Oh No, Now YouTube Can Become an NFT Marketplace Too – Review Geek
Make some space; another website joins the NFT train! In a public letter YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki outlined YouTube’s goals for 2022 and expressed the company’s interest in helping creators “capitalize” on NFTs. But it doesn’t look like the company will copy Twitter’s NFT avatars. Instead, it can develop an NFT marketplace that allows people to buy NFTs from videos.
Producer revenue is central to The letter from Susan Wojcicki. She spends a lot of time discussing how the platform will develop alternative revenue streams in 2022, which should reduce creators’ (and YouTube’s reliance) on advertising. Today, these alternate revenue streams include fan-centric features such as: Channel Membershipsbut in the future they will be more focused on shopping.
“We are investing to make YouTube the next generation of commerce,” says Wojcicki. That means the experimental of the site needs to be expanded shop function, that allows creators to sell products in their live video streams. Here’s the gist of the Shopping feature: every time a live makeup tutorial mentions a product, a small “Buy Now” box will pop up, but clicking this box won’t take you away from the video . It’s like YouTube mixed with QVC.
It’s easy to see how this Shopping feature can be extended to NFTs. Wojcicki clearly states that YouTube “wants to help creators take advantage of emerging technologies, including things like NFTs,” while still keeping in touch with their fans. Unless YouTube is talking about NFT profile pictures, which is questionable, it’s probably referring to NFTs that you can buy while watching videos or live streams.
The reaction to this announcement is quite predictable. Those knee-deep in crypto are thrilled, but most people are mad at YouTube for showing interest in NFTs and blockchain technology.
Criticisms mostly focus on NFT scams, which are already easy to realize without an integrated YouTube NFT marketplace. If people can buy NFTs through YouTube, we will almost certainly see a plethora of scam videos on the platform (which will be hard to identify now that YouTube is hiding video dislikes).
Of course, the environmental impact of blockchain is also a major point of criticism. Crypto firms promise that the blockchain will not be as labor intensive in the future, but at the time of writing, the average NFT has a carbon footprint equal to the monthly electricity consumption of a European household. And yes, that carbon footprint gets bigger every time the NFT is traded. (Somewhat ironically, Susan Wojcicki’s letter also discusses: Google’s commitment on sustainability.)
It is worth noting that the NFT culture is already profitable on YouTube. There is no shortage of NFT influencers on the platform, and some of these influencers make money by selling digital assets to their viewers. YouTube is basically guaranteed to make a profit if it enters this space.
Which brings us to our unfortunate conclusion: if YouTube opens an NFT marketplace, it won’t face financial ruin if viewers’ NFTs fall in value. The company will allow people to gamble their money, and it will take advantage of this opportunity. And that sucks.