Sunday, 31 January 2016

Brother, That's a Right Fine Mess We've Gotten Into!

Sometimes even the most experienced, established and most popular YouTube channels make a bit of a fuck up, and usually the larger the channel, the bigger a fuck up it is. Firstly, I'll state I'm not usually one to name-drop popular bloggers or YouTubers, but in this case I have some key thoughts I wish to share. So, I won't be slagging off The Fine Brothers without explanation like a gutter keyboard-hiding troll you can be sure. I also haven't published a blog in a while and so felt this was a good opportunity to voice some feelings.

Recently The Fine Bros posted a video outlining a new initiative for their channel, more specifically their famous 'React' series of videos. You may have seen these across the web at some stage, entitled 'Teens React', 'Elders React' ect.. ect. They have a selection of people, sometimes celebrities, being filmed experiencing a product for the first time, weather it be a game, movie or music, which is usually out of their comfort zone. Some can be amusing, but personally I'm not a fan. However, over 14 million people are. Well, they were should I say. 

This all stems from their announcement of a scheme called 'React World', which when stripped down to basics is an extension of their 'React' video style, so that other YouTubers can make their own videos under license in the same style with the help of The Fine Bros, for a cut of the ad revenue and possibly other income generated from a user made 'React' video. They state they will be providing advice, support and copyrighted graphics. The latter is a subject for debate however, because it states in their FAQ about this initiative that branding graphics and visuals MAY not be available. This is a key factor, as brand awareness would be vital aspect in this scheme. What isn't stated is if they will directly promote other creators videos via YouTube or other means. Can channels that are in Multi Channel Networks (MCNs) be involved? Because that would require some sort of agreement between the Fine Bros and the MCN involved. As this would potentially take income away from MCN's, I can't see why they would agree to a contract given the information we know. It's all rather vague and needs to be much more transparent.The original video can be found on the link below. 

React Around the World Video

Because the brothers use terms like 'our react format', this has been taken, rightly or wrongly, as a claim of ownership to a genre, a premise, a method of filming a 'React' video. This is of course ludicrous. It's like saying because I do Gameplay videos, I can claim ownership of that type of video. But of course, you can't, no-one can. Sony recently found this out.  An update video following the original post tries to make amends and explain away  few things, the brothers showing their dismay at the negative reception, but it still comes across as a ploy to exploit their massive fanbase. Now, I'm not going to declare judgment on this as I believe their intentions are fair enough and maybe even good for the so-called community, which in itself is a vastly ambiguous term. I also don't judge them for wanting to make more money; if you have that chance to make a living doing something you love, why the hell not? However, me and thousands more do have a problem with the perceived direction of this 'React World' scheme. It's like a franchise, but without the incentive, as such many look at this as sheer exploitation and insulting to the viewerships intelligence, all for making an extra buck (collectively, quite a lot in this case) via the efforts and work of others. 

So, with this confusion, perception and anger of the masses, The Fine Bros now find themselves in a sticky situation. As of writing this, they have lost almost 80,000 subscribers in 3 days, and the numbers continue to fall. This I imagine would equate to a lot of revenue, but not only that, the reputation of their channel is now damaged inexplicably. They ain't going to disappear, that would be silly to suggest, but they will have a re-building task on their hands once the tide of revolt subsides. I'm not a big channel myself, so can't fully understand the implications, but I can understand how droves and droves of people can, to pun a term, react. A cascade effect happens on the internet, the viral flow, and grows over a steady period before it halts, and this could cost the Fine Brothers substantially. Why they never took a straw poll of their subscriber base is beyond me, it seems that a big shift of focus and potential growth like this would merit that at the very least. They needed to gauge what reaction it would have received, and make sure they explained themselves fully without ambiguity. I don't think whatever way it's explained would have gone down to well however, because it appears to have a core factor of self reward. Even if in reality it doesn't.

It amazes me that a channel with this much experience and grandeur would make a mistake like this, completely misjudging the youtube viewers intelligence, their fanbase and the amount of unwanted attention from well-thought of YouTubers, and the obvious trolls this would attract. The subsequent backlash due to organic word of mouth was inevitable. It just proves that even the biggest players on the internet can fall foul of their own goals without REALLY thinking about it.

YouTuber of the Year!

Now, for a little me-time now. Earlier in the year I was crowned Tuber of the Month, so I'm in the running for Tuber of the Year. If I win, I get to host the show for 2016. At the time of posting this, only 7 days remain, so please help me out and visit the video link below and vote for me via the comments section, writing something like 'I vote Novabug'. I would be very thankful if you could do this.

Youtuber of the Year 2015

Anyway, bye for now everyone, hope you enjoyed this little cross-examination of Tuber practices.

Bug.. 'Out!