Despite repeated investments, YouTube appears to be having a tough time hanging on to its talent. As the video market opens up, creators have an ever increasing list of options to choose from. Now, reports indicate YouTube is offering its stars deals in an effort keep them on the network.
YouTube is reportedly offering its top stars bonuses if they agree to sign multi-year contracts for exclusive content. Video is a lucrative market right now for creators if they can leverage their star power, as YouTuber PewDiePie has done in the past.
There have been plenty of rumors about poaching deals, and the latest threat to YouTube’s talent dominance is a startup called Vessel. The upcoming “content creator community” was founded by former Hulu CEO Jason Kilar and former Hulu CTO Richard Tom. The project has been backed by Jeff Bezos’ investment company — among others — to the tune of $75 million.
Other than statements about the team’s prestige in the video market, and the declaration that “If you are a content creator, particularly a video content creator, we should talk!” Vessel seems to still be in the development phase.
There have been several efforts to lure content creators away from YouTube. Yahoo Screen was rumored to be in talks with YouTube stars, but little came of that. Similarly, community management app Victorious hasn’t caused a sudden exodus of creators from YouTube.
Many companies have approached YouTube stars with the intent of poaching them, but the most important thing to consider in these deals is the audience. YouTube’s power is certainly in the size of its audience; for creators, the power is in their ability to produce quality content. It’s certainly a good idea for YouTube to treat its top talent well, but the threat of other video providers seems to be overstated (for now at least).