ebregman FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Evan

Male
from Austin

  • Activity

    • We Want Your Fan Projects! Here’s What’s OK and What’s Not.

      1 week ago

      ebregman Evan

      RWBY is a mere three days away on FIRST! Just a reminder, Volume 5 Chapter 1 premieres Saturday at 10am for FIRST Members, and then on Tuesday 10/17 at 10a CT it’s free to watch for anyone with a registered account on RoosterTeeth.com. And don’t forget to join us for the premiere of RWBY Rewind with Chad and Yssa, live for FIRST Members on Tuesday 10/17 at 5p CT!


      RWBY’s premiere means we’re approaching the most intense time of year for my team, who, as part of their responsibilities, helps to review fan projects to make sure they follow our Content Usage Guidelines. To give you a glimpse of what’s involved in this task, we typically receive about 30-50 YouTube ContentID claims per week, and that figure will more than double starting next week. That doesn’t include stuff from unauthorized third-party websites, which can be huge.


      We absolutely love fan projects, and encourage you to keep making them! Technically, Rooster Teeth was founded as a fan project. Since Microsoft and 343 are kind enough to let us keep making Red vs. Blue even 15 seasons later, we feel a deep responsibility to pay it forward by allowing our community to participate in our content, transform it, play with it, react to it, and generally have fun with it.


      To support this goal, we wrote up these handy Content Usage Guidelines that outline our approach toward fan projects. I’m proud to say we have some of the most lenient usage guidelines of any company I’ve ever seen.


      Like I mentioned at the start, actually enforcing these guidelines is complicated and very manual. It’s impossible for a computer/algorithm/machine to reliably understand the difference between a reuploaded episode of RWBY and a reaction video where the reactor doesn’t say much, for instance. Because of that, if you feel a machine/computer/algorithm has flagged a project that in fact follows our guidelines, we have a process that makes sure you can let us and/or our partners at Fullscreen know when you want a human to review your project. We review these as quickly as possible during business hours (Monday through Friday, 10am - 6pm CT).


      When you use our process to route your project for manual review, whether that’s in an email, on YouTube, or otherwise, we have our staff (actual, human people - not robots) handle your correspondence. We recognize this could be a very stressful situation, and we really appreciate your patience and kindness when it comes to this communication. This team works very hard and loves RT as much as you do, and they want to help you.  


      If you have questions about what’s OK and what is not, please take a minute to thoroughly review the Content Usage Guidelines. I’ll surface a few key points here for the TL;DR crowd:

      • In general, you’re allowed to use Rooster Teeth characters, worlds, video clips, or game play in your fan project, so long as your project is free to watch for everyone and/or you are not selling your project to any third parties.

      • It’s not OK to use our trademarked logos or words. This can confuse viewers into thinking your project is an officially endorsed RT project, which we want to avoid. Trademarks include the RWBY logo, Rooster Teeth logo, official illustrations of RWBY characters, or any designs featured on Rooster Teeth merch.

      • On YouTube, we use the ContentID tool to help us detect piracy. If your fan project contains a large amount of a Rooster Teeth video, it will most likely be claimed automatically when you upload it to your channel. The first policy we automatically apply is a “block” policy, which means your video won’t be visible at first. When this happens, all you need to do is dispute the claim in your Video Manager (here are more details on how dispute a claim). Within two business days, we will review your video and will either remove the claim or change the policy. If we don’t remove the claim or change the policy, that means our staff member who watched it decided it does not follow the Content Usage Guidelines or fair use provisions of the US Copyright Act, and our claim and/or policy is correct.

      • If your dispute was rejected and you still think your fan project follows the content usage guidelines, you can appeal the rejection and we will review the video a second time. At that point, we will reach out via email with three options: 1) If we agree on second review that your video should have a different policy applied, we will ask you to remove your appeal in a specified timeframe so we can apply a new policy to the video. We can’t apply a new policy unless you remove the appeal first. 2) If on second review we still think your video should have the same policy applied, we will ask you to remove your appeal in a specified timeframe. 3) If you do not remove your appeal within the timeframe we specify, we issue a copyright takedown and a strike will be issued to your channel. We hate doing this and rarely do it (about 1% of disputes end in takedowns, and I want that to be lower).

