Just in time for the holidays, Google’s spreading the cheer to some of its most valuable workers — YouTube talent.
To get ahead of its growing list of competitors, the internet video giant is offering some of its top talent bonuses in exchange for remaining exclusive to the platform. These cash incentives are directed toward YouTubers with the highest performing videos, according to a report The Wall Street Journal.
Sources have confirmed YouTube’s latest effort to keep some of its best talent “in-house.” One individual familiar with the situation said that YouTube has already paid one creator as much as $5 million to stay exclusive to its platform.
Potential competitors YouTube is concerned about include Facebook, which has been encouraging more creators, entertainment companies, and brands to distribute videos exclusively on its social network. Vessel, the newest startup from former Hulu CEO, Jason Kilar, has also been aggressively courting some of YouTube’s biggest stars.
So far, Vessel has been working out potential revenue splits with creators that are more attractive than what YouTube offers — creators could get as much as 70% of revenue generated on Vessel, compared to 55% from YouTube. Vessel is also offering upfront deals to creators who agree to put their content exclusively on its platform — for as long as three days — before syndicating it to YouTube and other video distributors. WSJ’s report suggests that the advances Vessel is offering are tied to a creator or video’s past performance on YouTube.
For top talent, Facebook and Vessel are certainly attractive options as they continue to seek new ways to monetize their work. That said, YouTube is also deep-pocketed. And this latest move, in addition to other initiatives by the company, including opening new creator spaces and plans to fund content produced by some of its top stars, demonstrate that it won’t let its top talent leave the farm without a fair fight.
Additional reporting by Sahil Patel