Indie Vtuber Bao claims she was scammed by animation studio for $34,000
Indie Vtuber Bao has admitted to losing and apparently being owed over $34,000 after an unnamed animation studio refused to refund her.
Creating content in the Vtuber space can be extremely expensive. High-quality models, original songs, and merchandise can cost thousands of dollars to produce.
Some Vtubers who create unique content work for an agency that will pay for official projects like Hololive and Nijisanji. However, Indie Vtubers often rely on other methods to fund their ideas.
A popular strategy is to run a subathon where fans donate toward a set goal. Vtuber Bao hosted a successful Subathon to fund a big project for her fans, but what followed didn’t go to plan.
Bao loses $34,000 to unnamed studio
Speaking on stream, Bao said she was owed a “very large amount of money,” by an unnamed animation studio. She had paid the studio to produce a series of music videos for her original songs.
Addressing the situation on stream, Bao said: “I am owed a very large amount of money. I don’t want to say how much or by who, but I am doing my best to work through it because it was money that you guys gave me. It was money we funded together as a community during my subathon.”
Elaborating further, the whale Vtuber would later reveal the specifics on Twitter: “To summarize the beginning of my stream, I lost all of my subathon money. It was going towards animated music videos for my original songs. The studio in question has refunded me exactly $20 to date.”
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The detailing tweet had an invoice attached showing Bao’s payments to the studio had totaled $34,517.86 over three months.
Vienna followed up confirming that Bao was not the only victim: “Quite a few of us were affected by this – Bao especially has suffered so much. I don’t know what we can say but to my friends out there – be careful. Even a reputable studio or group of people can and will do this. I refuse to pay full amounts upfront anymore, ever.”
Scamming online creators is by no means exclusive to Vtubers. Underhanded business practices affect others, including recently TikTok stars like Alix Earle who found herself stranded in Italy.