Some of you Americans out there have stopped shooting each other long enough to notice that certain K-pop and J-pop videos are blocked on YouTube. So, what’s going on? Why is this happening? Is there justice in this world? How will you survive?
Well as dumb as this whole thing may be, KPOPALYPSE is here to tell you not to panic.
I’ve never made a post especially catering to my American readers, but they represent a sizable minority of readers, so here’s a little post just for them! Yay!
Here’s a video of Lovelyz’s “Ah-Choo”.
What a great song. Pity you can’t watch it if you’re American, as Woollim Entertainment‘s channel is blocked at the moment in the USA (although it may be fixed by the time you read this, see below), and they’re not the only ones.
So why is this happening?
Until recently, all YouTube content was free to watch, but anyone who was uploading content and agreed to have paid advertising randomly inserted before or during their videos could earn a small sum of that advertising revenue from YouTube themselves. The amount of money possible to earn isn’t that large — Psy earned about $2 million from two billion YouTube views, so assuming that’s the normal kind of rate, one million views would get you $1000. However, a little bit of money is better than no money, so most content providers who get decent web traffic signed on for this enterprise.
Despite all this advertising everywhere, YouTube actually doesn’t make any net profit and never has, so some bright sparks at YouTube thought it would be a good idea to launch a new subscription-based model called YouTube Red to help change this.
Yes, for $9.95 per month, YouTube Red subscribers get the following:
-No advertising (because they hope like hell that you haven’t heard of AdBlock Plus).
-The ability to watch YouTube in the background on a mobile device (because watching a video while not watching a video is important).
-Exclusive video content (which at the time of writing hasn’t yet been created, but it involves shit vloggers overacting again).
New Tanaka Hitomi webcams each week. Edit: Sorry, I was thinking of RedTube.
Of course, you’re an intelligent, streetwise Asian pop fan, so you’re not going to want to pay for any of this fucking crap. No, you just want to watch Lovelyz and INFINITE videos, but thanks to this now you can’t. YouTube says that their video experience shouldn’t change for people who watch for free, so why has it changed?
Here’s where it gets a little complicated, and hopefully I can explain this in a way that isn’t as confusing as Kei’s headwear choices:
The problem is that content creators who have already signed up to the existing ad-carrying deal now have to re-sign to a new deal so that anyone who is subscribed to YouTube Red can have ad-free status and is legally exempt from seeing the advertising that was previously agreed that all users would see. Most content creators have signed this agreement happily, but not all of them.
If a content creator doesn’t agree to the new terms, this means that YouTube can’t legally make their video available to ad-free YouTube Red subscribers, which means that anyone on the new subscription deal paying $9.95 actually gets less content than free users do, rather than more! This obviously makes YouTube look like a bunch of fucking morons, and since YouTube probably doesn’t like looking like a bunch of fucking morons, they have decided to level the playing field for their viewership by setting the videos to private of anyone who doesn’t agree to the new terms, therefore YouTube Red subscribers and normal viewers both get the same (crippled) access to existing content rather than YouTube Red subscribers getting slightly less.
So your access to certain Asian pop videos has been revoked because YouTube have geniusly backed themselves into a corner with existing agreements and now need to legally weasel their way forward.
But I wouldn’t lose hope for at least three reasons.
The Situation Is Probably Temporary As Fuck
The main reason why labels such as Woolim, Brave Brothers, J-Tune Camp, and others haven’t signed onto the new deal is probably language barrier. They likely just didn’t know what the fuck it all meant, and let’s be honest, do YOU read carefully and respond to every piece of bullshit that Microsoft, Google, or whoever throws into your inbox?
Expect most, if not all of them, to sign onto the new YouTube Red deal over the next few days once they realise that there’s an impact to their viewer base going on. K-pop companies* like having international fans, and they won’t want to jeopardise that, and once they agree to the new deal their videos will be unprivated and you can recommence fapping.
*J-pop companies are, um, slightly more weird about these things so we’ll pump the brakes on assuming their compliance.
There Are Ways Around This Shit
Ah, the most important reality.
Ask the Germans about this option, since they’ve had pretty much all of YouTube’s music content blocked since day one. The YouTube Red blocking only affects USA viewers right now, so a proxy server can make it look like your computer is from another country (just don’t pick Germany).
There are plenty of proxy services to choose from, just don’t use Hola, which is a piece of shit that allows you to be held legally liable for other people downloading illegal stuff. Lots of users recommend Tor Browser, but to be honest KPOPALYPSE is not an expert in this area, and other sites may be more helpful*.
*Editor’s Note: IATFB uses Private Internet Access, and besides this shit, you should be using something like this anyway.
Worst Case Scenario, Companies Will Rise To The Challenge
Unlike the Japanese market (sorry again, but they will likely realize sooner than later as well), Korean agencies value the global reach that YouTube gave them and actually want you to watch their shit for free. Most companies host their videos on more than one channel, and if YouTube tanks completely for their purposes by pay-walling everything and the cat, you can expect to see K-pop agencies take up a different streaming service in response like DailyMotion, Vimeo, or something else. You can also watch K-pop videos on Korean video portals, if you can navigate them.
For instance, here’s Lovelyz’s “Ah-Choo” on the 1theK channel.
If the video link earlier didn’t work, this one might, because unlike Woollim, 1theK has agreed to the new YouTube Red terms.
See, not so bad after all no matter how dumb YouTube is being. Now you Americans can get back to the important things in life like eating apple pie and shooting things.