Youtubeurs go through the "kitty" box for their videos and come out of the diktat of views

Nexus VI and the Movie Gravedigger. - Nexus VI / Youtube screenshot
  • The "classic" pay model on YouTube is based on the number of views generated by the videos.

  • A model considered inadequate for many Youtubeurs.

  • The latter embarked on crowdfunding to carry out their project.

Long before the fiery debates on the boxers' jackpots and the police Leetchi, many videographers on
Youtube were embarking on fundraisers among their communities. The goal ? Exit diktat views and be able to make videos much freer artistically and less focused on the audience.

Basically, the compensation on the platform works according to the following scheme. A YouTube video makes a number of views, which themselves generate more or less commercials before or during the video. And it is this number of advertisements watched that pays the Youtubeur.

Forget the popular idea "one euro thousand views", slightly too simplistic and not taking enough elements into account (the price of the euro versus the dollar, the fees that may vary depending on the season or AdBlock, blocker of ads that inevitably hurt YouTube).

Not profitable enough views

Let's simply remember for this passage of macro-economy 2.0 that you have to generate a lot, but then many YouTube views to be economically viable. Indecent figures that even videographers with large communities of fans fail to reach.

take Nexus VI for example, a superb YouTube channel dealing with science fiction (and brothel, if you do not know already, go for it). The group has some 160,000 subscribers (ah, for sure, your 300 Twitter followers are pale next to it). Yet when we question the captain, iconic character of their videos, it's not the madness level income: "We must touch 150-300 euros per month through views, no more. Far from enough to feed the large film crew, especially when the cafe where it is questioned is charged five euros.

Therefore, how to continue the production of these monster-episodes in the Pharaonic budget with big shots (and big costs) of sets, special effects and staging? This summer, Nexus VI did a
fundraising for financing new episodes on KissKissBankBank crowdfunding platform. The 100,000 euros collected, for an average of fifty balls per donor, will allow the setting up of three new episodes.

Financing and the end of a taboo

Yet, paying Youtubeurs has not always been obvious. Vincent Manilève, journalist and author of the book YouTube behind the screens looks back at a time not too distant: "A few years ago, it was very bad to ask for money on YouTube, because the platform was based on free content. But for many subscribers, giving a little money to a videographer has become more and more normal. This is all the more vital and pervasive with YouTube's new monetization policy a year ago, which resulted in a big drop in revenue per view. "

On the Internet more than elsewhere, things are going fast, and the process has become highly democratized. To the relief of a lot of videographers, who should have put the key to their chain under the door without the financial support of their community. This is particularly the case of Manon Bril, author of the chain This is an other story, who is popularizing ... history, especially around mythology, in his videos that attracted 170,000 subscribers fond of ancient and epic stories (and brothel, if you do not already know, go for it too). Insufficient to rely only on their clicks. "Monetization by sight earns me almost nothing, and without crowdfunding, I clearly could not do such extensive content. I should also have a job in addition, and I may not have had the motivation to do both very long. "

Suddenly, like many Youtubeurs, she launched a Tipee, a platform allowing its subscribers to pay a little each month, on the mode of the tip. This is how 420 faithful pay him a kind of salary every month. Financial aid used by many Youtubeurs, who do not have gigantic communities (well, we still talk in the case of Manon Bril to fill twice
Stade de France), but with fans able to finance a little the videos they watch.

You will be a free creator, my son

From the start, Nexus VI made this bet. Episodes rare but extremely worked (their very first video is also a model of professionalism), not to enter "the race to the audience", as the captain calls and bet on the qualitative. "The idea is that the subscribers who economically participate in our production know where they put their money, and they invest for our work and the care we take to achieve. But before asking for this money, we first proved ourselves. Not a coincidence that their KissKissBankBank is a model of transparency, specifying what each euro will be used for.

