This week, YouTube has officially become the top grossing app on the App Store, for the first time in the app’s history. The app had previously only hit number 3 in the charts, but it has never been the top grossing app for iOS. The app has been slowly making its way up the charts over the past few years, but what seems to have really pushed it to the top is the platform’s YouTube Red video subscription. In fact, a month after YouTube Red launched in 2015, the YouTube client for iOS jumped to number 6 in the top grossing list. Or is there something else? YouTube has made a lot of changes over the last year or so, and I wonder if that’s contributed to the increase. Or, a lot of people more people are cord-cutting, so perhaps YouTube TV is gaining in popularity.
There was a time when YouTube was struggling. Maybe not from a subscription perspective, but in general it’s had its fair share of problems lately. That said, they have put a few things in place in order to help be a better app. For example, back in January, YouTube updated their YouTube Partner Program and Google Preferred program. In that, there was an important update on how YouTube will treat user-uploaded videos (UGC) that specifically looks at your copyrighted content. In an attempt to simplify things, YouTube will no longer show ads on content that has been claimed as UGC until the content has been manually reviewed and approved by the YouTube monitoring team.
Not only that, but there was a time when people were publishing some highly sensitive content. This, understandably caused a lot of outrage. Think Logan Paul and his insensitive video about the suicide forest in Japan (to name one). YouTube has since changed their Community Guidelines. YouTube aims to deal more swiftly and decisively with the offending creators from now on. This is to ensure that the video platform stays safe and respectable for all users. I mean, there are certain things that we shouldn’t have to see on YouTube, and Logan Paul (in my opinion) is one of them. If you do misuse the platform, there are new disciplinary actions that YouTube will take.
- Premium Monetization Programs, Promotion, and Content Development Partnerships: YouTube may remove a channel from Google Preferred and also suspend, cancel or remove a creator’s YouTube Original show.
- Monetization and Creator Support Privileges: YouTube may suspend a channel’s ability to serve ads, ability to earn revenue and potentially remove a channel from the YouTube Partner Program, including creator support and access to YouTube Spaces.
- Video Recommendations: YouTube may remove a channel’s eligibility to be recommended on YouTube, such as appearing on your homepage, trending tab or watch next.
While I think that these things definitely helped, I think I should get back to YouTube Red for a moment. The subscription service is in the process of expanding to 100 countries. If you want to pay for the subscription, you won’t have to be exposed to all of those pesky ads. This particular strategy is turning YouTube into a music platform. Which is kind of how I use it, but I think everyone is different in this regard. All of these things, combined, certainly contributed to YouTube becoming the top grossing app in the App Store, and it will be interesting to see if they can hold onto it.