The first Adpocalypse didn't affect me that much. I was still mad that it had happened, because of it just being silly, but the BrickoMotion channel revenue didn't really suffer from it.
Enter Adpocalypse 2.0. YouTube has tightened the definition of what counts as advertiser friendly for their algorithm so much that it produces false positives all the time. This has affected my channel very much. You can see the status of your videos on the Video Manager page. The "good" videos are marked with a green $ sign and the "bad" videos with a yellow one. As of now, the Locomotive Advent video has been flagged as advertiser unfriendly, so has the second Advent video, the second Taylor Swift video, and the My Little Pony Holiday video.
So what did I do? Here's what you can do: on the "Advertiser unfriendly" video's page in YouTube Analytics there's a "Request a manual review" button. And you can click it. And that's where the nice things I have to say end.
The video will not be taken into a review queue until it has 1000 views. Seems reasonable at first glance, but the consequences of that are not. If your video has been deemed advertiser unfriendly right on the upload, you must first publish it, get the views and then it can be reviewed. Still doesn't seem that harsh? What if I told you it takes at least 24 h to review a video? And the first 24 h are the most lucrative hours of most videos. This happened to me with the first and the second Advent video. Granted, these videos were never going to be a smash hit, but combine the ad-unfriendliness with the dip in views the first one has caused to Taylor and you can start to see the problem. I requested a manual review for both but then decided that I'm not even gonna bother with the second one and I just deleted it. 2 days later the manual review decided the video was, in fact, advertiser friendly. What a shock.
The algorithm also constantly changes. While I was preparing the second Taylor Swift video, the green $ turned into a yellow one. My heart sank. Had I worked long and hard on that video just to have it falsely classified? I decided to add all of the end screen elements and cards to the video first and than deal with the unfriendliness. As I was done with the cards I came back to the monetisation page and the video was green again. I had no idea what had happened but I felt a bit better. For now.
2 weeks have passed without any additional problems. The Star Wars video upload went smoothly and there was no sudden unfriendliness. 'Cause, the thing is, as the algorithm changes, it will also go and reevaluate older videos. So now we get to the part that hurts me the most. Approximately 9 hours after the MLP Holliday video was published it turned yellow. I requested the review right away, but I knew that even in the best case scenario I was going to lose money. It's a holiday video published right before the holidays - I don't think it has that long of a shelf life. And it seems to be a hit (for my standards). When it was put on the naughty list it had around 20 000 views. This morning (29 hours after the request) the video had around 60 000 views and I received an e-mail informing me the video was NOT suitable for all advertisers.
And that's it. I can't repeal it, I could take it down, but it's not like that would help me, so I'll leave it on the channel. It's really hard for me to believe a human has watched that video and deemed it advertiser unfriendly. I mean, if there ever was a great video for selling MLP merch during the holiday season - this is it.
I do not like this development at all. It makes me question everything. Did I make the worst mistake of my life by becoming a YouTube creator? Should I just stop making videos? At least until this Adpocalypse thing is over. It will be over at some point, right?
I don't know.