Youtube Hates Animators! And 5 Ways to Survive! | The Rakusa Show Ep2

Category: Tips and Tricks | February 13, 2020 - Reading time: 7 minutes

YOUTUBE HATES ANIMATORS!  Structured their whole platform and algorithm in a way that it is just not worth the animator's time, working to fill their channel with animated content.  Even more so with COPPA and everything.  In this video, I will tell you why it is generally a bad idea to try and make money on Youtube as an animator.  I will get into the specifics.  And I will also reveal some lesser known techniques for animators to use to be able to survive and make a decent income from Youtube!

Now it is no secret anymore that Youtube hates animators.  WHY?  Well, they don't really hate animators.  It's just that the entire Youtube platform is structured in a way that puts animators at a disadvantage.  Youtube is about creating videos.  Whoever creates videos the fastest will give Youtube more content and long story short, those people will become the stars in the eyes of Youtube.  Animating is one of the most painstaking and time-consuming ways of creating videos.  But it's art, right?  Well, Youtube is not an art portal.  It's free for all video creators, including those using other more convenient methods of creating videos.  You know what I mean...

It's Not About Art, It's About Production Speed

On Youtube, whoever creates the longest, most catchy, most juicy, most emotional, most informative videos the fastest, WINS.  So, who can do that better?  An indie animator who prides herself in spending time perfecting her craft of creating eye-candy wow-worthy animation and creates 3 animated videos a year?  Or a random guy who records 3 videos per week?  Given both of them create videos that are interesting and of sufficient quality.  That random guy will have a lot more opportunities of hitting homepage with any of his videos 156 videos in the year, compared to the animator.  Just look at Jazza, the "animator" on Youtube who has 4.8 million subscribers.  Just look at his videos.  Do you see any animated shorts or episodes or series?  How many did you see?  

Creating animation is manually recreating motion within time and space using forms of art to be packaged into a video.  If that motion can be easily captured using video cameras or screen recorders, manual recreation will definitely lose out.  Unless the animation is so unique that it alone is worthy to be featured on Youtube for years, which only a handful of animation videos are able to achieve, it can never compare to a barrage of non-animation videos flooding the whole system.  To put this in another way, it is not a competition of who can handwash clothes the cleanest.  It is about who washes clean the most clothes. And you can guess the winner.  The one with the most washing machines.  That's not how it probably should be, but that's how Youtube sees it.  So you may feel like Youtube hates animators because they are not giving their work fair exposure and compensation and stuff.  But at the end of the day, Youtube is a business after all.  Whatever is best for business is good for them.  They don't care how good an animator you are.  If you can give them what they want, they'll promote you.  But it is just a lot more difficult for animators, compared to other types of Youtubers, to give them what they want, which is a lot of frequent video uploads contributing to watch time.  So, animators are basically climbing a steep mountain.  But that's just how it is on Youtube.  

Just take a look at these animations.  Very well made.  Look at how many views they got. ... And let's see how frequently they can upload videos. ... Of course, you might see animators who upload more frequently, but they will be using special techniques, sometimes compromising animation quality.  And then compare them to non-animators, recording videos instead.  ... Yeah but you may say, "Well, they're in different categories."  Yes, you are right.  But they are all essentially making videos on Youtube, for Youtube, and Youtube doesn't care if you have ninja skills to create out-of-this-world animation.  They just care if you make content for them.  Youtube is not Newgrounds!!

5 Techniques to Survive the Youtube Hate

So, what can you do about it, as an animator?  Well, here are 5 techniques that I have found that worked, to make gain more leverage on Youtube as an animator!

  1. Animated stories.  Ever heard of those?  Just do a simple Youtube search.  Here, I'll do it for you.  Cheap, low quality short animations, with controversial topics, with narration.  If you value quality a lot, you may not want to go down this road.  But if you just want to be called an animator and be successful on Youtube, this is one good and fast way!
  2. Follow the 80-20 rule.  Create mostly videos on animation tips, and maybe animation hardware product reviews.  And then 20% of your videos are featuring your own personal animation masterpieces.  That way, you can compete well with other non-animators and you can grow subscribers faster, whom you can show your awesome animations to!
  3. Forget about growing your Youtube channel to be self-sustaining.  Instead, upload your animation there just to showcase your work to get clients, or donors via patreon, or customers for your animation courses or products, and actually promote yourself using other means such as social media or offline.
  4. Creating Stock Animation.  Some animation sequences and rigs can be reused over and over again.  For example, talking heads, walk cycles, transitions, stills.  You don't need to draw the same character doing the same pose each time you encounter that pose in your storyboard.  You can reuse that animation and do simple adjustments to match your script.  That way, you can create animations a lot faster!  The downside to this technique is that your audience may feel the repetitiveness if you push this too far.
  5. Photo to artwork conversion.  Drawing backgrounds is one of the most painstaking and tedious work if you want to create high quality animated series, instead of backgroundless short animations.  But it takes really long to draw good backgrounds.  Outsourcing them would be pricey, even if you get concept artists to do the work.  But if you have a decent camera and can take photos, you can convert them to artwork.  May not be as good as drawing backgrounds from scratch, but the process is a lot simpler and faster.  You can outsource this work, or you can do it yourself using Photoshop or Krita if you know how, or you can use software to do it!

As you can see, Rakusa is a new Youtube channel.  But I've worked on and with other Youtube channels that got millions of views and thousands of subscribers, doing mainly animations.  I've also done research on many different successful channels, and these are my conclusions.  

I'll see you in the next episode of The Rakusa Show.

Credits for Youtube Videos and Channels Showcased in this Video

  • Omega Ep 3 by JTmovie
  • Reinz vs Telepurte (by Hun) by Hyun's Dojo Community
  • Duelist Demo - Noksen (by Noksen) by Hyun's Dojo Community
  • Jazza
  • The Daily Grind by Seth Nerd Animations
  • Qtp vs T1 by Zettai Absolute
  • E.I.E ANIMATIONS
  • Jerry Banfield
  • How to take Astrophotos on your Google Pixel 3a/3/4 by 9to5Google
  • My Story Animated
  • What Is Stock Animation? by Eduard Stinga
  • Photo to Watercolor Painting Effect (in 5 Seconds) by Pixivu
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