The Jenna Marbles Paradox: Why Are YouTube Videos So Terrible?


offthemedia-1It’s been nearly seven years since YouTube first launched its “Partners Program,” a platform for YouTube creators that gives them a portion of revenue made on their videos, and nearly two years since Google invested more than $100M in YouTube content producers. Despite this financial influx, the quality of content on YouTube has stagnated somewhere between “awful” and “downright terrible.”

Call it the Jenna Marbles paradox, after the top YouTuber profiled in the New York Times earlier this year who, after more than one billion views and millions earned in ad revenue, still makes some of the most amateur videos you can imagine. As she put it, she makes “more money than I need, ever” and yet, if you had no idea who she was and watched one of her million-views-plus videos, you’d think this was the first time she’d ever turned on a video camera.

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