      • We will not review your fan project in advance and give approval ahead of time. Our process begins when you post your project to the web.

      • When we post content early on FIRST, we generally appreciate if you can limit your fan projects on other platforms, but we will apply the same guidelines to all fan projects no matter when/where they are posted.

      • Last but not least, we always reserve the right to handle your fan project as we see fit, or change these guidelines if we feel it’s necessary.

      If you have any questions about this process, now is your chance to ask! We’ve spent a year adjusting and honing our guidelines based on specific cases we’ve run into, and we always want to find ways to make it better.

    • RWBY Windowing!

      1 month ago

      ebregman Evan

      We are officially one month away from the October 14 premiere of RWBY Volume 5! The entire RT Animation crew has been making amazing happen every day, and we can't wait to show you what's in store for this volume.


      This past year, we switched to a 7-day exclusive window for FIRST members for many of our shows, and we've greatly appreciated your viewership and feedback. (For more information on why we went this route, check out this journal post.) We understand and recognize that RWBY is a unique show with a unique audience, and we’ve been listening to all your feedback on the 7-day window as the year has progressed. We want to make sure we can help facilitate the community interaction and conversation around every episode. With your feedback top of mind, we decided to implement a 3-day FIRST-exclusive window for RWBY. So the schedule will be as follows:


      • Saturdays starting October 14 at 10am CT: FIRST members
      • Tuesdays starting October 17 at 10am CT: Free for all registered RoosterTeeth.com members
      • Saturdays starting October 21 (a week after airing) at 10am CT: Free for everyone on RoosterTeeth.com (and new episode premieres for FIRST members)

      Once again, we are so thankful for your support and feedback as we try new things. Our community continues to impress us, and prove that you are the best group of people in the world.


      And don’t forget, if you live in the US and want to see Volume 5 Chapter 1 even earlier, it will be in theaters around the US on October 12! You can get tickets here.


      Stay tuned for more details of what's coming down the pipeline. We have an incredible year ahead of us! As always, send over your questions below and I'll answer them through the next day or so.

    • FIRST Week Is Coming!

      2 months ago

      ebregman Evan

      The second season of Day 5 premieres on Sunday, and to celebrate, we're kicking off another FIRST Week on Monday!


      From August 7-13, everyone gets to experience some of the best perks of being a FIRST member. That means the entire first season of Day 5 will be opened up to the public for the week. It’s the perfect opportunity for everyone you know to binge watch it and catch up for the second season! Plus all our live broadcasts will be free to watch on our site, including Tuesday Night Game Fight, Death Battle Cast, and old favorites Off Topic and the Rooster Teeth Podcast.


      BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! You can watch a free preview of some of our FIRST-exclusive shows for ONE WEEK ONLY. From August 9-15, become a Dream Daddy with the boyz of Backwardz Compatible. Then, from August 11-17, everyone can drink along with Theater Mode while watching the masterpiece known as Nightbeast. From August 13-19, make sure to stay awake for a public preview of the Day 5 season 2 premiere. Last but not least, we're also bringing you a special free-to-watch episode of Fan Service!


      Like our first FIRST Week, we're going to have a FIRST membership drive with some ridiculous signup goals. We’ll announce those on Monday, so stay tuned for details!


      KgZUMUj.jpg

    • Click the Bell on YouTube! Our new schedule will treat you nicely.

      4 months ago

      ebregman Evan

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      I’ve talked a lot so far about FIRST and RT.com, which is and always will be the first and foremost distribution outlet for us. But no doubt many of you use YouTube as the primary way you watch our content – in fact thanks to you, the Rooster Teeth YouTube channel recently hit 9MM subscribers, and 5 BILLION lifetime views, which puts us in the top 90 most viewed YouTube channels of all time. So let’s talk a bit about YouTube strategy, and a few experiments we’re about to try that are mostly geared toward our performance on YouTube.


