The perils of making a living on Youtube are getting more and more evident by the day. The Content-ID mess was one of the biggest stories of 2013, and half of it has to do with how Multi-Channel Networks (MCNs) like Machinima handle their talent. For example, affiliates are no longer as protected from copyright worries from their network, while managed partners are.
That is where Youtuber Clash comes into play. Today he released a very intriguing video laying into his MCN, Machinima, and how they handle lesser-known content creators within their network.
If you don’t have 17 minutes to view what should be a 5 minute video by a quicker speaker, here is a quick summary of what Clash is claiming:
- Machinima is bad when it comes to communication and support with affiliates UNLESS you make them a lot of money.
- Once a channel becomes big, they will begin to claim responsibility for its rise.
- Because of Content-ID, affiliate channels vastly outnumber the managed partner channels, leaving them much more open to copyright claims.
- Partners are not told how much their channels make/how much of a percentage Machinima takes.
- Machinima monetized a video of him talking about his then-dying dog that he purposefully did not put ads on.
- He can’t leave his contract, one that he has had for more than 2 and a half years.
- In protest, he will be removing monetizations from all his future videos until his problem is fixed.
- Since he has made it his full-time job, he will be asking for donations to support his income, due to alleged request from his fans in the past.
A lot of what Clash is saying about Machinima is valid. The system set out now for copyright holders does little to protect the affiliates, and openly supports bigger names in protection. Additionally, bigger-name channels benefit greatly from being in a network, transparency in finances should be channel-wide and there is little point in joining Machinima now unless you become significantly big enough for them to cater to you.
However, that does not mean there are not caveats in what he is saying. As stipulated in most contracts of this nature, you have to monetize each and every video you make. This isn’t a case of Machinima trying to go back and strictly benefit from a dying pet video, they are making sure their signed talent is adhering to the contract they agreed to.
Additionally, when it comes to the drive for pathos met in this video, I don’t find it easy to feel bad for Clash. He signed a contract on his own accord. For it to last as long as it has was up to him to pursue legal advice when it came to agreeing to a contract. Now, at almost 190,000 subscribers and over 30 million channel views, Clash is actively disavowing from taking money from Machinima, telling a sad story to his fans and is now asking them to pay for his full-time employment instead of doing the job he contractually agreed to?
It seems a tad manipulative, personally speaking. The video does do a really good job of sending a warning, however; be careful to read what you’re signing if you do want to make Youtube gaming content with an MCN. As well, maybe at the moment it’s best to try to make a name for yourself on Youtube and Twitch before you even think about joining a channel if the cons outweigh the pros.