I could spend a lot of time experimenting to try to figure it out or I could make videos that are less controversial, which means avoiding topics that are super-important.” To keep the lights on, many queer vloggers have begun exploring other revenue streams.
Wavey, for example, relies on brand integration: Pharmaceutical companies, travel agencies, and gay dating apps reach out to him to plug their products.
“I refuse to change my content, but I’m making significantly less money,” Hardell tells New Now Next.
Even LGBT videos that perform well earn considerably less than they once would have: Frosch told that a video called “The Girlfriend Tag” earned just $20, despite racking up nearly 700,000 views.
The issues of monetization and restricting LGBT videos might seem distinct, but when You Tube sends the message that content is not suitable for a general audience, companies listen.
“My earnings had been slowly decreasing and then just fell off a cliff when the adpocalypse happened.
There are a lot of creators that are having to pick between making video content and being able to pay their bills.
“That she loved me and supported me meant so much.” Two days after her grandmother passed away, Armstrong received an automated email from You Tube informing her that the video wasn’t approved for monetization—the content wasn’t “advertiser-friendly.” It was the first of many such emails that Armstrong, one of the first transgender women to document her transition on You Tube, would receive.