YouTube Rewind 2019 Another Disappointment

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YouTube Rewind 2019 Another Disappointment

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Liam Mickulas-Mesco, Contributor

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It’s no secret people didn’t like 2018’s YouTube Rewind. Bad acting, overrated music, cringy dancing and too much political commentary amounted to a pretty terrible Rewind. The YouTube community decided that they wanted their voices heard (for real) and made the YouTube Rewind 2018 the most disliked video of all of YouTube. But nonetheless, a year later, 2019’s Rewind is the third most disliked video on the platform. What is YouTube doing wrong?

To understand why it failed, we need to understand what people wanted. In my article last year, I stated that 2019’s Rewind should include PewDiePie, be less of a narrative, and be more about the community. Now that it’s actually here, it’s time to go through what we were given and see where they went wrong.
The most common complaint about YTRW2019 is that it’s boring. Due to last year’s failure, YouTube decided to completely change the format of the Rewind. Instead of iconic YouTubers dancing to popular songs, YouTube opted for a low-energy “top ten” list of statistics you could look up on Socialblade.
The people that liked this Rewind are saying that it’s a throwback to YouTube Rewind 2010 which was also a top ten list. However, I would argue that this made the Rewind worse. In 2010, YouTube wasn’t as big as it is now. Viral videos were all people really knew the site for and making a top ten list was a fitting way to end the year. This doesn’t work in 2019. There are more viewers with diverse interests that can’t all be represented in one video. Given YouTube’s size, it makes sense that YouTube did what they did, but it doesn’t make what they did good.
The video itself was bad, but how YouTube handled criticism was even worse. On Twitter, they laughed at our disappointment with the Rewind, going as far as creating a Twitter thread of their favorite comments. Not only is this petty, but it’s disrespectful to the audience that YouTube has worked so hard to maintain.
Aside from these two issues, there isn’t much to say about the video. The biggest problems were that the video was uninteresting and the way YouTube handled damage control, if you can even call it that. YouTube has massacred something that was once a beautiful thing. The message used to be “creators coming together to celebrate the platform that they were on.” In 2019, it’s “it doesn’t matter what you want. We have the final say. You didn’t like last year? Too bad.” If we want YouTube to change it’s message, we need to make them understand who we are. At this point, nothing specific can save YouTube Rewind. No amount of Felix Kjellberg or K-Pop is going to stop people from feeling like YouTube doesn’t care about them. And that’s because they don’t.