You may or may not know about The Fine Bros. The duo are behind the popular react videos which has spurred a new genre forward on YouTube. Now it is The Fine Brothers who are having to react after they revealed they are offering a licensing deal on their “React” series to everyone.
The channel which is run by The Fine Brothers gives viewers access to multiple shows such as “Adults React”, “Kids React”, “Teens React” and more. They have tried to emphasise that the goal of the initiative is to help creators with the backing of YouTube.
However, many YouTubers feel that the “React” brand is not theirs to license and see it as an attempt to claim profits from every reaction video that may be posted up onto YouTube.
The Fine Brothers claim that people are confusing the show’s format with general reaction videos. They say that they don’t own the idea of reaction videos nor are they trying to shut down anyone making reaction based content.
However, what has many users concerned is that they have applied for a trademark on a number of different things, one of which is the word “react.” At the moment, react videos are becoming incredibly popular on YouTube and creators are concerned that The Fine Brothers are trying to reach out and grab the entire market.
Since making the original announcement, The Fine Brothers main channel has been dropping subscribers pretty fast. They are now down 80,000+ subscribers since announcing React World and at the time of writing this post the subscriber count is still falling which you can see in real time here.
They have also posted an update since the React World announcement trying to clear things up for viewers.
They have the backing of YouTube, but lets face it, when a channel has millions of subscribers on the YouTube platform then of course YouTube are going to get behind it. However viewers are far from impressed.
With the growing success of The Fine Brothers brand, clearly anyone in the same position would want to protect the brand. That is normal and an opportunity was seen to create a multi-channel network (MCN) where you share the profits with The Fine Bros. The problem is that there are already a lot of established reactors who see this as a threat to what they are creating.
The only way for them to recover from the intense online backlash will be to deliver on every single promise made in the reaction and update videos, but meanwhile the subscriber count continues to fall. As for me? I unsubscribed just this morning.
Update 02/01/2016 : The Fine Brothers have issued a statement on Medium this morning where they say they have decided to rescind all react trademarks and applications, discontinue the react world programme and release all past Content ID claims on YouTube. The Fine Brothers have also removed their announcement and update videos from YouTube. You can read the statement in full at the link below.