UNITED KINGDOM: YouTube has suspended Russell Brand’s channels from earning revenue through advertisements, citing a violation of its “creator responsibility policy.” The video-sharing platform stated that it was taking this step “to protect” its users.
This follows the Metropolitan Police’s reception of a report regarding an alleged sexual assault in 2003 amidst a series of additional allegations about the celebrity. Over the weekend, the actor and comedian faced allegations of sexual assault and rape from 2006 to 2013, a claim he refutes.
“If a creator’s off-platform behaviour harms our users, employees, or ecosystem, we take action,” a YouTube spokesperson stated on Tuesday.
This action also follows the postponement of the remaining performances of Brand’s Bipolarization tour. In recent years, the former television and radio personality has undergone a transformation, regularly sharing videos on topics such as spirituality, anti-establishment politics, and, most recently, UFOs with his audience of 6.6 million subscribers.
YouTube’s decision to block his revenue streams is applicable to “all channels that the 48-year-old may own or operate.” Furthermore, his primary YouTube page is connected to other channels like Awakening With Russell, Stay Free With Russell Brand, and Football Is Nice, which collectively boasts around 500,000 subscribers.
Although YouTube acknowledged that such bans are infrequent, it cited past instances, such as the suspension of advertising on the channels of Slovak internet personality David Dobrik and American YouTuber and makeup artist James Charles.
How do YouTubers generate income?
There are numerous avenues through which individuals can generate income on YouTube.
The most obvious way is through the money from advertisements. YouTubers can start earning different amounts of money by having advertisements appear before and during their videos after they have a sufficient number of viewers. But the precise amount of money earned from videos might differ greatly and could possibly be greater or lower than this.
Other revenue streams include super chat and super thanks, where viewers may pay to have their message to the creator show more prominently, and channel subscriptions, where people subscribe to see more of your material.
However, sponsorships—referred to as “spons” in the community—are the big way for YouTubers to make money.
In the description of all his videos, except for his latest one addressing the allegations, Brand prominently showcases sponsorships. These sponsors encompass various companies, such as a skincare company, a food supplement powder manufacturer, a VPN provider, and a coffee alternative brand.
These companies are willing to pay for prominent placement in videos that garner hundreds of thousands of views. Moreover, they often offer higher compensation for conversions, which refers to people who make purchases through the provided links. This compensation can range from a fraction of the product’s price, as low as one twentieth, to as much as half.
The exact monetary details are individually negotiated, making it challenging to provide precise estimates. Suffice it to say, though, that a YouTuber frequently earns more money from sponsors than from any other source on the network.
Investigation and reaction
The allegations against Brand surfaced as part of a collaborative investigation by the Sunday Times, the Times, and Channel 4’s Dispatches.
Prior to its official airing, Brand proactively used his various online social media platforms, such as YouTube, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), and Rumble, to preemptively reject all accusations of wrongdoing, stating he was the subject of a “coordinated attack” involving “very serious allegations that I absolutely refute”.
Brand further emphasised that all of his relationships had been “always consensual”.
Brand still maintains a significant presence on Rumble, boasting a following of 1.4 million users. He regularly hosts a show on this platform every weekday, but no new episode was released on Monday.
Before his transformation into an online influencer, Brand primarily earned his income through prominent roles in television and radio, authoring books, appearing in movies, and conducting live comedy performances.
In the wake of the allegations, Brand performed in front of an audience of 2,000 fans at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre as part of his Bipolarization tour.
A woman in the audience displayed a sign that read, “We stand by you.”