The NELK Boys have seen a meteoric rise throughout 2019 and 2020, with their pranks doing huge numbers on YouTube and reaching over 4 million subscribers. Now, though, they’re threatening to leave the platform.
NELK’s content – led by Jesse Sebastiani and Kyle Forgeard – has always been controversial in nature, especially by YouTube’s current standard which prefers to promote family-friendly content.
Their pranks have landed them in hot water plenty of times, be it with the people they prank or being held by national law enforcement to prevent them from doing any more.
That hasn’t stopped the duo and their team, though, but the latest development in their ongoing issues with the YouTube platform may put a stopper in their plans going forward.
Posting a story to the nelkboys Instagram account late on February 24, Kyle explains what is going on and how YouTube are “being complete f**king morons.”
He said: “You guys obviously know, we never care about the money, so we don’t give a f**k about monetization and stuff like that, but now they’re just age-restricting our last four videos. So you have to be signed in, have an account, and they don’t recommend it. But a lot of people don’t watch with an account. It destroys the views, so I don’t even know if we’re going to keep uploading on YouTube.”
The situation is a tough one for the NELK Boys as YouTube has a huge monopoly on the video-sharing industry, with no real competitors to upload to where they could still reach the 2.5-3 million views they receive on each video.
Kyle goes on to say that he “doesn’t even know what to do” about the situation as he’s “so p**sed off,” simply signing off with: “I don’t know, maybe no more YouTube.”
This isn’t the first time NELK has had a run-in with YouTube – in January 2018 they released a video explaining why their lack of monetization and depleting almost ran them off the platform. Then, in May 2018, they launched their own platform amid the expectation of an imminent ban from YouTube which never came, so they continued to upload to their channel.
Whether they choose to take a similar route this time remains to be seen. The fact that they never made the full switch from YouTube to their own platform suggests that it may not have been as successful as they would have hoped, but having found that they can make a decent living off of merchandise, the video monetization is no longer that important.
What they plan to do going forward remains to be seen, but there’s little opportunity for content creators outside of YouTube, especially if they’re looking to maintain their huge fanbase.