Reel Rejects Have Over a Million Subscribers. So Why Is Creator Greg Alba Still in ‘Scarcity’ Mindset?


Guys, did you know Passionfruit is doing VIDEO PODCASTS now? Well, a video podcast, but there’s a podcast version of the video if that’s your speed. Head to our YouTube channel and check out The Reactorverse Podcast, a new weekly series where video editor Eric Rodriguez talks to some of the biggest names in the reactor community. It drops every Monday at 10 am PT, available literally anywhere podcasts live. If you don’t know what Reactors are, or why the issues they face are so vitally important to the future of video content on the Internet, I’ll explain. But first, do me a solid and visit one of the links above and subscribe to the channel, and after you’ve listened, drop a like or comment in the name of feeding the algorithm. 

Back to what we’re talking about here. Reaction, reactors, and reacting videos are different concepts that change meaning depending on the platform: On Twitch, it’s popular videos or clips of people reacting to gameplay; on TikTok, reaction videos are anything from filming yourself listening to songs for the first time to giving real time feedback on other people’s TikToks. On YouTube, reactors refer to a specific space: people who record themselves watching a piece of pop culture for the first time, whether that’s a video game, a movie, TV show, or even a trailer. Teaser trailer reactions are especially popular.


For the debut episode of Reactorverse Podcast, Eric sat down with Greg Alba from the Reel Rejects, a channel he created 11 years ago and now boasts over a million subscribers and half a BILLION views for his videos (not including the live streams). He’s got over 1,951 Patreon subscribers paying for bonus content on top of the 6,200+ videos he’s released publicly. The experience can be summed up as “watching two guys watch the new ‘Willy Wonka’ trailer,” which was the case with one of today’s three videos that debuted on the channel, as well as reactions to “Ahsoka” and “Blue Beetle” trailers, which currently sit at 46K and 16K respective views and climbing, just hours after they dropped. 

On any other platform, those numbers would equal cash money, in the form of sponsorship deals, or, in previous iterations of YouTube, ad revenue. But changes in YouTube’s policies after the advertising exodus known as the “Adpocalypse” means Reel Rejects must stay competitive with increasing view counts on videos for an increasingly smaller piece of the pie…or no pie at all. Not just over copyright strikes—which studios define however they want, oftentimes without notifying reactors whose videos they will use in their own promotional materials for upcoming films or games; or the abuse of the three strike policy by bad faith players looking to have competitors banned or demonetized—at least those have an appeal process which identifies which portion of your video has been claimed.

Channels can also find their videos penalized if they’re determined to be “age-restricted,” a nebulous term that nonetheless can immediately demonetize a video, rendering it ineligible for ad revenue

“The scarcity mindset has never left,’” Alba told Rodriguez. We can understand why.


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