Subbable FAQ

What Happens When The Project is at 100%?

The goal is to reduce the amount of advertising on the channel. YouTube allows creators to run a bunch of different kinds of ads:

  • Unskippable pre-roll ads: The most traditional TV-commercial-like ads.

  • Skippable pre-roll ads: You're required to watch for five seconds, then you can skip. (I find these the most acceptable ads.)

  • Pop-up ads: Ads that cover up the bottom portion of the video. (I find these the least acceptable)

  • Interruptive ads: These show up in the middle of longer videos. (See Day9).

  • Sidebar ads: The square ads on the side of YouTube -- these must always appear.

When the project reaches 100% it allows me to turn off the two kinds of ads that disrupt viewers' experience the most: pop-up & interruptive ads. It does not let me turn off sidebar ads (there is no option to do so on YouTube) nor pre-roll ads of either kind.

What Happens When The Project is Over 100%?

The short answer is: I get the money. The long answer is: there isn't really any 'extra' money. But to understand that we need to talk a bit more about the YouTube business.

In addition to the official YouTube ads mentioned above, many YouTubers do three other kinds of ads:

Product placements: Pepsi pays you to have Pepsi in your video.

Sponsors: The creator mentions a product at the end. (See MinutePhysics.)

Commissioned videos: A company pays the creator to make a video about a particular topic. (Some of FreddieW's videos are commissioned.)

I've never liked the thought of having these kinds of ads on my channel and thus I've never agreed to any offers that required them.

When YouTube was a side project for me, turning down product placements, sponsors, and commissioned videos wasn't a big deal. I didn't want them on the channel -- I had a real job to pay the bills -- so they wouldn't be. Full stop.

But when YouTube became what my wife and I depend on for a living, turning down those sources of income felt wildly financially irresponsible -- even though it didn't change my thoughts about those kinds of advertising.

And so I turned to Subbable -- which has helped -- But the key point is this: while Subbable covers the losses from turning off pop-up ads Subbable comes nowhere near to covering the money lost by not doing product placements, commissions or sponsors. By going with Subbable, rather than taking on more advertisements for the channel I am, in fact, losing out on money -- but I'm OK with that.

So… Why Are You Doing This?

My long-term hope with Subbable is that it will be able to cover the lost revenue in the future. But for now Subbable is achieving the goal I had for it: allowing me to feel less financially reckless by turning down offers I think would make the CGPGrey channel worse and allowing me to concentrate on the videos that I want to make rather than worrying about what will be the most popular topic to feed the advertising fairy.

Does Subbable Mean You'll Make More Videos?

When YouTubers go full-time often they'll pump out a larger number of videos -- sometimes with decreased quality. The reason it happens is, even if the individual videos get fewer views, in aggregate more videos means more earnings.

Subbable helps me resist the financial temptation to sacrifice on quality to increase quantity.

One of the details I didn't want to mention on the Subbable video was that the workload of being both a teacher and making videos had quite the negative impact on my health. It's not possible to pour all the hours I spent teaching directly into the hours I spend on video production.

I've also been learning the hard way that the work I'm doing now is different both in terms of kind and quality to the work I used to do.

OK: Maybe Not More Videos But Perhaps a Schedule?

With the production of my videos I have one goal and one rule:

  • The Goal: make one 'Grey Explains' video a month.
  • The Rule: videos are done when they're done.

The rule overrides the goal. If that means a month without a video, so be it. (Also, as precedent has established, August is the month off.)

Exceptions to the above are when I'm working on a video to release for a specific event such as the birth of a Royal Baby or Croatia's ascention to the EU. I try to keep aware of when these events are coming and normally start working on them a few months before.

Why Don't You Use The Money to Hire People to Help You?

I'm a big believer in one-man projects. Despite their necessarily lower production values I think they can often beat out big teams in terms of quality production.

It's not that teams can't make good stuff. Crash Course is my go-to example of the excellent work a team can produce. But Crash Course -- and other team projects -- produce work fundamentally different in tone from the work of a single person. I'd like to talk more in detail about that at some point.

Why Don't You Show Subscriber Numbers on Subbable?

The current way subbable works is that the subscriber number includes both people who have donated and people who have signed up for free. Without being aware of this people were multiplying the average donation amount by the number of subscribers and coming up with ludicrously huge numbers for how much money I'd asked for. It was uncomfortable to have asked for the smallest amount possible and then to get emails from people about my (non-existent) giant pile of money.

Will Subbable Accept Bitcoin?

I have no idea but I'm very interested in BitCoin and wish it success. If you really want to donate that way, here is an address: 1D8yKvNVdmj9huWdazb3Adx9pGBDhxmjJN

When Will the Perk I Want Be Available?

Perks like having your name in a 'Grey Explains' video generally reset when a new video goes up. The rest will reset as stock and my schedule allows.

If you want to be the first to know, you can join the e-mail list. I'll try to give the subscribers advance notice when a perk has refreshed or if something new is available before I bother everyone about it on Twitter.