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‘Watcher’ launches new subscription service after announcing their departure from YouTube

Watcher Entertainment announced that they are departing from YouTube, to move to their own subscription service.

Watcher was formed by the trio Ryan Bergara, Shane Madej, and Steven Lim who were behind well-known BuzzFeed shows “Worth It” and “Buzzfeed Unsolved.” They are now taking a new step in their career with launching Watcher which will be the new home of their original series such as Ghost Files, Mystery Files, and Puppet History.

The said streaming service is currently in a beta period until May 31 which also is the release date of Lim’s new food show Travel Season with his former “Worth It” colleagues Andrew Ilnyckyj and Adam Bianchi.

The Watcher YouTube channel was created back in 2020 and has garnered millions of views and reached 2.9 million subscribers while posting 376 videos and making 22 original series. With their new streaming service launching, a subscription costs $5.99 (344 pesos) per month with no advertisements. Aside from “Travel Season”, “Ghost Files Season 3” will also be launching on the platform.

Beta members who will be signing up today up until May 30 will be able to subscribe with a 30% discount on their first year as an incentive before the new shows arrive. Aside from that, any subscribers in the Beta period will get a chance to vote for what Watcher’s old shows would be brought back in their platform.

While the channel would still be there, Begara made it clear that the first episode of each new season of their shows will be uploaded to give audiences a taste of what the platform offers. On the contrary, the other content they offer will be exclusive to the subscription service moving forward.

The platform’s CEO Steven Lim explained how YouTube was an important step in their filmmaking careers and said, “I never thought we’d leave YouTube, so this move to streaming is a bittersweet one.”

“But with the evolution of our content along with the maturation of our fans’ taste, this feels like the best move — putting the future of our company squarely into a platform that allows us to further our relationship with the people who watch and support us,” he added.

Last April 22, the founders of Watcher Entertainment issued an apology to their fans after receiving backlash with the announcement that they would be leaving YouTube and would be placing their shows exclusively on the streaming service.

“We’ve been reading the things you’ve been saying, and we’re sorry for the way we handled this, as well as the way we communicated it. We understand where you’re coming from — and we’re making immediate changes,” said Manej.

Bergara mentioned in the video announcement saying goodbye to YouTube was insensitive. “We didn’t properly express how much we appreciate all of you, and we did a really bad job of explaining the reason behind this transition.”

“We also want to deeply apologize for our ignorance around the impact of the cost. We regret stating and implying that it’s a price that anybody can afford, and we fully acknowledge that it is not,” Lim added.

According to Bergara, they would have to shut down Watcher if they continued to keep its content solely on YouTube. They had to make a compromise to make this happen and are now revising their plan. All of their originals will now be available for free on YouTube one month after subscribers get access to them. He hopes that people will be patient with them with these mistakes they have made.


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