YouTube’s Scraped Plan Leaked Which Was Focused on Changing the Payment Model

In 2017 YouTube thought of changing its payment model and started paying content creators according to the number of viewers engaged in the video instead of revenue generates from ads. The leaked YouTube support center draft suggested that the platform was planning to bring new payment model which was based on attracting, engaging and retaining viewers.

However, the spokesperson of YouTube said that according to feedback received, they have decided not to go with this project as it could be difficult for content creators to understand new metrics. Chief Executive of Google is also believed to be concerned about the filter bubbles on site with the introduction of this model.

YouTube engineers took almost a year to design this model which is internally known as “Project Bean” or “Boil the Ocean” and was then presented by Susan Wojcicki, the YouTube CEO at a leadership meeting. Google CEO Sundar Pichai rejected this the proposal, saying it could lead to other problems on the platform.

Business Insider got hold of the YouTube support center draft which had further details about the payment models proposed in 2017. According to this, not only engagements but other elements like the number of viewers and for how long the video was played by them was also included. So far the changes reported regarding payment model revolved around engagement factors.


The synopsis of the internal draft was as follows:

1. Attract: If the videos of the creator are searched and users view it on YouTube, the creator will be rewarded for this. Thus, they should make their videos easily searchable with effective titles and descriptions.

2. Engage: Reward for creators if they succeed in the engaging audience and provide relevant content and keep them on the platform for a longer time period. This could be done by creating playlists and sections to suggest more relevant videos by the creator.

3. Retain: If creators have loyal subscribers, a large viewership, who come time and again to watch their videos, this will benefit the creators in terms of ad revenue.

[Pro Hack: To retain the audience, creators can adopt a consistent posting schedule on their channels to increase interaction (i.e likes, comments etc.) with the audience.]

YouTube was planning to introduce three new steps to improve its payments model for creators: "attract, engage, and retain."
Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

If the plan had come into practice, Alex Jones – Creator of Infowars would have been the highest paid creator on the videos hosting network.

Spokesperson of YouTube said they are always looking for ways to help creators in monetizing through various tools, products like Channel Membership, Ticketing and merchandising. And with these new guidelines, it would have been hard for the creators to understand its metrics.

This system would have been helpful especially for the content that many advertisers shy away from, considering it indelicate, like music videos or sex education. Recently, Bloomberg revealed that the employee warnings about the toxic content on the platform is being ignored by the company. A growth strategy focused on metrics like interaction rates could have intensified YouTube's complications.

Read next: YouTube stars and Instagram influencers, among the highest earning online content creators

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