×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

YouTube Star ShayCarl Exits Disney’s Digital Network to Join Startup Social Bluebook

Shay Carl Butler, a longtime YouTube creator better known to his millions of fans as ShayCarl, has left the Mouse House.

Butler has switched his flagship Shaytards channel on YouTube — a vlog featuring his wife and their five kids that has 5 million subscribers — along with his and his family’s other channels from the Disney Digital Network to a new “boutique” community run by tech startup Social Bluebook together with Bent Pixels, which provides YouTube content and channel optimization services and branded-content campaign management.

Back in 2009, Butler was among the founding members of Maker Studios, one of the original multichannel networks (MCNs), which Disney acquired in 2014 (ultimately paying $675 million). Now, Butler has invested in Social Bluebook and has assumed the title of “chief marketing officer” for the company.

“I’m itching to get back to the roots of why we started Maker Studios and something tells me this could happen with Social Bluebook,” Butler said. “We want to learn from the mistakes of the past, and use some of the wisdom and tools we’ve gained from doing this so long.”

About leaving the Disney fold, Butler said, “It started to feel like they didn’t know who we were anymore. It’s Disney – they’re big… We wanted control on our social channels.”

Butler’s departure from Disney Digital Network comes after a tumultuous period for the YouTuber. In February 2017, an adult webcam performer revealed that Butler had sent her sexually explicit text messages and videos; he subsequently told fans via Twitter he had relapsed into alcoholism and would enter rehab. Butler ended up taking about a year hiatus from YouTube.

“I made some mistakes,” Butler told Variety. “It was embarrassing. It was hurtful for my wife, my kids, and my mom and dad…. I got my shit together, took a year off, worked on my family – and made them my No. 1 priority.”

Launched in May 2015, Social Bluebook provides tools for social-media creators to grow their businesses. The company now has more than 170,000 users signed up on its platform, providing a way for influencers to estimate the value of their internet reach in negotiating branded-content deals.

With the addition of Shaytards and the Butlers’ other channels, Social Bluebook has formed the Social Bluebook Community, which is powered on the back-end by Bent Pixels. The new initiative is sort of like a mini-MCN — but both Social Bluebook and Bent Pixels stressed that their initiative is not an “MCN” in the sense of an aggregation of unrelated channels; rather, they said, it is a “community” of affiliated channels. (YouTube has different terms for how it works with MCN operators.)

Butler said Social Bluebook Community is focused on re-establishing the collaborations and relationship opportunities that originally attracted Butler and other “OG” YouTubers to the platform years ago. Other talent in the Social Bluebook community include the Eh Bee Family, FuriousPete, Charles Trippy and Tay Zonday.

“Our goal is to really add value,” said Butler. “We don’t want to sign a bunch of creators just to take a portion of their ad revenue.” According to Butler, Social Bluebook takes a 5% cut of the advertising revenue that participating creators earn on YouTube; the company subsequently said that it does not offer a standard revenue split with creator partners.

Butler’s involvement with Social Bluebook is something of a family affair: CEO Jackson Wood is his brother-in-law, married to his sister Carlie Butler (aka “CarlieStylez” online). ShayCarl and his family now live in Idaho, after spending several years living in L.A., and Wood and Carlie Butler also live in Idaho.

With the large MCNs, “creators lost that private-client feel,” Wood said. “It became another company they had rights with. Our goal is to really help creators and grow their channel.”

In addition to Butler and Wood, investors in Social Bluebook include the Eh Bee Family; Furious Pete; former Maker Studios CEO Danny Zappin; and Social Bluebook founders Sam Michie and Chad Sahley (both former Maker execs). The company also has investors through a crowdfunding campaign it launched in 2017.

Social Bluebook will keep its boutique community of creators relatively small, according to Butler. He’s looking at adding between 100-150 channels to the community, including “friends I’ve known forever” and emerging creators.

ShayCarl believes he’s uniquely suited to help other creators maximize their YouTube potential. “I’m a 38-year-old man, and being a full-time YouTuber is the longest job I’ve ever had,” Butler said.

More Digital

  • Facebook's Oculus Quest Shows How AR

    What the Oculus Quest Can Teach Us About the Future of Mixed Reality

    Facebook’s new Oculus Quest headset is a great gaming device that simplifies virtual reality (VR), doing away with the need for an expensive PC and external tracking hardware. But with its integrated tracking, the Quest can also teach us a thing or two about the future of virtual and augmented reality. Those two areas of [...]

  • snapchat-logo

    Snapchat Takes Down Porn Lenses, May Start Cat-and-Mouse Game

    Snapchat quickly removed a handful of x-rated augmented reality lenses Tuesday, dealing a blow to efforts by adult entertainment company Naughty America to promote its subscriptions to the service’s users. However, the porn studio may not be quite done with Snapchat just yet, as it is still distributing the source files that allow Snapchat users [...]

  • YouTube logo

    Why YouTube Is Changing the Way It Reports Subscriber Counts

    Within the next three months, YouTube will change the way it publicly displays channel subscriber counts: It will provide only rounded figures instead of actual follower numbers. For example, under the change, T-Series — the Indian music-video channel that recently surpassed PewDiePie to become the most-subscribed channel on the platform — would be listed in [...]

  • Phillip Eubanks and Marc Hemeon Join

    Phillip Eubanks and Marc Hemeon Join Troy Carter’s Q&A

    Q&A, the music and tech company founded by former Lady Gaga manager and Spotify exec Troy Carter, today announced the appointments of Phillip Eubanks as Chief Operating Officer (pictured above, right) and Marc Hemeon as Head of Design (left). The pair join Carter, J. Erving (Human Re Sources, Atom Factory), Suzy Ryoo (Atom Factory, OMD) [...]

  • Simran Sethi Quits Netflix India Role

    Simran Sethi Quits Netflix India Role

    Simran Sethi, the Los Angeles-based director of Netflix international originals, responsible for India content, has resigned and will quit after a transition period. Netflix did not comment. Sources familiar with the matter told Variety that Netflix prefers an executive based in India to oversee local original content that has now grown to 11 series and [...]

  • The Secret Life of Pets 2

    ‘The Secret Life of Pets 2’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Universal Pictures claims the top spot in spending with “The Secret Life of Pets 2.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $11.52 million through Sunday for 869 national ad airings [...]

  • Cory-Haik-Vice

    Vice Media Hires Cory Haik, Former Mic Publisher, as Chief Digital Officer (EXCLUSIVE)

    Vice Media has recruited Cory Haik, former publisher of digital news start-up Mic, as chief digital officer to lead the youth-culture company’s global internet businesses. Haik will be based at Vice’s Brooklyn headquarters and report to CEO Nancy Dubuc. She most recently worked at Mic, which last fall laid off virtually its entire staff before [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content