Why YouTube Rewind 2019 is Still a Flop

YouTube is a community that has been underappreciated since the beginning. Not being considered major media, those who work at YouTube have had to work hard to try and prove its value. At the end of the year, YouTube creates a video to showcase the diverse and valuable community throughout the year. This video works as a reflection on not only the content creators but also the wonderful work done with charities to even changing legislation. This tradition started in 2010 and the video was essentially just a top ten list of the most monumental videos on the platform for that year. At the time this video was a big deal with 2.8 million likes as of today, so when the next year rolled around, it was only natural that the company produces another video like this.   

In 2012, YouTube Rewind throughout the format of a list and started from scratch. Arguably one of the best rewinds ever, this video was a hit. The beauty of this video is they focused on a handful of popular trends while implementing influential content creators. However, this video arguably lacked the diversity aspect that people around the world wanted. Only having creators from the U.S. this video didn’t accurately represent what community YouTube was trying to convey to outsiders.   

My favorite YouTube rewind, and you can’t change my mind, is hands down in 2013. YouTube took the format from the 2012 video that worked so well, and they added a theme. Along with adding YouTubers around the world, the rewind play button was added to the video, making a constant theme throughout the flashback of the year's content. It’s just so fun to watch, you can’t help but have a big smile while reflecting on the blast from the past along with the rocking jams!  

Here is what happened with the 2018 rewind. Being the most disliked video on YouTube within a matter of hours, many people wondered what went wrong with the trusted format that had been working for so many years? We'll let me tell you, from a religious YouTube watcher, this video was not what we, as a community, we asked for. To start, this video was the longest rewind yet at a total of 8 minutes, which doesn’t seem like a lot at first but then you realize how overwhelming each second of the video is. For someone who is watching just to see the video, not to look for specific trends or content creators, this video is chaotic and is just a mash-up of literally everything. There was no theme, instead, there were hundreds of songs, and several mini themes, most of which were not popular or widely enjoyed. It was so disappointing to see such a beloved tradition, become such a mess. All the YouTubers that were in the video, were not all liked, most of which were just in the video because they make either clean content or they rake in the cash for the site with lots of revenue and ads. The video became less for the fans and more the advertisers and the mass media. A company that used to be an indie film platform, was now telling the world that they didn’t fit that title anymore when they could’ve been more wrong. This video alone, at 17 million dislikes, proved that the new administrators and higher-ups at YouTube didn’t know a single thing about what this community is and what we stand for or create.   

When this year came and went many people who watch YouTube were eager to see what would happen this year. Although the video was back to a shorter amount of time, the format went back to the list, the original 2010 format. This was so disappointing to watch since there was nothing wrong with the format of the videos in the past, but the content itself was the downfall. Seeing that they still couldn't find the content creators that make this platform so special just continues to prove that the officials at YouTube still know nothing about community. Currently, at 7 million dislikes, it is evident that I don’t just believe this too. Although the content is diverse and they highlight the wonderful moments with the charity events this year, there was no effort put into the delivery, which has been an issue in the past. 


My hopes for next year are that they go back to the format from 2013. The community needs to be appropriately represented through a handful of fun trends and popular music. Along with these key factors, there needs to be a section that proves why this platform is good, for example, Colleen Ballenger's childhood cancer fundraiser. Let's focus less on the corporation and more on the fanbase and the individuals who make this platform so special.