Watcher sparks fan outrage after ditching YouTube to launch streaming service

Watcher sparks fan outrage after ditching YouTube to launch streaming service

Popular YouTube channel Watcher has announced they’re leaving the platform in favor of starting a streaming service — and fans are not happy.

After rising to YouTube stardom through Buzzfeed Unsolved, Ryan Bergara and Shane Madej parted ways with the company and teamed up with fellow content creator Steven Lim to start their own channel, Watcher.

Focused on creating high-quality series such as Ghost Files, Too Many Spirits, and Puppet History, the channel quickly grew with a loyal and dedicated fanbase who fell in love with the humorous personalities on screen.

However, many of those fans are now choosing to unsubscribe after Watcher posted a video to the platform announcing their departure. Instead, the creators behind the channel are looking to launch their own paid streaming service, a move that has not gone over well with their audience.

Despite admitting they were “very happy” with Watcher’s progress, the three explained it felt as though their channel had “hit a bit of a ceiling in terms of what YouTube is able to offer.”

Lim stated that it was “difficult” to make the content they wanted while still appealing to advertisers, whom the channel relied on for a majority of their funding. Bergara added one season of any series usually ended up costing “hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

“Maybe television shows aren’t meant for YouTube,” he said. “Perhaps we should find a different place that’s better suited to the content that we’re making and can support the dollar amounts that we’re putting into each of these episodes.”

Their solution? Launching an independent streaming service, WatcherTV, which encompasses all the channel’s series, has a $5.99 a month price point, ad-free programming, and encourages password sharing.

The announcement did not bode well with fans though, who responded with resounding disapproval in the comments and over 202,000 dislikes counting. According to Techweez, the channel also lost 50,000 subscribers on the first day after breaking the news.

“Imagine being so tone deaf and living in such a bubble that you can look around in 2024 and think ‘I bet people are willing to pay for another streaming service,'” one person wrote.

Another said, “I don’t know a lot about business, but I would suspect that a global cost of living crisis might be a bad time to impose a paywall upon your fans.”

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