But for the Captain, whose artistic ambitions are quite insane, the question goes far beyond the gross cost of production: "It's about taking back power and giving it back to people. Crowdfunding gives us total freedom and free creation, we can go further than monetization YouTube, much more restrictive, to which it can happen to block income at the slightest insult or tense topic. "

If it is more financially viable, the participatory model allows above all increased freedom, far from the shackles imposed by monetization by sight. Laurence Allard, lecturer in digital expressive practices, does not say anything else: "YouTube has gone from total amateurism to a professional, therefore industrialized and standardized economy. The videos that work the best are all similar, creating a vicious circle where others, trying to emulate them in search of success, reproduce the same videos over and over again. To get out of the mold, it is better to go through another business model than the basic one on YouTube. "

Please, portray me a YouTube

And that, the videographers have understood it well. Especially François Theurel, known on YouTube as the legendary Gravedigger of films, 700,000 subscribers and a Tipee to his credit, who has just finished his long quest for six years in search of the ultimate genre film (and brothel, if you do not know, go for it). His analysis of the world of YouTube is as relevant as those of his after-sessions: "YouTube promotes a production line, where we consume videos as a fast food: barely digested they are forgotten. It's frustrating to see YouTube bring out uninspired mass content. For videographers who have more artistic ambition than that, we must go through other alternatives. "

We return to our temple of Youtubesque knowledge, Vincent Manilève, which portrays the current landscape, where we can caricature video makers who walk in three categories. Roughly speaking, the sacred monsters Squeezie, Cyprien, Norman who, strong of the crowds that they drain (more than ten million subscribers each), "can do almost what they want, it will work. Then there are those who make the game of YouTube and fully accept its rules to maximize their views, following the trends. Right now, what works best is the videos between friends, and we see that pop from everywhere. Finally, the independents, who drain less views but have a more financially active community, "portrays the journalist-writer.

Have fun on his videos

Léo Grasset, AKA Dirty Biologyis one of them. His channel offers funny or funny science subjects, to show that biology is not just pretty tidy cells (and brothel, if you do not already know ... Well it would be time to ask you about your choices YouTube no ?). Despite his more than 700,000 subscribers, he no longer seeks the race to the audience. Monetization by sight only accounts for between 15% and 25% of its income. "I quickly tried to get out of the constraint of YouTube monetization to no longer have this logic of views. I made several videos that I knew very well that they would do little audience, or be demonetized. Freedom, thoroughly. "

Notably mentioned, a half-hour video in Madagascar, which has "only" 350,000 views, far from the most popular creations of the chain that border on or exceed one million. A result that does not surprise him more than it saddens him: "Of course it can be blasing to say" shit this video I spent 2 days and it is 3 times more views / money than this video project that is close to my heart and took me 2 months ", but then we must remember that people do not care about the time we spend on something, all that matters is the result and if it sticks with what they come looking for on the platform. Nothing abnormal. "

Remembering this video, but also others that are particularly close to his heart, he continues: "I think the number of views is anyway a bad metric. Some videos I made, I made them for myself, and very honestly what the 400,000 people who saw them can think ... I do not care (laughs). Obviously it's cool if people look at them, we share it publicly, but it seems important to me to define what is the objective of each project. "

Freedom of tone and postage from YouTube

Not counting on views also helps avoid unpleasant surprises, such as price changes in ads and videos demonetized for an insult or a touchy subject for advertisers. Laurence Allard metaphorises everything: "Being paid by YouTube is like being an actor and going up on a stage where the lights can go out at any moment and the boards collapse. Videographers have no control over YouTube pay, which can change at any time - and it does not stop doing so. "

As a result, Manon Bril is pleased level absence of constraint: "I never worried about the codes to respect or not for monetization, since it brings me almost nothing. And nothing prevents me from speaking as I want or what I want. "

If this participatory payment has entered the mores, some shots die hard. Youtube-Money, paid to do podcasts in his room, millionaire by working five minutes a day, you know the refrains. "Our role is also to deconstruct the image of the Youtubeur in his room which is filmed in a take, supports the Captain of Nexus VI. Little by little, people understand that all artistic production requires funding. "

We leave François Theurel, dean of video interviewees questioned, conclude: "Some rare comments will even blame us the quality of production of our videos, saying that it is not" the spirit YouTube ", supposed to be and remain amateur. But YouTube is in constant diversification, it is not monolithic, and there will always be room for amateur videos in your room or for mass content videos. We have just created a place on this medium as well. "