What is Fashion Vlogging and what you need to consider from legal standpoint, read to know.
If you use video as part of your business marketing, Tahir Basheer of Sheridans law firm explains what you need to consider, and offers his top tips for fashion vloggers.
The evolving digital landscape is changing the way we share our opinions and interests while creating new opportunities for people to reach mass audiences at little or no cost. The phenomenon of fashion vloggers is a great example of this, enabling a wide range of people to find fame and fandom with an audience traditionally accustomed to rooting through magazines and blogs to get their next fix of fashion, beauty or lifestyle advice. This has empowered fashion vloggers such as Zoella, Essie Button and Carli Bybel, to name but a few, to become celebrities in their own right, and wield significant influence over their many subscribers.
Vloggers with a significant number of subscribers can establish themselves as brand ambassadors, and command decent fees to boot. Unsurprisingly, vlogging can be big business and there are numerous organisations looking to get a slice of the action. In much the same way as a budding musician might get approached by a talent agent, up-and-coming vloggers are now being approached by organisations claiming to help them to make the most of their newfound fame. After all, you wouldn’t expect a musician to direct and produce their own video, distribute and market it, manage the rights, and drive revenue.
The organisations referred to above are what are known as “Multichannel Networks,” or “MCNs.” An MCN might assist in production, programming, funding, promotion, partnerships, rights management, audience development and monetisation. For brands, MCNs represent ready-made pooled talent hubs, providing access to some of the most influential people on the web.
Related reading: Legal Tips for Fashion Collaborations
However, if you are a blogger (or you represent fashion vloggers), it isn’t always the best option to rush into these kinds of arrangements. A number of successful vloggers have entered into imbalanced contracts with MCNs, which have then proven difficult to get out of. MCNs will often want exclusive rights to a vlogger’s content, and so you need to make sure that whatever deal you strike is right for you. Some MCNs take a percentage of advertising revenue, others pay a fee per viewer, while some may attempt to leverage the vlogger’s influence for sponsorship.
If you do enter into an agreement with an MCN, you should consider the following:
1. Avoid indefinite contracts – try and negotiate shorter periods, with a specified end-date.
2. Try to get a minimum guarantee from the MCN ensuring that they will dedicate a certain amount of production funding or other cash to you in return for your endeavours and content. If the MCN doesn’t do anything, ultimately you will just be sharing your revenue with them and getting nothing in return.
3. There are a number of MCNs, so you should shop around for the service and the deal that suits you best. How will they drive your revenue? Do they have a network of channels? Do they have applications that allow you to monitor how well your videos perform? How often do they report on revenue? Do they offer support services such as product, programming, funding, cross-promotion, partner management, digital rights management, monetisation/sales, and/or audience development? These questions all Fashion Vloggers must have answers to.
There are other services available that can provide assistance (and which don’t require entering into a contract with an MCN), such as the YouTube Partner Program, and companies which assist with production facilities. These can be used as an alternative to working with an MCN if you are uncomfortable entering into an agreement.
If you have been invited to join an MCN you should make sure you understand all the pros and cons, and you should consult a lawyer before agreeing to any form of agreement with an MCN.
Are you a Fashion Vlogger or want to become one? Comment below if you have any questions.