I’m guessing if you read this, you follow a fair few gun/shooting related channels. I don’t subscribe to a whole lot of them, probably less than a dozen in total and a lot of them rarely post because they’re run by 1 dude just for the fun of it.
Now the basic headline story here is that the Wall Street Journal highlighted the fact that because YouTube puts ads before/around every video, various companies were having their products ‘associated’ with ISIS and neo-nazis etc etc, so some huge brands pulled hundreds of millions in revenue from YouTube, not far off a billion USD. It would seem this caused YT to have a big rethink about how and where ads are placed and in the process of implementing an even more mysterious, unexplained algorithm for monetisation, gun channels have done very badly indeed (even worse than they were doing before vs the so-called ‘family friendly’ generic content).
All the big channels I subscribe to have uploaded in the past few days talking about this and a lot of them are asking for more support via the likes of patreon since they’ll now be making either zero money from ads, or very little. This also affects airsofters since if a channel primarily promotes/discusses airsoft guns, they fall in to the same bracket as real guns as far as YT’s rules go.
This could definitely hurt viewers in terms of a loss of content to watch, but whether any big channels completely disappear or change dramatically remains to be seen. My personal perspective is that, to an extent, some people have been unthinkingly riding the gravy train on YouTube and social media in general for a long time now and were really, really naive to think it would last forever. Basing essentially your entire livelihood around that sort of thing was never a smart move, it was always too fragile a platform if you’re in the realm of anything that looks like a gun.
Despite the view/sub numbers clearly showing that, globally, people want to see firearms and airsoft, a vocal minority of people (probably largely in the US) will never stop squealing about how a bolt action bb gun is definitely 1 small step away from being converted to an automatic high-capacity assault weapon ideal for mass shootings.
Personally I made so little off YouTube that losing (for example) 50% of that money means nothing to me, it’s a miniscule percentage of what I earn in my actual job. I’ll carry on uploading gear reviews, the occasional shooting video and the occasional airsoft video as and when I’m able to, want to, and feel it makes sense. It’ll certainly be interesting to see how this affects the sphere of ‘gun guys’ on social media and around the internet as a whole.