YouTube is in a heated battle to retain some of its top video stars as competitors including Facebook and Vessel are recruiting them for their respective services. Sources familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal that the Google-owned company is offering some of its top content creators performance bonuses to go along with multi-year contracts. The bonuses may be doled out based on how many hits a video gets, for example.
Google Inc. ’s YouTube unit is racing to lock up its top stars as rival online video services court them aggressively. Facebook Inc. and video startup Vessel, among others, have tried to lure YouTube creators to their services in recent months, according to people familiar with the discussions. In response, Google is offering some of its top video makers bonuses to sign multiyear deals in which they agree to post content exclusively on YouTube for a time before putting it on a rival service. The bonuses can be tied to how well videos perform, but YouTube is making a wide range of offers to counter rivals, according to people involved in the discussions. For several months, YouTube also has been offering to fund additional programming by some of its video makers.