The re-grouping of content on YouTube continues apace, upending the playing field for some content creators and raising concerns about content discovery amid the platform’s “tunneling effect,” says iCrossing’s Jeff Ratner.

“I think YouTube is creating their own stratification of their content. Obviously, they took to heart a lot of the brand safety challenges of last year, became more the content cop,” Ratner observes in this interview with Beet.TV. at the Digital Content NewFronts 2018.

Using both technology and human intervention, YouTube has been “creating tiers of content and adding in that brand safety layer. I think it’s still sitting on their roots in their ability to create stars out of individual content publishers and each of those guys developing their own channels and their own brands.”

Whether monetization for content creators on YouTube is an opportunity as opposed to a right is a matter of much debate. Either way, YouTube’s changing policies “pushed a lot of these guys kind of out of the business and out of the space,” says Ratner. “So I think there has been a leveling up of this sponsorable content within YouTube.”

Nonetheless, Ratner, who is Chief Media Officer at the Hearst-owned marketing agency, wonders about the discoverability of content in a sea of choices for consumers.

“As you start looking at whether it is through OTT or these channels of layering more and more content, more and more channels into the ecosystem, how are consumers going to be able to find it?”

YouTube often has “a tunneling effect,” Ratner adds. “You start watching a video of a certain nature and a certain type and then all of a sudden, you’re just seeing hundreds of videos there. And you almost end up with your own blinders on in terms of the content that you might have watched once or twice or whatever.

“How are new types of content getting exposed to consumers and how they become part of an individual’s content consumption ecosystem?”

This video is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of the Digital Content NewFronts 2018. The series a co-presentation of Beet.TV and the IAB. Please see additional videos from the series on this page.