YouTube Rewind 2019

Another year, another disappointment

Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Jackie LaMastra

YouTube seemed to drop the ball on their annual rewind video…again. Bouncing back from 2018 YouTube Rewind, which has over 17 million dislikes, the most ever on the platform, is a daunting task, and one they could not accomplish.

YouTube Rewind’s purpose is to provide a recap of the year’s trends, videos, memes and music. They seemed to accomplish this in several of their first “rewinds,” garnering thousands of likes with fewer dislikes, peaking in 2014 with over 1.6 million likes compared to 81 thousand dislikes. Since then, these videos have been sharply decreasing in popularity with the lowest point being the past two installments.

This year’s video opens up mocking the 2018 edition with people expressing their negativity towards the video, followed by the line, “In 2018, we made something you didn’t like. For Rewind 2019, let’s see what you DID like.” YouTube seemed to have a foolproof plan to accomplish this: making a list. The video provides a list of the top-viewed creators, new creators, music videos, gaming videos, etc. But, instead of capturing these trends in a creative way, they chose to list them—nothing more, nothing less.

If I wanted to look up who was the most watched YouTuber this year, I could, easily. But that’s not what the viewers wanted and that’s not what these videos are about, with the exception of the first video in 2010.

What made these videos a YouTube trademark was their ability to bring together all different genres from all over the world in a celebration of the landmarks and top YouTubers of that year. Universally beloved YouTubers all sharing the screen together was a cool idea for viewers to see and not having them all interact together in the video this year was a major letdown.

YouTube Rewind is notorious for its large budget and hundreds of YouTubers starring in the video. By just making a list instead of showcasing all of the people who have devoted their time to making YouTube what it is today comes off as lazy and cheap. In addition to this, making a list of the biggest YouTubers or which videos got the most likes ensures that only the dominant figures would be featured rather than having more lesser known creators, potentially giving them more exposure to a larger audience.

The video came off sounding like a WatchMojo video, a popular channel known for its top-ten videos, as opposed to the classic YouTube Rewind. This makes the video seem divided as each genre of YouTube got its own section, counterintuitive to YouTube Rewind’s original goal of bringing the YouTube community closer together.

In addition to this, the video was boring as it was predictable for anyone who watches YouTube as to who would be at the top of each list they presented.

With Youtube Rewind 2019 already amassing over 7.7 million dislikes, it is clear this video is not popular. With that being said, hopefully YouTube Rewind 2020 will take all the criticism of this video into consideration and make a better product, as there is definitely room for improvement.