Ray William Johnson Throws Down Gauntlet to Maker Studios

Ray William Johnson Throws Down Gauntlet to Maker Studios

Well, you could probably see this coming a mile away, but Ray William Johnson is threatening to sue his former network Maker Studios for withholding his AdSense account even after his contract expired.  The trouble began back in October when Johnson left the network after he claimed Maker wanted to renegotiate his contract to make it way better for them (40% of his AdSense), and own 50% of his show "=3."  When he refused, he left, and a Twitter war began.  In effect, YouTube got its first real tabloid story.  Now it's getting worse.

Ray William Johnson's Threat to Maker

As things happen, this was announced on Twitter:

Johnson currently has the 2nd-most subscribed channel, recently zipped past by the ridiculously popular SMOSH channel.  It's in danger of being 3rd since Jenna Marbles is right on his heels, but when you have over 8.5 million subs, does it matter?  He's got one of the top 3 channels on all of YouTube.  It goes without saying that the AdSense account is significant.

This is a pretty important story for everyone who is involved with a network.  Because the business of online video is relatively young, and the payouts can be alien to those who are used to a weekly paycheck, it's hard to know the right thing to do.  It will be very interesting to see how all of this plays out and whether changes will be made because of it.

About the Author -
Chris Atkinson joined ReelSEO in 2011. He is a longtime film and television reviewer, and has almost two decades of experience in the theater industry. He also writes on his personal blog - http://nymoviereviews.com. View All Posts By -

What do you think? ▼
  • http://twitter.com/danegolden Dane Golden

    From another perspective, it really helps legitimize YouTube and the web video industry to have people suing over money. Now that's something Hollywood understands.

    • itznfb

      Kind of ironic. Hasn't Ray stayed away from Hollywood because of stuff like this?