By Fruzsina Eordogh
Back in October, the digital industry watched with gaping mouths as Ray William Johnson and Maker Studios squabbled over social media following Johnson’s split from the company. Two months later, Johnson threatened to sue Maker Studios because he had yet to regain control of his Google Adsense account — a standard practice among MCNs. It is now almost May and if his Twitter is any indication, Johnson appears to be gearing up for the lawsuit he previously threatened as he still has not been granted ownership of his own Adsense account.
“fyi- All of my contracts with Maker Studios have expired, and theyre [sic] still refusing to give back my Adsense account. The lawsuit starts now,” tweeted Johnson yesterday afternoon.
Since Johnson first announced his split from Maker Studios on October 19th due to contract disputes, he has made 35 videos to date for his main show Equals 3 and collected approximately 181 million views on those episodes, each of which get anywhere from 3 to 8 million views. At an average CPM rate of $3 for every 1000 views — which is an underestimate because Johnson probably gets higher than the average rate — the amount of ad revenue that content has generated comes out to $543,000. Except Johnson hasn’t seen a dime of that money; presumably that has all gone to Maker Studios.
Half a million dollars in lost revenue is no chump change. Neither Johnson or Maker Studios were available for comment, though they probably won’t stay silent for long.