Sex sells. Whether selling a luxury car, bottle of expensive perfume or even a double bacon cheeseburger, sex appeal somehow finds its way to many advertisements to entice consumers to purchase a product or follow a brand. While companies have been utilizing the concept of selling sex appeal for decades, conservative groups have also tried hiding the improper parts of human nature from the youth. Over the years Youtube has gained a lot of backlash for their monetization policy becoming more strict every year. Since advertisement revenue is a significant source of the company’s earnings, the video-sharing platform wants to protect their coins at any cost which puts creators in a dilemma of choosing money over art.

Back in June five members of a drill group named 1011 were given severe restrictions on what they could put on Youtube. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick worked with Youtube to start a mass deletion of drill music (specifically 1011’s catalogue) from the site. For people unfamiliar with the genre, drill music is a darker, more violent iteration of trap music. It originated in the South Side of Chicago as a way for artists to reflect on their harsh realities over hard hitting beats and now the genre is universal with prominence in the U.K. and London hip hop scene.

Now for the parents out there who have children mindlessly watching Youtube videos daily, it makes sense why they don’t want vulgar or violent content on the platform and since the younger demographics pulls in the most revenue for the company, Youtube will act accordingly. But in real life you can’t hide your children from the negative parts of the world. As gun heavy as these drill videos are, so many important dialogues could start from this “inappropriate” content and artists should be able to have the opportunity to monetize their music if it’s making an impact. Not every singer or rapper is destined for politically correct, Billboard destined success but that doesn’t mean their stories are less valuable or not needed in the culture.

Surprisingly Pornhub might be the saviour for creative freedom. Since the drill music ban, videos of 1011 and other drill artists are being uploaded to the raunchy site. The site obviously gets a lot of attention because once again, sex sells and brands that aren’t stigmatized by the site’s content can gain a diverse demographic of people to consume their videos and ads. In 2016 the Italian brand Diesel advertised their latest denim collection on the site. The company’s artistic director Nicola Formichetti told I-D Magazine, “The message is simple; before you jerk off, look at this.” Last year Pornhub received 28.5 billion visitors and 81 million daily average visits. Aside from the extremely high traffic, Pornhub has also diversified their brand into a number of avenues including a record label and clothing brand. At the end of the day I’m all for artists being able to monetize their work. Age restrictions were created for a reason and I’d be surprised to hear that brands don’t want to to associate with creators who get millions of views on their videos which leads to more money for both parties. Independent artists have the ability to gain a following with Youtube if the platform isn’t working against them. Think about some of the biggest artists who got their start on the site by sharing covers and original songs. Justin BieberThe Weeknd and Alessia Caraare a few examples but the next big thing could be out there and they deserve to have their music heard and valued by as many ears as possible. Don’t let too many creators click away Youtube, there are only so many cat videos a person can watch.

Article By: Marcel Jeremiah