YouTube cancels its much-maligned Rewind once and for all

Did you really expect a comeback after the 2018 debacle?

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YouTube scrapped its Rewind 2020 video due to COVID-19 and social unrest, but it's not coming back now that the turmoil is (partly) calming down. As Tubefilter first confirmed, YouTube is cancelling its year-end Rewind videos once and for all. The service insists it's not due to the blowback from Rewind 2018, however. Rather, YouTube is reportedly so large that it would be impractical to summarize the site with a yearly video.

The Google-owned brand will instead trust creators like MrBeast and Slayy Point to produce end-of-year videos, and promote them through social networks. You'll also see annual trend lists, awards shows and a currently mysterious "interactive experience."

Rewind debuted in 2010 and was popular for most of its history as a snapshot of the online zeitgeist. That all fell apart with Rewind 2018, however. Many felt the video both ignored major creators like Pewdiepie and had more than a few cringe-worthy moments (Will Smith's "oh, that's hot" haunts people to this day). When YouTube returned with Rewind 2019, it abdicated editorial control and let the statistics guide the content to the frustration of viewers. Even if YouTube is right about the site becoming too large for Rewind, the demand just isn't what it used to be — a revival might not have much of an impact.