      If you subscribed to any of our YouTube channels in the last few years, did you click the bell? It’s the icon next to the Subscribe button that turns on mobile notifications for our channel, and it might be the second-most significant platform update YouTube has ever made. When the bell launched in 2015, it was an acknowledgement that mobile devices were YouTube’s biggest traffic driver, and it brought the YouTube app and all of our content to your phone’s home screen. This was the beginning of a major shift in the way people use YouTube.


      We can’t see a raw number of people who’ve clicked the bell, but evidence says many of you probably do get mobile updates every time we post on YouTube. We see it most when we look at views over time for shows we posted in the Before Bell Era (2005-2015) compared to shows posted in the Bell Era (2015-present). Videos in the Before Bell Era had lower viewership peaks on day 1, and more day-to-day viewership as time went on. Videos in the Bell Era hit harder on the first day or two, and then the viewership settles more quickly. Here’s what that looks like for Camp Camp S1 episodes posted in 2016 (blue line), compared to RWBY Vol 1, posted in 2013 (orange line). Considering both shows received about the same number of views in a similar time period, the change in viewer habit is easy to see.


      Dr7vEWR.png


      This means a YouTube posting strategy necessarily has become a notification strategy. We don’t have the ability to filter which videos send notifications, so we have to make sure every time our subscribers see a notification from the Rooster Teeth YouTube channel, they want to click it and watch. I was talking through this line of thinking with two of the most knowledgeable YouTube strategists I know, Bruce at Funhaus and Ashley at The Know, and both of them gave me specific examples that showed them how to use the bell most effectively. Post two videos close together, they told me, and viewership for the first video sees a drop almost immediately upon the second video posting. Post too many videos in one day, especially close together, and we become that annoying friend who texts you 13 emoji in a row (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE).


      Rooster Teeth on YouTube has traditionally posted 2-3 videos per day (sometimes more), with one hour between posts. Tomorrow, we’re going to start trying something different.


      First off, we’re making it a rule to post no more than 2 videos per day on YouTube. There will always be exceptions, and it will take us some time to get there, but we can at least gear our regular schedule toward it more specifically. Second, we’re going to space out premiere times for videos on the Rooster Teeth channel, and do the same for Achievement Hunter and Let’s Play (we generally think of those two channels as one and the same, since there is a ton of audience overlap).


      Third, and this is important: we’re trying to take a stab at what type of content you generally might want to watch at certain times of the day (in US-based time zones, at least). Cartoons will launch early so you can start your day with a quick bite of Camp Camp or RTAA or RWBY Chibi. Short form live action goes out around lunchtime, when you can take a break and see what we’ve been up to behind the scenes or watch Blaine sacrifice his body for comedy. Last but not least, longer length videos will go up in the evening just in time for you to get home from school, start your evening commute, or jump into happy hour with your friends here at RT.


      Given the various different windows for our content, the fine folks in the marketing department made a handy graphic for you to reference. This indicates days and times when shows will launch on FIRST, and we’ve included a note on windows for each as well.


      mdvc5Kp.jpg


      In sum, if you’ve never turned on notifications for our YouTube channel, now is the time to do it! We promise we won’t blow you up.


      As always, I’ll be here answering questions in the comments for a bit.


    • How we evaluate a show's performance (with a few words on RWBY Chibi, too)

      5 months ago

      ebregman Evan

      Hi everyone, I’m back again with more thoughts on why we do what we do with our programming. It’s fun to write these and I’m really enjoying your thoughtful responses, so keep ‘em coming


      Today we announced the RWBY Chibi season 2 premiere date (May 13!), and that the series will be FIRST exclusive for 7 days before it becomes free-to-watch on RoosterTeeth.com and YouTube. For those who saw my previous post, this likely comes as no surprise. Chibi has stand-alone episodes, like Million Dollars But…, Sex Swing, and RTAA do, so there’s less concern about spoilers and breaking up a conversation in the community. I was also fascinated to see people respond to my last post saying that they now use the YouTube notifications system to tell them when there’s a new episode available on FIRST. Notifications are possible within our iOS and Android apps, but we’ve not developed the workflow to use them quite yet; you’ll likely start to see us play with those by the end of this year.


