YouTube Rewind 2019: A glorified Top 10 video

It’s that time of year again where YouTube gets the platform’s biggest creators together in one celebratory video. Although, this year after a horrifically disliked 2018 video, YouTube seems to have taken a bit of a back seat…

It’s basically a Top 10

Now, I’m all for a Top 10, it’s classic, timeless and gets the point across. For YouTube though, I feel it’s a bit of a cop out. From fear of repeating last year’s reputation, the company states at the beginning that it is to focus on the people that we do like because “you’re better at this than we are”.

YouTube rewind 2019
The beginning of the video makes a mention to their 2018 version. Photo: YouTube

It’s a nice sentiment but it just seems disappointing to me. A good few years ago the rewind was great, funny and celebrated the creativity of its creators that made the year memorable. In 2018 however, it was an awkward mess and one that didn’t resonate with even the creators who were featured.

The 2019 version has good intentions. YouTube has come at it from the point of view that too much production and polish can make the rewind something more than it’s not – a celebration of creativity. Because that’s what the platform is all about. Creativity.

In it however, it is devoid of creativity. Ok, it solely focuses on creator videos but how its done is just – meh. It hasn’t gone down well with the community either. As of writing this article and the video being available for less than a day, YouTube Rewind 2019 has 3.2 million dislikes 🙁

Youtube Rewind 2018 dislikes
YouTube 2018 at the time of writing has over 17 million dislikes. Photo: Abundary

A look back to brighter times

If we walk down memory lane to a naive 2016, the YouTube Rewind celebrates creativity in a way that worked. We see some of the greatest interact with YouTube’s brand in a collaborative way, coming together as a community of creators who really wanted to be there.

Youtube Rewind 2016
YouTube Rewind 2016 had a great story where creators interacted with the brand and coming together as one. Photo: YouTube

Move to today, and we are left with a bland, uncelebratory list with snazzy titles and motion graphics. See for yourself below.

Perhaps we’re in a feedback loop where YouTube can’t win. The YouTube community is notorious for highlighting the bad and although YouTube held up its hands, it perhaps was that that pulled it down from the beginning. YouTube thought stripping back was what we wanted, but it’s exactly that that we don’t want. I mean, there’s plenty of compilation videos already on the platform. Maybe YouTube doesn’t really know its audience all that well?

What do you think of YouTube Rewind 2019? Do you agree?


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