In this scenario - I'm Sarah.
Let me explain.
It seems a bit dramatic but after nearly 12 solid months of waiting, my YouTube Network - TGN - have finally let me go.
Now, you might think that this is something that I wouldn't want but actually you couldn't be more wrong. Well, you could have by saying something like 'potato' but now I'm splitting hairs.
In the early hours of this morning I received an e-mail, This was a replay in a chain of roughly 15+ e-mails in one of the several e-mail chains in my inbox concerning both the TGN (that's The Gamer Network for anyone who doesn't know, an arm of BBTV - Broadband Television) support team and also my 'handler' at TGN whoo shall remain nameless for obvious legal reasons.
So to cut a twelve month saga reasonably short. I was asked to join TGN a little over two years ago. You should all remember the blog post about this (which I can't link here because im doing this on my phone on a train) and my immense amount of excitement at the time. Well...
Following on from the initial joining period I worked quite closely with my representative at TGN on my videos: their presentation, format, consistency and even the software I used to edit them. There seemed to be a great deal of support from the company for their new acquisitions. That was until i went onto the official Partner Forums. Page after page of disgruntled and upset partners who wanted to leave because they weren't making major $$$ with their videos. Frankly the money didn't bother me too much - in fact, one of the initial conditions of my joining TGN was that my videos wouldn't to be monetised. I wasn't registered as self employed so didn't want to do it in case I got into issues with (Ba-ba-ba-baaaaa) the Taxman.
So my rep was happy with this. Got it written I to my 12 month contract and verbally (that bit is important) informed me that after the initial 12 months I would go onto a 'rolling contract' which would mean I would stay with the network but if I wanted to leave I just needed to give them 30 days notice. So after a full year (plus maybe a week or so) I informed TGN that I didn't want to stay with them. After the initial Honeymoon Period the support seemed to drop off entirely. They would occasionally include me a mass email about a new tool in the toolkit for creators (some of them aren't bad actually) but by and large I felt very alone.
My YouTube Analytics was a completely transparent picture of this. Just after Joining TGN I had roughly 3000 subscribers and averaged out at roughly 400-500 views per video. I had very little trouble in my comments section and my average view time was a good number (not great but people stayed for almost the whole video most of the time.
A year later and my subscribers had grown (and continues to, thank you to each and every one of you who has subscribed since Sept 2014) and my viewers were up to the thousands (over 20k for that incredibly silly Destiny / Death Blossoms video I did) which all seemed great.
Now. I have absolutely no evidence to suggest that joining TGN affected my stats negatively, this is mearly my opinion on what happened in the proceeding two years.
After reaching my contract end date I had noticed that there were a lot of trollish comments on my YouTube videos. People would either compare me to other YouTubers (which I'm totally fine with) in a negative way or they would be downright insulting and rude. Now, this kind of behaviour wasn't new to me. I was a Games Journalist for Christ's sake. You grow a thick skin extremely quickly if you dare have an opinion on The Internet. But this, this felt very sudden, like suddenly people had been 'pointed' towards my channel. Now I know it wasn't because of YouTube 'Suggested' algorithm because that didn't kick in until you hit 5k subscribers. Where all this online sewage came from. I'm not sure but that's why I shut the Comments section on my channel ages ago. After that I asked to leave TGN - that wasn't the primary reason, I had just started to feel more and more isolated on YouTube. No replies from the Support team, no input from my handler. Nothing.
But, I had missed my 'contract cut off date' which was never fully explained to me. Now I know what you're saying, "But Mike, surely you read the contract and saw this" and the answer to that question is Of Course I did. The only thing is the very verbal contradiction to that point happened just after me joining the team and it's one of the points that I felt fell through the cracks of joining. Partially my own fault? Absolutely, but personally it should have been clearly explained by my rep that I would be on this mythical 'Rolling Contract'
So there I was, stuck. For another year with a network that I didn't want to be stuck with. I was informed that I would need to email them at least 30 days prior to the end of my contract to terminate my partnership with TGN. So I did what anyone in my position would do: I set up an automated email to go out to their support team every three weeks until the contract ended.
(PS I would actually like to apologise to the Support Team at TGN for this, in hindsight it was a bit of a dick move but I was really in no other position. Sorry)
So that brings us to here. 365 days and 14 email chains later. TGN have finally unlinked my YouTube account which means I am now 100% independent with the ScreamingJoypad YouTube channel. What does this mean right now? Absolutely bugger all but let's celebrate the little steps, eh?
Here's to independent bloggers, everywhere! Cheers!