      To address the elephant in the room, our windowing on RWBY Chibi in no way reflects any decisions on how we'll window RWBY Volume 5. Check out my last post for more details as to why, but to sum it up: RWBY has a serialized narrative that drives conversation within our community, and although the vast majority of people who watch RWBY on our website are already logged-in FIRST members, that show does receive marginally more free-to-watch traffic than others. We’re still collecting data that will help make a decision about this, and we’ll keep you updated once we have a better idea of what the Fall will hold for us.


      We’ve also made a number of adjustments to our lineup lately, and I’ve seen conversations asking “what happened to that show?” or “this show is great but no one is watching it, please support it!” or “is this show coming back?” or “PLS RT MORE STRANGERHOOD” (ok, not a ton of that last one). That tells me it’s high time to give you some insight into how we judge a show’s performance and decide if it should be renewed or canceled. (If you want details on how we greenlight shows, check out Burnie’s vlog on the subject.) While I can’t talk through a ton of specific numbers here, I can give you a sense of our priorities.


      When we look at a show’s performance, we ask a lot of questions. First off, how many minutes of a show did we serve across all platforms, relative to our other shows? If you’ve ever posted anything on YouTube, you’ve likely seen this same “minutes watched” stat in YouTube’s analytics tab as well. The reason we all focus intently on it is because time is super valuable to our audience, and it has a clear, consistent definition. One minute is always 60 seconds (unless you distort gravity, but that’s generally not a concern for us). Compare that to a View, which has a completely different definition set by each platform that serves video. YouTube doesn’t tell us specifically what a view is, but it’s widely estimated that a YouTube view happens after someone watches 30 seconds of a video, with some exceptions. Facebook separates 10-second views and 3-second views. Other SVOD services define a view as the number of minutes of a video viewed by all subscribers divided by the total runtime of the video. So a view is relative to its definition; time is not. Views can be an indicator of minutes served when taken in context, but it’s pretty inconsistent and overly complex. It’s also really hard to compare the value of one show’s View to another, especially since our shows have widely varying run times.


      Another important indicator to us is engagement, which is a buzzword that’s partly data and partly totally subjective. It refers to all the interactive things people do with our content besides watching it. Did they comment on it? Share it? Use a modifier on our website? Is there a specific moment in an episode that people clearly responded to? A character? On the subjective side, what’s the general feeling of that engagement? People sometimes engage a lot with something they absolutely hate, but the internet can also just be troll-y sometimes, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Is there something about the engagement that can help us make the show better?


      Last but certainly not least on the data side: did this show successfully serve a purpose for us? Is our community responding to it? Did it help us grow FIRST? Did it raise the overall profile and measurable audience of Rooster Teeth? If it’s a talk show, were we able to get ad sponsors excited enough about it that they’d support it? Is there something else we can do with this show on top of airing it on our own channels, like bring it to movie theaters, make an awesome, collector-worthy DVD, or create cool merch?


      There are other factors too, unrelated to data. Shows that are really hard to produce for some reason, regardless of how much they cost to make, tend to have a higher bar to hit if we’re going to keep making them; we say that these shows “cost more than money to make.” If there’s a central creative issue with a show that we’ve not quite figured out how to solve despite having a season of episodes to experiment on, we likely will want a clear way forward before we’re OK making more of them. We also try to find learnings from the things we can control that affect data, like the specific way we linked from a YouTube video back to FIRST, and how we windowed the content. If there’s something we know we can do better next time, that helps. And there’s always that ultimate intangible: do we even want to make any more of this show? If the people who work on it have run out of creative steam, it’s pretty tough to ask them to do it all again.


