This morning, Polygon reported on a new policy change at YouTube called “Know Your Customer” which effectively targets multi-channel services and has forced many partnered content creators out of the program. The policy basically goes after networks like BBTV, Fullscreen, and Ritual, who if you don’t know who they are, you might want to get familiar as this may impact some of the channels you watch on a regular basis.
These networks handle thousands of creators under a single banner, going the extra mile for channels to get them listed and featured, and taking a percentage of the profits they see. The new YouTube policy is forcing those networks to take a better look at who they do business with, and if the content they promote violates certain terms in the agreement with YouTube, the entire network could be banned and all the channels along with it. So thousands of creators are being cut loose from their deals in the process. Below is a bit from the Polygon story.
Fullscreen’s representative told Polygon the revised email sent to creators whose contracts have been terminated now reads:
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.
Still, apparent messages from Howard Pinsky, director of creator marketing at Fullscreen, sent on a public Fullscreen Discord provided conflicting reports.
“YouTube is ‘forcing’ all networks to remove creators that are at risk of violating terms of service (copyright issues, misleading thumbnails, etc),” Pinsky said, according to a screenshot of that message. “This isn’t a decision from the networks, but one from YouTube. 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.’”
We’ll keep an eye on this and see how it all plays out, but in the long run, you’re probably going to see a lot of middle-of-the-road channels either vanish because their deal was killed, or push forward to find new representation as they’ve made this their career. A lot of the bigger channels you know are either working independently from such systems (a good example would be Rooster Teeth) or are with major companies who are well-versed in the manner and know what they have (like Disney).