The troubled business of YouTubers

They are the stars of Generation 2000, they have up to 8 million subscribers on their YouTube channels, and only 120 of them took part in Pavilion 1 of the Parc des expositions in Paris on November 7 and 8 for Video City, the first Paris festival dedicated to YouTube celebrities.

Read also Teen hysteria in Video City, the number one festival for French YouTubers

But in the tiny, pink world of online videos, there are questions not to be asked. That of their wages, in particular, as France Info learned at her expense. “Because we dared ask a young YouTuber in an interview if she was getting paid, her outraged press officer canceled all other scheduled interviews and convinced heavyweight agent Norman, Cibrian and Squeeze to do the same.”As journalist Sandrine Eto’a Andegui says in an article on “The Business of YouTubers”.

Money, a taboo question

Getting answers is really difficult. Neither EnjoyPhoenix, the most popular YouTuber in France, nor the agent of Jhon Rachid, one of the platform’s rising stars, nor Ubisoft, one of the major advertisers, nor most of the agencies involved in this sector responded to our requests. The few who responded requested anonymity.

It is an understatement to say that the issue of bonuses is annoying. Last July, Swede Felix Kjellberg, better known by his pen name PewDiePie, the YouTube star with his video game channel of 40 million Internet users, had to fend for himself after publishing his annual wage, which is 6.7 million euros.

Read also YouTube millionaire ‘PewDiePie’ responds to criticism of his earnings

“exploded. What people don’t realize is that my videos have had nine billion views [au total]it turns into something, there are ads, and I make money from these »It is to explain.

It is ‘A highly wanted and somewhat taboo subject، YouTube Privacy Terms.

complex system

However, some information is known. If the reward system used by Google varies according to the type of content being produced, on average, a youtubeur earns about a dollar for every thousand views they start, Le Rire jaune explained, followed by more than 2 million Internet users. But behind it is a whole complex system.

The young YouTuber in particular mentioned these unknown structures that are “networks”, networks “Like the NBA or record companies, who are responsible for protecting Copyrights [des youtubeurs] for a percentagein the order of 10-20%, membership is mandatory in the case of videos of registered intellectual property, such as films or video games.

It was viewed a little more than 4.8 million times and thus the demo video fetched him just under €4,500, thanks mainly to the “preroll”, the ad spots that precede a video. A trifle, in fact, compared to the amounts some platform stars can earn—especially thanks to product placement.

Up to €5,000 per tweet

YouTubeur’s pay already includes a second component, which does not come from site distribution but from contracts with cosmetics or video game brands.

They pay several thousand, even tens of thousands of euros to place their products among the most influential. “The price depends on the youtubeur, he who decides his fee, Explanation for Globalism An agency manager is bound by confidentiality agreements. It can go up to 50,000 euros for the biggest companies, such as Cyprien, Norman and Squeezie, but some agree to do some Previous reference Free if the topic interests them. »

Today, awarding a YouTube star is subject to scalable fee schedules: every Twitter comment, every Facebook post, and of course every video posted on the official channel is rewarded. A small tweet to a video with a product placement can be charged from 1,000 to 5,000 euros depending on the reputation of the creator.

Abroad, the prices are high: via the channel, Yogscast, 7 million subscribers on the counter, bills from 5,000 pounds (7,000 euros) to test the game, when the agent of the famous international youtubeur offered the services of the star for $ 250,000. (232,000 euros) in the E3 extension, the big block of video games.

“It’s the law of supply and demand, we’re in a system that they’re going to benefit from for a while before it ends up breaking down.”He wants to believe a professional who does not hide the surprise of some new advertisers with the required fee.

Agencies and managers

These negotiations sometimes involve multiple intermediaries between the advertiser and the YouTuber itself, such as the digital creation agency responsible for considering the relevant video concept. Like top athletes, the courtiers have a manager in charge of interacting with them.

The three French YouTube giants, Norman, Squeezy and Cyprien, are in turn at Mixicom, a communications agency that serves them in the field of advertising management and marketing consulting. “Our goal is to provide creators with services so that they can focus on the technical side.”explained in September, Thierry Boyer, co-founder of Mixicom, for the magazine Strategies.

The company also publishes news sites the games And News movie, often create bridges between these different activities (like this video for Norman’s broadcast on FilmActu Channel). It has since been purchased by Webedia (AlloCiné, JeuxVideo.com) for an estimated €14 million.

But other French-language video giants are also owned by large media groups: Studio Bagel by Canal+, Golden Mustache and EnjoyPhoenix by M6.

Ethical issues

These advertising agencies pose an ethical problem. As noted ExpressArticle 20 of the Law on Trust in the Digital Economy (LCEN) obliges all advertisements to “Make the natural or legal person on whose behalf the performance is made clearly identifiable”. But in practice, ambiguity prevails.

On October 23, Norman posted on his Youtube channel a video titled “Assassin des Templiers”, presented as Inspired by the world of Assassin’s Creed video games.

The sponsor of the video is not mentioned. at Globalism, IDZ production company confirms, however, that it is in contact with Mixicom and Ubisoft, the video game publisher Doctrine killer. The video was also circulating on the latter’s podium at the Paris Game Week video game show, a week later.

“Morality, I’ve seldom seen that”

Promotional video, in short, but never expressly presented as such. Top YouTubers, realizing that the fashion they enjoy can be ephemeral, rarely think in terms of morals. Morals, I have seldom seen, Agency manager pins. We try to do coherent things, it’s the agencies that think, not the YouTubers. »

Some, in spite of everything, manage to distinguish themselves. John Rashid will be one of the few who does not charge an advertiser when they are presented with a topic of interest. In the English-speaking field, TotalBiscuit, an ardent critic of the moral transgressions of video game journalism – and one of the characters in the anti-feminist GamerGate Nebula – will not ask for any game test fees submitted by publishers. However, she is an exception.

Pour Cyprien, Norman, EnjoyPhoenix et tous ceux dont le contenu des vidéos est en partie négocié avec une régie, leur mission consiste à mettre leur popularité au service de la marque, et peu importe que leurs vidéos es so des parmenté fé régiés massive parmenté regardés meaning of things. “It is never in the contracts that they should say good things about the product, but if you put a box of cereal on the table and criticize the man, he knows he will not, The same source explains. YouTuber interest does not spit in soup. »

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