The Fine Brothers and their Fine Audience

I have been subscribed to the Fine Bros since 2010 and I’ve watched their You Tube channel grow to 13 million subscribers, 3 billion views and a net worth of $5.7 million. The Fine Bros produce large amounts of original content over their 3 channels, Fine Brothers Entertainment, FBE2 and REACT, raging from; sketches, a sitcom, spoiler videos, recaps of TV shows and ‘React’.

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The unique situation of You Tubes’ creator/viewer relationship means that interaction between both sides is quick, easy and (usually) useful. Like many other You Tube channels, the Fine Bros aim to please, entertain and interact with their audience. This has been proved effective with their most popular ,and successful show ,the “React” series. In this either a cast of Kids, Teens, Adults, Elders or You Tubers react to a particular video, trend, or object that is placed in front of them- which has spawned many spinoffs. Part of the key of success of this format is that all the things the cast is reacting to is suggested by the audience. Consequently the audience significantly shapes the show as they suggest what they should react to.

Audience participation brings the views closer to content as feel they have some creative control, even though the creators have the final say. This close creative relationship is reassured by the bi-weekly update called ‘Fine Time’ where the brothers inform the audience with what’s coming up, introduce members of the company and present their favourite comments.

But this relationship can also have negative effects on the creators’ plans. This recently occurred when the Fine Bros attempted to launch a licensing scheme called ‘React World’, where they would let other video makers use their, soon to be, trademarked “react” title and assets such as their graphics and music. However this was negatively received by the You Tube community, due similar reaction based videos using “react” in the title would be infringing copyright- meaning their videos would be taken down. Many argued, myself included, that they were taking their ‘trademark’ too far due to “react” being such a common word. Consequently the company had to abandon their plans and apologise to their audience, and all evidence of their endeavour was deleted off their channel and social media, as if it was all a bad dream.

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1 Comment

  1. In my humble opinion, what my colleague has demonstrated here is the technological and participatory peak of audience participation. These YouTube channels represent what can actually happen when you not only trust, but rely on your audience.

    I absolutely agree with my colleague’s point that the reason for the colossal success was the fact that the audience was enabled to participate, as well as influence future content.

    I became familiar with the Fine Bros channel on YouTube relatively recently, but it was almost immediately evident that this will be a good one.

    It is always a good idea to take advantage of audience participation in entertainment, however, when proceeded with planning and reason. In this case, it could be argued that the medium itself is run by users, only moderated by Fine Bros.

    An idea, which has proven to be quite profitable and one I find no reasonable motive to question.

    I dare say, that the transitory change in strategy will be their biggest regret for a while. I am not familiar with the issue, but I can say with almost full certainty: that must have costed some subscribers.

    Liked by 1 person

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