Posted on September 18, 2020

The Toxicity of YouTube’s New Algorithm, TikTok’s Uncertain Future, Instagram Reels & Virtual Events

By MusicPromoToday
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YouTube Influencers are not happy with the new algorithms. In general, social media influencers believe it makes the whole algorithm environment toxic. To be more specific, the famous Youtube death hoax Gabbie Hanna claims the YouTube algorithm encourages drama channels to take down top creators. She also called YouTube friendships “toxic” and “abusive” before deleting her Twitter and Instagram accounts. What drama! Instagram regularly sees this type of feedback as well. 

Let’s dive deep and find out if the YouTube algorithm encourages toxicity within the YouTube community or not.  

There are not only celebrity dramas around this issue but also a handful of scholarly articles, studies, and statements from those who worked on the algorithm. Content moderation is a real struggle. One cannot deeply understand it if they never opened the admin panel on the shiny Monday morning and saw the “not appropriate” content that no one else sees. 

We helped moderate channels and comments for artists and record labels on YouTube for the longest while and to say it was sometimes not pretty is an understatement. It is very obvious that companies like YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram pay enormous attention to moderation, but claiming that they could do better is fair.

More than 30 000 suicide deaths in the United States and nearly 1 million suicide deaths worldwide occur every year. Social networks are right there to keep the numbers steady. And guess what? A trend appears emerging in leaving suicide notes via social media. 

Dramatic content gets views. There is nothing new about it, and ‘YouTube recommendations are toxic,’ says dev, who worked on the algorithm claims Youtube recommendations are a waste of time. Content gets promoted when it gets engagement rates, and that is the root of toxicity. 

The White House, on the other hand, thinks Tik Tok is dangerous and disturbing, so the discussions over Tik Tok’s highly questionable future in the US continue. Meanwhile, this opens a great opportunity for Instagram Reels to get the spotlight. Similar to TikTok, Reels on Instagram allow users to create short-form videos, pick music from a library and share with friends and followers.

Reels is not just another feature. It is the newest and most promising feature allowing users of Instagram to create much more enticing and engaging content for your followers. 

This feature will increase the amount of time users spend on the app and even reestablish itself as a video editing platform. This is as huge as when Facebook added stories and copied Snapchat. We’re told that Zuckerberg was grilled earlier this week on this topic, but simply replied saying “the social media giant just adapted features”. 

Music x Corona – The Future of Venues & The Show Must Go On. 

No matter what happens, the Show Must Go On. As it is impossible to host offline events due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the demand for online event organizational platforms increases and trends are changing rapidly. There is no doubt that ‘Live Streaming’ is the absolute winner in terms of 2020 trends. 

The bad news for artists: 2020 will see an overall decline of 5.6% in overall entertainment and media revenues compared to 2019. The PWC press release mentions this is the sharpest decline in the 21 year history of the research. IQ Mag has seen that live music will generate ‘$10.4bn in 2020, down from nearly $29bn in 2019.’ As such recorded music will be more valuable to the overall music industry than live, growing to $30.4bn this year aided by a continuing growth of streaming music. This immediately shows where part of the money not spent on live music has gone: streaming subscriptions -> the good news for artists. 

Another obvious destination for money normally spent on live concerts will be going to livestreaming and other forms of direct-to-fan monetization schemes. I.e. Virtual concerts, events, happening more and more often. Sessions founder Tim Westergren spoke to Music Ally and mentioned one artist who ‘recently generated $10k of revenue performing to only 300 viewers.’ Similary, artists have been exploring subscription businesses, witnessed by the growth of musicians on Patreon, let alone the myriad other platforms available in this space.

There’s a big opportunity for the music industry to siphon some of the money not spent on live events/tours towards virtual-related channels.

Ai powered platforms are also now personalized communication with simplified registration (artist vs. fan), facial recognition technologies for security matters, AR and VR adaptations for anything from full wall projections to 360-degree indoor art installations, live translations, and more secure data collection. All this to bridge the artist/ fan digital gap. 

Goldman Sachs, whose Lisa Yang recently said that while the global concert sector loses around 75% of its value this year, they’ll have recovered by 2022. It seems important to note here, however, that consumer habits may have changed permanently and a recession may mean people will have to make hard choices: that gig or a meal out? That festival or a holiday?

Although 2020 has been a challenging and disruptive year for most industries – including many segments of E&M – it is clear that consumer demand for the varied and expanding array of media choices now on offer continues to grow. It’s also clear that as normality slowly returns, there will continue to be winners and losers.



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