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YouTube star Brandon Rogers says Facebook asked him to tone down blood, feces



brandon rogers 2Todd

  • YouTube star Brandon Rogers was one of the first creators to
    get a show on Facebook’s Watch platform when it debuted in fall
  • Rogers said Facebook was very hands-off in the process,
    giving him a flat budget and near-total creative freedom.
  • He said Facebook did give him one note, however: “tone down
    the blood and feces.”

YouTube star Brandon Rogers, who
has 4.5 million subscribers
, was one of the first creators to
get his own show on Facebook Watch when the platform launched in
2017 — but he’s still not sure if Facebook liked it.

During a
wide-ranging interview about his rise in the industry
, Rogers
described the process of making the show, titled “Stuff &

When Facebook approached Rogers in early 2017, he was having
trouble making money on YouTube because his videos kept getting
flagged as inappropriate and demonetized, he said. In YouTube’s
quest to keep advertisers away from hate videos, many creators
saw some of their videos cut off from ads. This was colloquially
called the “adpocalypse” by many YouTubers.

(YouTube declined to comment and Facebook did not respond to a
request for comment.)

During the “adpocalypse,” Facebook “brought me into the office,”
Rogers said. “We had a YouTube sh–talking contest. They offered
me a 20-episode web series.”

Rogers worked on that series for about six months, putting aside
most of his work on his YouTube channel. He had complete creative
control and got a flat budget. He worked with just two other
people on it and had little overhead.

“We made a good chunk of change from it,” he said.

And while he was proud of how the show turned out, he doesn’t
really know how Facebook felt.

“Every time I would talk to them, they’d say, ‘Oh it’s funny’ —
but they have to say that … I don’t know whether they liked it or
not,” he said.

He said he only got one real note.

“They did call me once, once to specifically tone down the blood
and feces,” he laughed. “Not eradicated. But just toned down.
That was really the only thing.”

When “Stuff & Sam” launched in October 2017, Facebook only
demanded exclusivity on it for two weeks, after which Rogers put
the episodes on YouTube. The show ended up getting much more
viewership on YouTube. For instance, the first episode currently
sits at 127,000 views on Facebook and 2.5 million on YouTube.

“I couldn’t be mad,” he said. Rogers said he thought Facebook
helped him reach a different audience, and that he noticed more
men coming to his live shows following the release, whereas
before it was mainly women.

And there was another benefit: YouTube started to listen to him.

“I mentioned [to YouTube] how much I loved Facebook,” he said.
“Suddenly YouTube, they remonetized my videos, every video I put
up, untouched. Facebook helped me get my YouTube mojo back.”

Read our full profile of Rogers, who was nominated for a Streamy
Award in the Comedy category on Tuesday.

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