After releasing a missive detailing his frustrations with YouTube over a week ago, Jason Calacanis has returned with solutions this time instead of vitriol. It’s a five-part system equally aimed at YouTube and the next company willing to disrupt YouTube’s stronghold on online video. All five points focus extensively on advertising and creators’ entitlement to their own dividends.
Succinctly, Calacanis defines those rights as 1. Access to a creator’s audience via email; 2. Standardized advertising rates of 30%, as modeled by the App Store, Google Play, and more; 3. 80% control of channel design and functionality with a 60-day review period for all platform-imposed changes; 4. Advertiser disclosure after a $5,ooo sponsorship to encourage a mutually beneficial relationship between advertisers and creators; 5. Comarketing and promotion recompensation in the form of 20% reimbursement to the creator if the platform garners either one million viewers or one million dollars to encourage expansion for both creator and, ultimately, the platform.
It’s a bold attempt to place traditional production values on YouTube’s strictly numbers-based system that has favored YouTube’s profit margin since inception. However, since YouTube still provides a lot of freedom for any and all creators to start earning ad money for their work, the greatest challenge facing the “YouTube Creators’ Bill of Rights” might still be changing the opinions of new creators. The shock of being paid at all and the opportunity to do so on what feels like a social network (whether in comment sections or video replies) might outweigh the impression that they are a legitimate content creators in need of protective rights from their distribution platform.