My observation about how YouTube's demonetization actually shows a way to reward creators without the need for advertisers.
Youtube, while failing on the Ads side of things, has shown us that creators are willing to put their stuff out for free with the promise of making it one day.
Every serious youtuber's dream is to be able to do what they love full time, which currently takes form of them setting up a Patreon, which means their videos can be demonitized but they still get some money out of it from their followers.
I support a few youtubers that way, but right now it seems very inefficient, since I am paying those that I may not be watching right now and not paying those that I am watching (since I watch only few of their videos).
Which I consider unfair but its too much hassle for me to manage this every month.
So going one step further, I would prefer to give a fraction of a cent to each video I saw, but that means it has to be automated. By YouTube or a third party.
That way, everyone gets paid by their viewers in proportion of how much time the viewer spent watching their videos.
You may say - but what about those animators that produce short content vs someone who makes 20 minute rants?
Well, how about you choose the default way of dividing up your contribution yourself, how does that sound?
The user would decide how much to divide each month (say 1 usd), and then they would have options about how to divide it:
- each video gets amount equivalent to how much time you spend it it
- each video gets amount equivalent to how much time you spend it it + 2x boost if you liked it
- only reward videos you liked
- only reward videos you liked + videos by authors you're subscribed to
Or even another model, it only has to sound fair to you, since you're the one who is willing to part with the money. But it has to be semi, or fully automated.
You don't even have to pay for anything, I would still keep the free option, or even give users the ability to spend less than a dollar monthly contributing to the creators.
And for the left-minded, you could choose a model that gives more to the small channels and less to the big ones. I watch smaller channels way more than the big ones so its not really an issue for me.