YouTube Rewind — the company’s annual year-end round-up of trends, creators, memes, and the most popular videos on the site — has been canceled for good, the company confirmed to TubeFilter today.
Instead, YouTube will “refocus our energies on celebrating you and the trends that make YouTube [fire emoji] with a different and updated kind of experience,” although the company didn’t elaborate further on what it’ll be replacing Rewind with.
YouTube will also be relying on creators on its platform to fill the gap, with a spokesperson telling TubeFilter that it’ll “continue to be inspiring to see the myriad of ways the most creative content producers in the world — our YouTube creators — encapsulate the end of year in their video recaps, as YouTube retires its own Rewind video.”
The news of YouTube canceling Rewind permanently isn’t a huge surprise. The company already took off 2020, citing the difficulties of the year: “2020 has been different. And it doesn’t feel right to carry on as if it weren’t.”
But Rewind had already been struggling long before the pandemic. 2018’s video was viciously panned by the YouTube community (to this day, it remains the most disliked video ever posted to the platform). Creators argued that the company was shifting focus from the “real community” — including controversial creators like Logan Paul and PewDiePie — in favor of more advertiser-friendly choices.
And 2019’s video attempted to skirt controversy entirely by shifting its format from the big-budget mashup of YouTubers from years past to a more ordinary (and boring) list of clips of most-watched creators, videos, and trends.
But whether well-received or endlessly dunked on, Rewind videos have been a big part of YouTube’s culture for the past decade. Hopefully, whatever YouTube does end up doing to replace its big year-end celebration ends up a little less controversial going forward.