Since its launch six years ago, C & Rsenal has remained one of the most popular historic filming channels on YouTube. Yet due to the platform’s policies on “gun-related” content, it has been difficult for the channel to make a profit.
Despite this fact, Othais and Mae – the two full-time “employees” – remain committed to sharing the history of historic firearms. Its name is a game on the ATF Collector’s Federal Firearms License (FFL) for Antique Firearms, C&R License or Curios & Relics. It does not allow a holder to be a firearms dealer, but rather to be a licensed collector of firearms old enough to be designated as Curios & Relics.
“C&Rsenal started from my own inability to come up with clear answers to some very basic questions about the history of guns on the Internet,” explained Othasis, who launched the channel on YouTube in November 2014. “The more I read from real researchers, the more I realize popular notions weren’t online. So I started photographing and writing from my own collection and sharing these notes on social media. This got me a few followers and quite a bit of respect. When I started working on video, a lot of that came with it. “
Today there is no shortage of YouTube channels of people shooting their guns, but C&Rsenal is one of the few to provide a glimpse of antique guns – many of which can only be seen in museums.
“Our shooting demonstrations are far from ‘tactical’ but I think they help the viewer better understand the firearm in question,” said Othais. “Live shooting tends to sell the reality of the play and we do our best to get good video and especially good sound so that the experience is more immersive. “
Go against YouTube
However, going this route also had an impact on the channel’s ability to make money. Because of the content in question, many videos – which can take 160-200 hours to produce – make little or no money.
“Unfortunately, there is absolutely no transparency with YouTube,” said Othasis. “We’ve had a few months of smooth browsing, but already some videos that have been around for years are demonetized again. We’re constantly being told that we’ve broken at least one rule on a page of them, and yet when we let’s review the matter, we can’t find a single point that we’ve violated. “
Appealing such decisions is even more laborious.
“Sometimes we manage to bring in a guy who knows a guy and the case just goes away without an explanation or clarification,” Othasis added. “It’s absolutely not a reliable source of income and even in the best months it hasn’t even made up for the base cost of producing an episode.”
Due to YouTube policy, C&Rsenal became almost entirely dependent on Patreon to make the project worthwhile.
“Second, there are usually goods, but this has been a rare year thanks to precarious supply chains,” he added. “Below those two is the ad revenue from YouTube, and then alternative platforms like SubscribeStar. We were the first to adopt Patreon and without such a fundraising method, we never would have done it. those who enjoyed our content should thank our patrons.! “
The “Star” of Videos
C & Rsenal also stood out in that Mae is the face of the brand, but there were several considerations in having a shooter.
“Mae was chosen as the shooter for simple reasons,” Othasis explained. “She was the right size for a WWI soldier and that gives a proper appreciation of the scale of the arms. I also needed to operate the exterior cameras myself, so someone else had to. had to shoot. Starting the series we didn’t consider Mae’s gender to be a major factor outside of some potential chat calls. However, I have now received a lot of feedback on how she got it. encouraged more women to be ready to shoot and explore historic weapons. “
Mae is an experienced shooter who could help break down gender lines on what a person expects from a woman playing in gun videos.
“The common message is that his straightforward appearance and straightforward opinions stood out from the usual ‘gun bunny’ marketing image that people are familiar with,” said Othasis.
Along with a few other notable gun channels on YouTube, C&Rsenal liked to fill a niche in content that just isn’t available on other platforms. YouTube allowed the channel to fill this void, while slowly increasing audiences.
“The problem with television was that every show had to appeal to at least 9/10 of the population,” Othasis said. “It meant everything was getting generic and predictable. For a while, YouTube has provided a more open market solution where content can grow based on the interest available around the world. I don’t think a cable show would ever have approved our project from the start. However, a lot of people have told me that we are doing what History Channel forgot to do. “
Yet the ease of creating the content is the biggest threat to niche content producers.
“My big fear is that it looks like the old TV system is now seeping into YouTube and advertisers are increasingly slacking off control,” Othasis added. “If this free market dies, the platform will become generic and independent talent will roam elsewhere.”