Josh Constine, reporting for TechCrunch:
YouTube made its top video creators an offer they literally couldn’t refuse, or they’d have their content disappear. Today YouTube confirmed that any “partner” creator who earns a cut of ad revenue but doesn’t agree to sign its revenue share deal for its new YouTube Red $9.99 ad-free subscription will have their videos hidden from public view on both the ad-supported and ad-free tiers. That includes videos by popular comedians, musicians, game commentators, and DIY instructors.
According to Chief Business Officer Robert Kyncl at today’s YouTube Red launch event, 99% of content consumed on YouTube will be still available, noting that the vast majority of creators signed the deal. But they didn’t have much choice, otherwise they’d lose out on both the previous ad revenue, the new subscription revenue, and the connection with fans.
Kyncl says YouTube will pay out “the vast, vast majority of revenue” to creators, but he repeatedly refused to detail what that percentage would be. Subscriptions music service Spotify pays 70% and Apple Music pays 71.5%. Earlier this year, a change to YouTube Partner Program Terms said creators would be paid just 55% of revenue. That would be comparatively low.