Friday, July 7, 2017

2017-07-07-120 E-Begging Ain’t Begging Anymore…

People still seem to get upset about e-begging.  What is e-begging?  It’s an outright request for voluntary contributions over the Internet.  These contributions are not considered charity of any sort especially by the government unless the e-beggar is a registered charitable organization with the government.  So those who are not registered charities must declare all contributions received as income and those who donate cannot deduct these contributions from their taxes.  This is considered e-begging.

It’s been said that beggars on the streets can make a LOT of money.  And furthermore, it is all off the books because it is all cash.  Naturally, this irks the government because it receives no tax revenues from this cash income.  And if beggars can do well with a cup and a sign on a street sidewalk then web sites or YouTube channels can do so much better.  The worldwide exposure allows e-begging to really pull in the big bucks.

But there is a major difference between street beggars and e-beggars.  One gets nothing from street beggars.  Oh, some may play instruments and some may do magic or other such street performances.  But most sit in their own squalor and dirt begging for assistance of any sort.  They play upon the good nature of the people passing by them.  And the worst of these are the aggressive beggars who pick on people for a few bucks and get upset if they don’t get what they want.

On the other hand, e-beggars usually present a service of some kind over the Internet which they are trying to support and produce.  More than anything else this harkens back to the days of the supported artists of the 15th and 16th centuries.  Artists were supported by wealthy patrons who would provide them funds to live on as they worked to create their art.  The artists could concentrate on their art rather than have to work a job to support themselves.  Patrons were rewarded for their favors by being associated with the artists themselves and they perhaps shared in the receipts of any art that the artist should successfully sell.  And most of today’s e-begging takes this form and as such it is not really begging.

The reason for this post is that recently a long time YouTuber posted a video that he was going to drop the services of his Patreon account.  Patreon is a web site which provides Internet users with a way of accepting donations for the purpose of supporting the users.  Anyone can open a Patrion account and begin requesting contributions.  But they must keep in mind that these contributions are deemed as income by the federal government and must be declared on taxes as income.  Since this is all digitally recorded, the e-beggar cannot sneak the income into the wallet as cash like the street beggars can.

But this particular YouTuber could no longer stand the accusations of being called an e-beggar, getting cash for nothing and living well on it.  So he decided to drop his Patreon account.  He decided that he would no longer accept those kind of contributions and close his account.  And this is the source of this post.

The fact is that users get a product or a service from the support of the web site or the YouTube channel.  YouTube used to be a great place to set up a channel and begin producing video content.  If the Internet like your channel you would draw a lot of views, a lot of subscribers and with this you would draw a lot of automated YouTube advertising.  A successful YouTube channel could self-fund the creator of content by the advertising dollars.

But all this has now changed on YouTube.  And it will most likely change across the Internet as well.  The reason is that the YouTube advertising scheme ran from YouTube algorithms which ascertained popularity as the means of assigning advertisers to a YouTube channel.  YouTube has gone extremely political now.  As a result, many advertisers have pulled their advertising on YouTube until YouTube can guarantee that the ad revenue from their ads will not go to YouTube channels which they find offensive.  And this has decimated the YouTube platform now.  YouTubers who used to receive great income streams from advertising revenues have seen their incomes drop significantly, in some cases completely.  All YouTubers are affected by this.

One way around this is with the patron form of support.  And you will find many if not most YouTubers now promoting Patreon accounts.  Most free web sites also request for support of their sites through the use of contributions.  It seems like this is going to be the next wave in revenues over the Internet.  And what of it.  If you like the channel enough to send the content producer a few bucks then what of it to those who find it objectionable.  What is it to them?  It’s only jealousy.  That’s all.  It’s jealousy that some people can produce high demand content while they can’t.  So they resort to name calling and all sorts of accusations.  But what of it?

The patron system may be the better solution than the advertising solution.  But this will cut YouTube out of the revenue stream entirely.  YouTube will find itself providing the access to content but no longer benefiting from that access to content.

Maybe this is why YouTube is reconstructing itself into a Hulu or Netflix type service.  They want to sell YouTubers subscription services and convert from a free service to a paid service.  Already, YouTube has created two pay services.  One is advertising free service.  For about $10 a month Youtube will restrict all advertising to your viewing.  The other service is a monthly paid service to access television type programs.  Some will be first time content created for YouTube by professional producers in Hollywood.  The rest will simply be repeated movies that we have already seen on cable TV a million times.

I can see a time when YouTube begins shutting down all of the free accounts in favor of all those paying fees to access YouTube.  But I won’t be one of them.  Too bad because this is really going to ruin the Internet.  But maybe that’s what they want now.
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Commentary, e-begging, begging, contributions, patrons, YouTube, Patreon, revenues, income, content production, Internet, profit, loss, money, cash,
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