YouTube is cracking down on what type of content can be monetized on its platform, and it could spell trouble for MCNs.
MCNs are reportedly dropping creators like flies due to YouTube Policy shifts, according to a report from Polygon.
One MCN in particular, Fullscreen, has terminated contracts for “approximately 160 creators” on April 5, according to representative from the company. Creators whose contracts were terminated by the Otter Media-owned company received emails that read:
The team here at Fullscreen is reaching out to let you know that your agreement with Fullscreen, Inc. has been terminated. Due to the nature of your uploads and because your uploads may potentially infringe on the right of others or potentially violates applicable laws or regulations, including without limitation YouTube’s Terms of Service and/or YouTube’s Community Guidelines, we feel it best that we part ways. Thank you for your understanding, and good luck with your YouTube channel.
[READ] Nina Kammer Leaves Fullscreen to Join Mobcrush, a Platform that Guarantees Creators $15-$2500/hour
According to Howard Pinsky, director of creator marketing at Fullscreen, “YouTube is ‘forcing’ all networks to remove creators that are at risk of violating terms of service (copyright issues, misleading thumbnails, etc).”
“This isn’t a decision from the networks, but one from YouTube,” Pinsky wrote in an apparent email, which Polygon reporter Julia Alexander saw via screenshot. “They’re really starting to clean up the platform. Fullscreen (and other networks) have zero say in this. This is a decision from YouTube. From what they explained to us, ‘many channels that posed a risk of violating YouTube’s terms of service, even if no strikes were present, were released.’”
The decision that Pinsky mentioned is known as the “Know Your Customer” policy, which according to Jason Urgo, CEO of Social Blade — a statistics company that works with multiple MCNs — is pushing companies to drop a large number of creators in order to continue working with YouTube.
“[It] in effect forces MCNs to either watch every video uploaded by their partners, or at least be reasonably confident none of the videos they are uploading could possibly either in the present or in the future violate or even come close to violating a YouTube guideline/terms,” Urgo told Polygon. “The way this is enforced is that if a network has more then 50 ‘abuse events’ (an abuse event is when a channel gets terminated or loses their monetization privileges) in a 90 day period they lose the ability to partner any other channel for a period of time.”
Basically, under the new internal guidelines, “networks now have to either drop [everyone] but their top partners or bring more people on to manually review all content, which just isn’t economical in most cases,” says Urgo.
According to one manager at a popular MCN, who asked to remain anonymous, thousands of creators are being dropped from almost every major MCN,.
“YouTube [is] making it impossible,” the person told Polygon. “YouTube [is] trying to get rid of MCNs to the point where we can no longer operate. I don’t see any MCNs operating within the next six months. It feels like YouTube is trying to make us go bankrupt. We’re at the stage where it’s like the end of an era.”