Recently, AsianBoss started a GoFundMe Campaign to raise $700,000 to last till the end of 2021 ($60,455/month assuming GoFundMe 5% admin fees) to prevent a shutdown. The campaign garnered over $500,000 and 15,000 donors.
Why is Asian Boss shutting down? Even with 2.86M Youtube subscribers, Asian Boss videos with over 1m views are usually on sensitive topics that are not monetizable by YouTube. The other videos garnered much fewer views (only 90k views) which would not cover video production costs and compounded by Asian Boss investors facing bankruptcy themselves.
Asian Boss had taken measures like
* laying off 40% of their staff
* pay cuts to remaining staff
* moving to a smaller office as of the GoFundMe video
The main reason for the current money issue seems to be from focusing on funding to create content instead of monetization.
Many forum commenters and Youtubers wondered why they don't do Patreon earlier to prevent such a desperate attempt in keeping the company alive.
reiichi in Onehallyu Forum who worked in advertisement said
"I worked in advertisement and the difference between the money you can make from online ads, vs what you can make from airing the same content on TV, is staggering. And I'm talking about a company with their own ad servers, not one that depends on Youtube for it...
Youtubers depend on merch and sponsors more than ad revenue. You need to be very big in order to earn a living off Youtube alone. "
Mendrox in Resetera Forum also said
"Sorry but there is a pretty big mismanagement at work here. Even Channels like Tokyo Creative manage fine so far. Yes, some of the videos were great in all those years, but this amount of subs and the costs they have...maybe look at how your videos make money at all?
Everyone who has a channel like this and doesn't do content at home currently has that problem. Many of them doing other side gigs to stay afloat and many of them also from Asia. Feels a bit strange, to be honest.
Most of those channels do sponsor stuff e.g. show off cool locations, travel around get paid for that, product placement in the video, merchandise, and also, of course, AD money. That's how all those channels make any money at all. Nowadays AD money is a joke in comparison to a few years ago, but it's still a pillar grows your income. It's also why almost any channel that has a bigger audience also sells merchandise like T-Shirts, Postcards etc. and almost always has a "this video is sponsored by" message in the video itself (which you can't block, just skip). Those sponsorships can pay a lot of money if you are known and don't let yourself get fucked over (in the case of 2.38 Million subs that would be a lot, we talking about XXXXX$ here per video).
The funniest thing is many of the Vbloggers in Asia suddenly going back home or getting an animal, because there is way less content to create, and animals = views = $
AsianBoss always did videos like "Why is XY so bad here?" "What is the big problem?" so a bit more about cultural differences, jobs in Asia, racism, knowledge, etc. so they go deep into certain topics. Doesn't help that it seems like many videos don't make money at all because they are not monetized."
How does Asian Boss make money?
Firstly, subscribers do not earn Youtubers any money. It is purely based on monetizable video views so their 2.8m subscribers do not count. Most sites estimate Youtubers to make $3 to $7 per thousand views but given the amount of non-monetized videos and advertisement rates for non-US viewers (e.g. India) dipping greatly, it would not be surprising to only get $1 per thousand views.
SocialBlade counted 11m views for Asian Boss in the last 30 days. Given our estimate of $1 per thousand views, they only earn $11,000/month far below the estimated running cost of $60,455/month.
There is also no merch sales using Teespring like many other channels at the bottom of the channels.
Where is Asian Boss Based
Currently, Asian Boss is based in Seoul, South Korea, and a reporting presence in more than 10 different Asian countries. Co-Founders Stephen Park and Kei Ibaraki started Asian Boss in 2013 in Sydney, Australia.
What will happen to Asian Boss?
While it seems like they will definitely survive 2021, it shall be seen if they can monetize the business with controversial content style or shift to more "safer" topics that are monetizable. GoFundMe also probably take 5% of the funds raised for the administrative fees (around $35,000).
It is likely they will still try to tell the story of the "voiceless" as promised in the GoFundMe campaign. Stephen Park once covered a story of an old lady in Seoul who collected cardboard boxes for $2 every day to make ends meet. Her story was told on YouTube and eventually she was gifted $25,000, thanks to the efforts of a charitable organization, Give Korea in collaboration with Asian Boss to support the poor elderly of Korea.
Even if they failed (which is unlikely), Stephen Park can revert to his previous career of an international lawyer in Australia for 5 years. He quit that career and started AsianBoss due to the viral one mega-hit music video of Psy video.