The three founders of Watcher Entertainment have apologised to fans following their announcement that they were moving from YouTube to their own subscription streaming service.


On Friday (20th April), Steven Lim, Ryan Bergara and Shane Madej, who have amassed a huge fanbase for their unscripted and comedic videos on YouTube, announced that going forward full seasons of new shows like Ghost Files, Mystery Files and Puppet History would be available only on their new subscription-based streaming service, Watcher.

However, following backlash against the decision, the trio have announced they will now make their originals available for free on YouTube one month after subscribers get access to them.

"We messed up," Lim said in a YouTube video posted on Monday.

Madej said in the video: "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."

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Bergara added that the original goodbye message on 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 reasoning behind this transition".

Lim added: "We also want to deeply apologise for our ignorance around the impact of the cost [of the Watcher subscription-streaming service]. We regret stating and implying that it’s a price that anybody can afford, and we fully acknowledge that it is not."

The trio, who created the YouTube channel back in 2020, announced their plans to move away from YouTube on Friday on Twitter, which was recently re-branded as X, revealing "We’re leaving YouTube".

Lim told Variety at the time that YouTube, on which they've racked up 400 million views and amassed 2.9 million subscribers to date, "has been a wonderful home for us to sharpen our skills as filmmakers, grow as human beings, and connect directly with our fans".

He added: "I never thought we’d leave YouTube, so this move to [Watcher’s own] streaming [service] is a bittersweet one."

Lim continued. "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."

Bergara added: "From the very start of Watcher, our goal was to make television-quality unscripted content, and while YouTube helped us start that journey, the only way we can fully realise that vision is to do it on our own platform. So while it’s scary to leave a place that has been an amazing home to us, we know that this is a risk worth taking, just like leaving BuzzFeed was back in 2019."

So, how can you watch the new streaming service and how much does it cost? Read on for everything you need to know about Watcher.

Watcher Entertainment: Where can I watch the new subscription streaming service?

The beta version of the Watcher service is available to watch now, and is priced at $5.99/month or $59.99/year.

Those who sign up before 31st May will receive 30 per cent off the first year and will also unlock the opportunity to revive "a previously discontinued cult-favourite series by members-driven vote".

Will I still be able to access Watcher Entertainment on YouTube?

As detailed above, the trio have changed their plans and will now make their originals available for free on YouTube one month after subscribers get access to them.

Watcher will also keep its backlog of videos on YouTube.

What content is going on the new Watcher streaming service?

To date, Watcher Entertainment has produced 22 series in the paranormal activity, food and edutainment spaces.

New series coming to the streaming service will include a reunion of the team behind Buzzfeed’s food show Worth It, as well as a new series called Travel season, which is being billed as a "globetrotting food and travel odyssey" beginning in Seoul, South Korea.


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