Status Update 2 on the MusicalWolfe Channel
My name is Maximillian Laumeister, and I go by the name MusicalWolfe on YouTube.
In 2010 I started a YouTube channel full of original music and Minecraft videos. It got relatively popular.
In 2015 I had a bad experience with YouTube unjustly deleting my videos, so I moved all my videos to my own website. Please read my article about YouTube to learn the details of my case plus others that this has happened to.
And of now (2018) I am choosing to upload to YouTube again, though I can’t promise a regular schedule.
Q: I thought you were leaving YouTube for good. Why did you come back?
A: By moving my videos to my own site, it became very cumbersome to manage/upload them, and nobody really interacted with them the way they do on YouTube. I was getting <5% of the views and <1% of the comments that I did on YouTube. Moving back to YouTube is the decision I am making to keep my audience.
Q: I thought you decided to leave based on the way they are mistreating their creators.
A: That’s true, but I realized that I was going to need to compromise in order to do what I really find important, which is sharing my music. It would be silly for a soccer player to turn down a competition based on FIFA’s corruption or for a singer to turn down American Idol based on their heavy-handed contract. It’s different since I wouldn’t call myself a professional musician or YouTube necessarily a bad company, but I just don’t think it’s the right choice to turn down the platform that is going to give me the best, most consistent audience for what I do, even if it’s flawed.
Q: But even when you had your own video site, you went 3 years without uploading?
A: It started out as me being annoyed at how YouTube was treating its creators, but I was planning to still make periodic videos for my own site. Then I had a long, drawn-out health issue and just didn’t really have the energy to deal with that and also make music. After that I was employed part time as I was recovering my health, then I had another health scare. To put it shortly, I have been forced to focus intensely on my health for the last few years and for the most part I just haven’t really had the creative energy to make music. I am very grateful that after all that, I am able to sit here and make a couple more songs!
Q: Yo. Just read your FAQ. I think that while it’s cool you’re back, you’re going to have suffered due to this intermission. This video will get much less views than it would have 3-4 years ago, and that goes for subsequent ones. The audience that you captured with those old videos might have found new wells of content to listen to. Especially with minecraft being in a weird spot nowadays, not being popular, but at the same time always being, which would make it hard to make noteblock songs again leaving the music box videos, but I don’t know whether those will or won’t pull through for garnering an audience. This aside, cool to see you again, had to keep your Epic Finale 8-Bit Original on a Youtube playlist of cool songs so that I could keep listening to that great song.
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A: You’re not wrong. To be honest the shrinkage of my audience kind of puts me in a better and worse place at the same time. On one hand I’ve lost a lot of my views/reach, but on the other hand I’m not beholden to my subscribers for the kind of content I put out. No longer will I have a day where I think “well, I would rather rest today instead of making a video, but I gotta push through because this is what pays the bills”, like I did occasionally back when I was in college and YouTube was my only source of income. No longer will I think “I want to try something experimental today that I am not sure people will like, but I’m not going to because if it flops, my pay (likes->subs->revenue) will get docked”. So in that respect a smaller audience and the severing of my financial tie to YouTube is a bit freeing.
I admit that it would be very difficult for me to put up a video and not get even a single like on it. But as long as I enjoyed making my music and someone else appreciates it, as long as I get a single like on my songs, if it puts a smile on at least one other person’s face, that’s all that should really matter at the end of the day (and some would even argue that all that REALLY matters at the end of the day is if I learned anything about myself or music-making from the song I made, even if I hate it and it were to get 0 views and 0 likes). I can still pinpoint the moment back in 2011 when I suddenly realized “this isn’t my channel anymore, it’s my viewers’ channel, they want mostly note blocks with a few songs and I want mostly songs with a few note blocks”. Now I have a chance to start over with a clean slate and take this channel back to its roots, which is to publish stuff that I make for myself for my own creative fulfillment, but that I think others would enjoy.
So to answer your comment, (1) I already have an audience, it’s this wonderful, positive, small group of people here who care enough to view and comment and click like on my videos, I am very grateful that you all are still here and your wonderful comments are part of what keeps me going! And when I say “small group”, I mean, we get jaded by the scale of the internet but this video already has 235 views and that is a HUGE amount of people, I might as well be performing in a small concert hall! I don’t have millions of viewers anymore but I do still have some of the most wonderful, positive and understanding viewers. (2) My lack of putting out music for the last 3 years wasn’t really as much of a conscious choice as a symptom of my bad health. When you feel like absolute crap for months on end, creative inspiration doesn’t come very naturally. There would be no point in making music if I wasn’t really feeling it, no point in trying to force it. (3) There’s no reason I can’t grow my audience again. The biggest thing I have learned about myself through my health crisis is that I am relentlessly clever, very stubborn, and more unbreakably resilient than I could have ever thought possible. So if I want to grow my audience bigger again, I will re-embark on that journey, and the second time around I will have all the tricks up my sleeve. Back in the day the vast majority of my viewers were from non-subscribers anyways, such as from Reddit and the YouTube related videos bar. This video I am looking forward to sharing with Reddit’s /r/papermario soon. Thank you for writing this comment to me so I could really think about and articulate all of this! Life doesn’t always wrap up neatly but I believe that there are always positives to be found.
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To listen to my latest music, please check out my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/musicalwolfe