Rooster Teeth’s library of RWBY episodes has been removed from their YouTube channel in an attempt to drive users to the company’s newly released streaming app.
RWBY’s cross-platform move was first revealed in an October 28th community post, wherein Rooster Teeth announced that, “With our new living room apps coming soon […] starting today we’re removing all of RWBY from the Animation YouTube channel and we will not be posting Volume 7 there.”
Though RWBY has been removed from YouTube, Rooster Teeth clarified that RWBY would not be exclusive to their streaming apps, as they noted that “all of the episodes and the movie-length completes remain available FOR FREE here on Rooster Teeth,” and “we’re leaving Volume 1 Episode 1 up on the YouTube channel, as well as the trailers and other fun promotional videos we’ve made over the years.”
Unsurprisingly, the abrupt nature of the announcement and the series’ removal led to widespread confusion among fans, with many unsure as to why the move was made to begin with.
In a follow-up blog post titled “8 Myths about RWBY on YouTube,” Rooster Teeth gave their audience a slight insight into the reasoning behind their decision.
“With our new apps on Xbox, Apple TV, Roku, and Fire TV, existing apps for iOS and Android (which have that tap-to-shuttle feature everyone loves), and more, we have a lot of feature parity with YouTube,” Rooster Teeth explained. “This decision was made based on data and research, with a cross-functional review of the positive and negative impacts to the community and our business.”
As with most platform-based decisions, there was also a financial component to Rooster Teeth’s decision, as the company stated, “more people watched RWBY on Rooster Teeth than on YouTube in the last 12 months.”
“We don’t make very much revenue on YouTube, and removing these episodes from YouTube will not have a significant financial impact,” Rooster Teeth elaborated. “But bringing more people to the Rooster Teeth apps gives them a better chance to become engaged viewers and community members.”
“This also opens the opportunity for further downstream distribution, which is how studios like Rooster Teeth generally recoup their costs.”
However, despite Rooster Teeth’s best efforts, fans across social media were unhappy with this decision.
“Features don’t mean jack if they don’t work. Which knowing you guys they won’t,” said /u/ShininLeafeon on the official /r/RoosterTeeth subreddit.
“Didn’t even get past myth 1. Try again next month.”
@ShadowCressy found that “this blog post legit made me cringe at how corporate it was,” and sarcastically argued that Rooster Teeth “Should have just said: “RWBY is no longer on YT. Deal with it. Now buy RT First to watch early. See you in November. :)”
“Honestly this is a stupid idea,” said YouTuber Manga Kamen. “Since it was BECAUSE of YouTube that Rooster Teeth got as big as it did.”
In his coverage of the announcement, Clownfish TV’s Kneon offered his belief that “this is a last ditch effort at this point,” and speculated that “Warner’s gonna get rid of it. I think they’ll get rid of it if it doesn’t perform.”
RWBY’s seventh season is set to premiere on November 7th, 2020.
What do you make of this move? Do you think it’ll ultimately help or hurt Rooster Teeth?