Rooster Teeth Hopes Its New Podcast Network Will Attract Creators Facing YouTube’s ‘Ad Apocalypse’

Allows them to diversify their revenue streams

The Roost, a new podcast network from Rooster Teeth, will extend new revenue streams to more creators.
Rooster Teeth

Rooster Teeth, a video game-centric content creation studio, has always believed belonging to just one platform is a bad idea. That’s why Rooster Teeth is announcing The Roost, its new podcast network, which will also act as a liaison for brands or ad agencies who are looking to directly connect with creators.

“If we had stuck with the dominant platform at the time, we would have invested everything in our Myspace page,” said Gus Sorola, co-founder of Rooster Teeth Productions. “Platforms come and go. The big thing of the moment may not be the big thing down the road.”

From custom merchandise to podcasts and live event conferences, Rooster Teeth has branched out to provide its creators with a variety of different options to connect with fans and generate more revenue than what YouTube can offer. The next step is its podcast network, which could help solve one problem some creators face.

Sorola suggested that it can be difficult for creators to diversify their revenue streams beyond YouTube because some people who are in a creative mindset don’t have a desire to also be a business person. Limiting yourself to YouTube makes that possible, but it also limits a creator’s opportunities.

“Some days you have to decide if you’re going to wear your creator hat or your business person hat,” he said. “Rooster Teeth, or another business, can jump in and help alleviate that pressure for creators.”

With The Roost, the team will cut through the tens of thousands of podcasts that might confuse first-time podcast advertisers, connecting them with “30 to 50 really excellent shows with established audiences.”

“Since we started with all things digital and internet, we figured we were well-designed to expand our area of expertise and bring in other shows and provide similar benefits for monetization,” said Alan Abdine, svp of sales for Rooster Teeth, who will lead The Roost.

To Abdine, the advertising world has ignored podcasts for too long or treated them like “a little side thing just bubbling up in popularity, and is never treated on equal footing.”

“We don’t want Rooster Teeth to be defined by one demographic,” said Abdine. “It’s important to diversify our offerings, and we’re ready to extend our healthy relationships with major ad agencies to new creators.”

Abdine will also be working with Fullscreen, a multichannel network that acquired Rooster Teeth in 2014, and its entire sales team to provide even more leverage for creators.

“We can provide best practices for podcast ad content, ecommerce, participation in our live events and all other forms of revenue our team currently has access to,” said Abdine. “We want advertisers to think of us the same way they think about prime-time TV shows, only we’re much more distributed than that.”

Bruce Greene, one of the co-creators of Funhaus, a Rooster Teeth sub-brand, explained one of the biggest advantages of working for Rooster Teeth instead of being independent creators on YouTube.

“The ad apocalypse doesn’t affect us as much, since we still get a salary. Before the ad crash, it seemed as if YouTube personalities were making more money than ever before,” Greene said in reference to how major advertisers learned their ads were being placed against some sensitive or controversial content, which caused advertisers to pull their ad spend from YouTube.

Adam Kovic, one of the other co-founders of Funhaus, thinks creators need to stay flexible regardless of what platform they’re posting content on.

“Rather than being angry at changes, work with it,” he said. “Once your personality becomes your business, you have to have different revenue streams. Try to find the next thing, have your ear to the ground.”

As creators gain more popularity, i.e. start making $10,000-20,000 per month, Kovic recommends they start paying more attention to the business-side of the industry, which means “reaching out to contacts or form other ways of making money so that your entire business doesn’t sink, even if YouTube does.”

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