      All of that might help explain a few things some of you have noticed lately. Enjoy the Show and A Spot of Science (f.k.a. Let Me Clarify) have ended after their initial seasons. We tried airing a new episode of Enjoy the Show on The Know this past weekend to see if that might be a better home for a show in that vein, and so far we’re encouraged by the results. In both of those cases, we loved making the shows, but for good reasons you outlined in the comments, you didn’t respond to them as well as we had hoped. Same goes for Sex Swing: that was a ridiculously fun show to develop and work on, but we didn’t quite get it to where we needed to be on multiple levels, viewership included.


      The best part of Rooster Teeth is, we’re going to launch a ton more new shows this year. Every one of them will be a chance to find the next thing you guys will fall in love with. It’s inevitable that not everything will work, and in fact most of it won’t, but we love trying new things with you guys and making adjustments until we get it right.



    • How we Choose our Content Windows: A Friday Data Dump

      6 months ago

      ebregman Evan

      Hi friends, happy almost Easter and Passover!


      I introduced myself back in June when I joined, but in case you missed that – hey there, I’m Evan, and I lead the Programming department at RT.


      Among other things, my job is to be part of the group that discusses and decides how we should release and window our content. My perspective on this is based on a lot of experience making stuff for the web and releasing it in different ways, keeping up with how platforms like YouTube and Facebook are changing, and, most of all, data about how all of you watch and interact with our content. With all the talk around windowing lately, I wanted to open up some of what goes into these decisions.


      First off, here’s a fact: FIRST memberships are what enable us to make content. That’s been true since the Sponsor program began, and it might be even more true now, when making content is just one of the many things we do. Content drives conversation within our community, and for that reason, even if you can watch our content elsewhere, we want a FIRST membership to be the absolute best way for our community to watch and gather around our shows. You’ve likely heard Burnie already talk about how we’re also working on some amazing changes to the platform that I know will further help us achieve that goal.


      Another fact: More than 95% of people who watch content on RoosterTeeth.com are already logged-in FIRST members, and that number is increasing. Two notable exceptions are Red vs. Blue and RWBY, when we see a lot more people taking advantage of a free-to-watch window on our site. But even those two shows are viewed mostly by FIRST members on RoosterTeeth.com. The trend is clear: if you watch our shows for free, you overwhelmingly do it elsewhere (and we’re totally fine with that!).


      Not surprisingly, FIRST members also watch a lot more content on our site than non-members. Members have told us over and over again that exclusive content in particular is the biggest reason why they join, and why they keep their memberships. The 24-hour early access to shows, RT Store discount, no ads, and early access to tickets are all awesome (and they’re not going anywhere), but it’s the exclusive shows that make it worthwhile to join.


      All that in mind, it’s my job to make sure we always have amazing shows to watch on FIRST, and that we launch new shows frequently. We know that your appetite to consume new content on FIRST has already outpaced our ability to make it. Every time we premiere another FIRST-exclusive show, it’s among the most-watched content on our website. We hear you when you tell us that we make so many shows that it’s hard to keep up, but WOW, do you watch it all.


      There are two ways we can address this. Obviously the most important way is to make a lot of new FIRST-exclusive shows, which we are definitely doing. Most of those shows (like Day 5 and Crunch Time) take a lot of time to develop, write, produce, edit, and release, especially if we want them to live up to our standards. You’re going to start seeing more and more FIRST-exclusive episodic shows – and even original movies – coming up very soon, even while we continue to make more and more shows you can still watch completely for free. Just to illustrate this, here’s a graph comparing how many minutes of content we produced and published across all our channels for the last two years.


      ooYmKYc.jpg


      Yes, we plan to publish ~140,000 total minutes of content this year, and the vast majority will be totally free to watch.


