YouTube’s Firearms History Channel C&Rsenal Has Faced ‘De-Monetization’ But Keeps Growing Its Audience

YouTube's Firearms History Channel C&Rsenal Has Faced 'De-Monetization' But Keeps Growing Its Audience

Mae from C & Rsenal with an MG08 machine gun

C & Rsenal

Since its inception six years ago, C&Rsenal has remained one of the most popular historical shooting channels on YouTube. However, because of the platform’s policy on “weapon-related” content, it has been a challenge for the broadcaster to make a profit.

Nonetheless, Othais and Mae – the two full-time “employees” – remain committed to sharing the history of historic firearms. His name is a game with the ATF collector’s Federal Firearms License (FFL) for vintage firearms, the C&R or Curios & Relics license. It does not allow an owner to be an arms dealer but rather to be a licensed arms collector old enough to be referred to as Curios & Relics.

“C & Rsenal started with my own inability to find straight answers to some very basic gun history questions on the Internet,” explained Othasis, who launched the channel on YouTube in November 2014. “The more I read from actual researchers, the more I realized the popular ideas were mismatched. So I started taking photos and writing from my own collection and sharing these notes on social media. This earned me a small following and a fair amount of respect. When I did video work, a lot of it came with me. “

There is no shortage of channels on YouTube these days for people shooting their firearms, but C & Rsenal is one of the few that actually offers insight into vintage firearms – many of which can only be seen in museums.

“Our shooting demonstrations are anything but ‘tactical’, but I believe they help the viewer better understand the weapon in question,” said Othais. “Live Fire tends to sell the reality of the piece, and we do our best to get good video and audio to make the experience even more immersive.”

Run Afoul from YouTube

However, this route also affected the broadcaster’s ability to make money. Because of the content in question, many of the videos, which can take 160 to 200 hours to produce, make little to no money.

“Unfortunately there is absolutely no transparency on YouTube,” said Othasis. “We’ve had a couple of months of smooth sailing, but already some videos that have been available for years are demonetized again. We’re constantly being told that we’ve broken at least one rule on one side of them, and yet when we review them.” Thing, we can’t find a single point that we violated. “

It is even more difficult to contest such decisions.

“Sometimes we manage to approach a man who knows a man and the matter just goes away with no explanation or clarification,” added Othasis. “It’s absolutely not a reliable source of income and hasn’t even made up the basic production cost of an episode, even in the best months.”

Due to the guidelines of YouTube, the C&Rsenal has become almost entirely dependent on Patreon to make the project worthwhile.

“Second, it’s usually goods, but this year it has been sparse due to insecure supply chains,” he added. “Among those two are advertising revenue from YouTube and, most recently, alternative platforms like SubscribeStar. We introduced Patreon early on and without such a funding method we would never have made it. Everyone who has enjoyed our content is grateful to our customers!”

The “star” of the videos

C & Rsenal also excelled in having Mae the face of the brand, but there were several considerations about having a female protector.

“Mae was chosen as our shooter for simple reasons,” said Othasis. “It was the right size for a WWI soldier, and that’s a fair appreciation for the size of the arms. I also had to run the outside cameras myself so someone else had to shoot. We didn’t do that at the beginning of the series. ” Think of Mae’s gender as a major factor outside of a potential cat call. However, I have now received a lot of comments on how she has encouraged more women to be ready to both shoot and research historical weapons. “

Mae is a seasoned marksman who could help push the gender boundaries of what someone would want from a woman featured in videos with guns.

“The general message is that their simple looks and direct opinions stand out from the usual marketing image people are familiar with,” said Othasis.

Along with some other notable firearms channels on YouTube, C & Rsenal has enjoyed filling a niche in content that is simply not available on other platforms. YouTube allowed the channel to fill that void while slowly growing its audience.

“The problem with television was that each program had to appeal to at least 9/10 of the population,” said Othasis. “That meant everything became general and predictable. For some time now, YouTube has offered a free market solution that allows content to grow in line with global interest. I don’t think any cable show would ever have approved our project.” From the beginning. However, I’ve had a great many people say we’re doing what the History Channel forgot. “

However, the ease with which the content is created is the biggest threat to niche content producers.

“My big fear is that the old TV system is now creeping into YouTube and the advertisers have more and more control,” added Othasis. “When this free market dies, the platform will become generic and the independent talent will move elsewhere.”