main arguments were

• It was basically flown in under the radar

• YouTube is a service that doesn't actually cost OCR anything

• Some feel that the ads are more a "part of the mix" on YouTube and a lot more invasive (unskippable ads)...which they are.

• Additional Brandon Strader conspiracy theories.

Personally, I still tend to agree more with the naysayers, but the energy involved in caring and bitching about it just isn't worth it.

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36 minutes ago, AngelCityOutlaw said:

As I recall, the main arguments were

  1. It was basically flown in under the radar
  2. YouTube is a service that doesn't actually cost OCR anything
  3. Some feel that the ads are more a "part of the mix" on YouTube and a lot more invasive (unskippable ads)...which they are.
  4. Additional Brandon Strader conspiracy theories.

Personally, I still tend to agree more with the naysayers, but the energy involved in caring and bitching about it just isn't worth it.

  • #1 was a legitimate misjudgment on our part - my part - as to the timing of going live to get basic metrics vs. a full roll-out, and how that would be perceived; I'd need to review the full thread again to remember if I apologized for that misjudgment, but if I didn't, I do. A good faith assumption was all it took to understand what happened, and we didn't get a good faith assumption from some folks, but ideally we wouldn't put ourselves in a position to NEED a good faith assumption :)
  • #2 never made any sense to me, personally; whether we pay for YouTube or not is irrelevant. That's basically saying you should only run ads on the platforms that represent an expense to you, and only use revenue generated on any platform to pay for that platform, and nothing else? That's NEVER been true, because even a decade ago, when it was just banner ads, we used funds for promotional runs of physical albums as prizes at conventions.... so that's using web ads to pay for something not strictly related to web hosting. This conceptualization of funding & expenditure is very odd/rigid/limiting...
  • #3 is worth talking more about, I think. We have no intention of ever enabling unskippable ads, so those are off the table.
  • #4 tell me about it...

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I appreciate the transparency and the timely response from the opening post. Goes a long way to gain trust (not that I needed that). While the Youtube ads increasingly annoy me (especially those in the middle of a video, yuck), I still have no issue with monetising the videos if it ensures a continued existence of the community.

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I also give my consent -- already did the last time. If the revenue can also finance album projects in the future, that'd be awesome as well.

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Privately y'all probably know this, but I'll make it public here once again:

DjP is a smelly doo-doo face.

Also, OCR can monetize my music from the site, just as I said in the prior thread.

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I also give consent to monitize my mixes (past and future), especially if it keeps the site running and allows for more super awesome albums in the future! :)

MONITIZE ALL THE THINGS!

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Despite practically disappearing, I do care about what happens to OCR. I'd rather the community has a little more financial stability (God, I wonder what that's like) than the aforementioned single point of failure. I consent to monetization on my OCR music. Of course, my consent will be revoked if unskippable ads are enabled (which I know you will keep turned off anyway).

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I like the evolution and the enthusiasm...

...but just so things don't get confusing about this "I consent" business, I want to add that the primary consent is choosing [or not choosing] to submit your music under the content policy. Voicing consent in this thread is redundant to that choice and muddies the waters a bit, possibly leading some readers to incorrectly assume that not posting somehow implies non-consent, or that non consenting has any meaning if you still proceed to submit your music under the content policy.

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5 hours ago, Patrick Burns said:

I like the evolution and the enthusiasm...

...but just so things don't get confusing about this "I consent" business, I want to add that the primary consent is choosing [or not choosing] to submit your music under the content policy. Voicing consent in this thread is redundant to that choice and muddies the waters a bit, possibly leading some readers to incorrectly assume that not posting somehow implies non-consent, or that non consenting has any meaning if you still proceed to submit your music under the content policy.

@Patrick Burns is correct, for the record - we weren't planning on explicitly keeping track anymore, just enabling it for the whole channel. Stating consent here has the effect of voicing support for that plan, but that plan would enable everything, for all videos. Given that YouTube apparently can enable this at will, and given that tracking each & every artist preference could get.... elaborate.... especially with collaborations, the idea is that the content policy itself does and would cover this, across the board.

It's an important distinction/clarification.

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