Crowder is beefing with Daily Wire live on the internet, and honestly, Crowder is talking all the “L’s” in this one.
TLDR: Crowder thinks he’s protecting the future, Daily Wire’s contracts are more like a Content House than a news org. But Crowder’s secret recording of Boreing is just the biggest dick move, and backfires.
I like Steven Crowder. I was a mug club member for years until this Biden recession, and I had cut the bills somewhere. I was surprised when Crowder announced his content was leaving The Blaze, but from the way he was talking, I assumed he was working on putting together his own server farm to host his content. Crowder has hinted for months that he wants to expanded Louder With Crowder into more of a production company, putting out more shows and introducing new talent. Crowder would likely have a hard time getting into something like Amazon Web Services. Any cloud platform he used would be subject to boycotts and pressure to dump him. In order for him to be truly independent with the amount of bandwidth he’s’ going to need, I really don’t know how he would manage it without building his own cloud network of sorts, and while I’m sure he was making some $$ from Mug Club, I don’t think it was that much, esp not the amount of staff he has and the legal bills he racks up. Supposedly he’s still suing Facebook and YouTube, but I’m not sure. He announced the lawsuits several years ago, and we’ve heard nothing about them since. I figured that this extended show break was just a chance for his team to get all the pieces in place.
I also like the Daily Wire crowd. I never subbed to the DW+, but I’ve listened to alot of Shapiro’s podcasts, and I love Klavan’s sense of humor. Brett Cooper’s content is all over my YouTube Shorts feed, they partnered with PragerU a few years ago, and recently added Jordan Peterson. I’m really interested in some of their new movies or documentaries. Matt Walsh’s “What is a Woman?” became a viral meme. There is no doubt, Daily Wire is making big moves.
So when Crowder popped up on YouTube declaring that “Big Con” aka Big Conservatism was in bed with Big Tech, and keep new conservative talent beholden to YouTube’s whims, it was a bit alarming. Now Crowder was careful NOT to name names. He even claimed that the “contract” he was looking at was only one of many similar contracts he’d seen. He seemed genuinely concerned that the younger, up-and-coming conservative talent were being roped into contracts that punished them if YouTube gave them a strike or demonetized them. He was so upset about this, he put out another website to sign up to, and promised to any young, conservative creator out there that he would help them get out of these contracts. As a cherry on top, he promised that if you wanted a better contract, but did NOT want to come work with Crowder, he’d still help connect you to lawyers who could help you negotiate better deals.
Jeremy Boreing, Daily Wire CEO, quickly fired off a response. Boreing went through the Term Sheet and explained the business reasons for everything. He also told us that Crowder has no idea how many people signed up to The Blaze/ CRTV for his show alone. Crowder claimed that he had 350,000 people ready to sign up for his show wherever it landed, but he had nothing he could show that proved that. I saw several things in the Term Sheet that would have been non-starters for Crowder, and me, honestly. Things like, while you are part of DW+, they control your social media minus twitter. They also handle all of your marketing, and give you ads to read. Crowder is a one ad per show guy, and DW does many ads in an hour and a half. Also, if you get boycotted by an advertiser, your “fee” aka salary is reduced. If you get a YouTube strike, your fee is reduced, if you get demonetized, your fee is reduced (stupid term to include since the world knows Crowder is perma-demonetized). DW would also handle creating your merch, and other terms that just would not be acceptable to someone like Crowder, who is used to handling all his business in-house, and only using the Blaze for hosting video.
Basically, the DW+ contract is more like a Content House that you don’t live in. For a smaller creator, they provide studio space, production, sponsors, marketing, merch, and basically handle all of the behind-the-scenes things needed to find success in the business, all while providing the creator with a salary. But Crowder is very independent, handles all his own production, editing, sponsors, studio, etc. DW requires it’s creators to be a part of a monthly Q-and-A style video, and a yearly feature-length production (either entertainment or documentary). They also would require Crowder to provide a set number of episodes a year, and he would have to ask for permission to do things like his Change My Mind series or anything else that would take him away from the studio for the day. The amount of control DQ would have over Crowder’s content would be alarming if they were anyone else. I can understand why Crowder is discouraging people from signing up for deals like that. I can see where someone who often bragged about being completely independent from the Blaze, only using them to host his content, would be upset by the terms DW provided. I can see where it seems like a bad deal. However, I also understand DW’s side of the matter. they are paying for the content, they have to recoup their costs somehow.
Then Crowder pulled the ultimate dick move. He revealed that he had secretly recorded his last phone call with Jeremy Boreing. Crowder, believing he is protecting the next class of conservative entertainers and content creators from having to deal with Big Tech censorship, thought he had a gotcha moment. He played a moment when Boreing said the words, “they can be wage slaves for a little bit.” But if listen closely, what he actually says is, “They can be wage slaves for a little bit, come over, and make a salary, and grow their brand.” When a small bit of the context is played later, it seems clear that Boreing means these up-and-coming types who are working to the bone and barely scraping by, can sign the deal to be a part of DW, use DW to grow their brand while drawing a decent salary, and then go off to do their own thing. You hear it again, when Crowder starts trying to demand that DW never enforce a penalty based on YouTube strikes, Boreing says, “if making money off those platforms is part of how you are justifying the salary you’re paying someone, then when those go away, everyone losses money. You can’t pay the same amount with less revenue.” Boreing had mentioned in his video that everyone had different contracts. To me, this statement seems to mean that if someone comes in and their main source of revenue is NOT YouTube, then the penalties would not apply.
Honestly, there’s a little bit of me that thinks this is Crowder’s attempt to poach well-known talent from some of the bigger conservative media companies so he can have more on-air talent in his own stable. In the end, I understand where both sides are coming from, but I think Crowder has handled this poorly from the jump. I think there is a lot of misunderstanding all the way around. I just wish that the biggest Conservative YouTuber and one of the largest conservative content companies would stop fighting.
Crowder’s first video:
Daily Wire’s Jeremy Boreing’s response:
Crowder’s Clapback: His “Gotcha” secret recording of the last phone call: