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  • Writer's pictureIsabella Delgado

Watcher Entertainment Sparks Controversy Over Streaming Platform

Last week on April 19th, Watcher Entertainment announced that they were moving from YouTube to their own, independent streaming platform and their content would now only be accessed through a monthly subscription of $6. Watcher Entertainment was founded by ex- Buzzfeed employees, Ryan Bergara, Shane Madej, and Steven Lim, who make shows exploring mysteries, paranormal activity, historical events, and cuisine. Fans first fell for them for their goofy personalities and Ryan and Shane’s friendship, specifically.

So, when they announced that their content will now be available behind a paywall, fans were quick to take to social media platforms and express their concerns. Many of the complaints were about Lim’s comment about $6 being affordable for everyone and a very low cost because many who watch Watcher are young students who do not have it in their budget to begin paying the subscription. Others expressed that the production value of the shows, something that Watcher mentioned was beginning to get costly, is not the most important factor to them, more than content with Ryan and Shane’s playful banter. The fans' response was overwhelmingly critical and the general consensus was that this was a bad decision. 

On April 22nd, Watcher uploaded a follow up video on their YouTube page issuing an apology to fans and revisiting the policies of their streaming service. In this video, they explain that they wrongly assumed things about their fanbase as well as see the wrong in their decision. The monthly subscription will still be available and will give subscribers access to their content a month early, then the season will be released on their YouTube channel for free. 

As soon as the video dropped, Watcher fans had mixed feelings and began fighting with each other over whether to forgive them or not. Many fans were glad that they were keeping their content free, even if delayed access while others felt scorned and swore this wouldn’t make them return as a fan. Overall, there is still an ongoing conversation on social media about how to react to the apology video and new perspectives emerging.

Image courtesy of OnlyJellyBeans...

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