      But we can’t (and won’t) support FIRST by only making new FIRST-exclusive shows. Not only would that be unfair to the many of you who watch our shows for free, it’s also impossible to do unless we have unlimited funds (which we don’t). What’s more, if we do it right, our free-to-watch shows can help us grow FIRST and afford to make more shows.


      We will never, EVER, take something free away from you. If a show has always had a free-to-watch window, it will always become free to watch; however, we will be experimental and try new things to make sure the free-to-watch window always supports FIRST as best it can. Decisions around windowing will always be guided by community and data.


      With all this in mind, in January of this year we started experimenting with a 7-day windowing strategy, starting with RTAA. Immediately, some amazing things happened: YouTube traffic didn’t change, the amount of traffic that the YouTube videos were driving to RoosterTeeth.com tripled, and RTAA episodes suddenly became some of the most-watched content on our site. Turns out you like watching RTAA on RoosterTeeth.com – you just couldn’t find it very well before!


      Next, we tried the 7-day FIRST window with our new show Sex Swing. Results were consistent, even with a brand-new show that wasn’t getting the major YouTube views RTAA gets every week.


      We knew Million Dollars, But... and Red vs. Blue were our next tests, and we also knew RvB in particular would be different since the narrative is serialized, and because Red vs. Blue gets a lot more viewership on RoosterTeeth.com from non-FIRST-members compared to other shows. This led to conversations over the past few months, which included discussions about how this was received last year when we tried to do it with RWBY. In the end, we decided to do what we’ve done so many times: try it, monitor it, and learn from it.


      We are so thankful for our RT Family, and for the community dynamic that made us what we are today. But we realize we’ll sometimes have to make choices that will not always be 100% well-received. Even as we try things that we know might change the community dynamic, we will do everything we can to protect the community while also balancing the needs of our growing business.


      You’ve supported us since the beginning, and we know you’ll help us out and be patient when we try new things, even when they’re not easy for any of us. Like any good relationship, the most important thing we can do is communicate clearly. I hope this was interesting to even a few of you, and feel free to ask questions in the comments - I’ll answer as many as I can!

    • Hello, world!

      1 year ago

      ebregman Evan

      Hey everyone,


      I’m Evan, and I just started as Director of Programming here at RTHQ (can I call it that?). I’m ridiculously excited to be working here, and I thought it was time to introduce myself to you guys.


      A little about me: I just moved to Austin from Los Angeles, along with my wife and our dog. Digital media is my passion and always has been – I graduated from a program at USC that was all about interactive video, and as a side note we were definitely watching RvB! Then I worked at NBC for a bit before working in the digital division for the parent company of CollegeHumor, and then for the company that makes YouTube Rewind. All along the way I was making web videos, like this one, and this one (that’s me as Rich Uncle Pennybags).


      My challenge here is to make sure all the different platforms where we distribute content are working together perfectly, telling the Rooster Teeth story across all our different shows and channels and making sure you can discover it and enjoy it as easily as possible. Some of my work will be visible to you and some of it less so, but overall, we’re still going to make everything you’re used to seeing from us, and it’s all going to keep expanding. I’ll keep you updated along the way!


      That’s all for now. Leave a comment and I’ll try to respond throughout the day, but I’m still running around just meeting everyone who works here!


      Evan

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  • Comments (1)

    • JohnJoe

      6 months ago

      I appreciate you laying out exactly what the thought process was for extending the wait period 7 days instead of the 24 hour one that we have enjoyed. You seem like a very cool dude, and even though it is a little late, taking the time to address it is very much appreciated.


      I would love if you guys would keep narrative shows like RvB and RWBY at a 24 hour exclusive to FIRST members, not only to because they are story-driven, but because they have always been available for everyone(mostly).


      Thank you again for cutting out the bullshit and telling us why you guys did what you did, and if you do listen to us, I will be able to purchase a FIRST membership feeling like I am helping out my favorite community- driven company, rather than feeling like buying one is the way to watch my favorite shows without being a week behind.

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