Youtube incident sends Yeah1 shares plummeting for fifth consecutive day

An incident with Youtube has caused shares of Vietnam’s leading entertainment group Yeah1 to plunge for five consecutive trading sessions through this morning, according to stock exchange data. 

At the time of writing on March 8,  Yeah1’ shares stood at VND170,600 (US$7.28), down 35% from VND245,000 (US$10.45) when the incident occurred on March 1. 

This resulted in a sharp decline in the company’s market capitalization, going down from VND7.6 trillion (US$324.31 million) to VND5.6 trillion (US$240.3 million), down VND2 trillion (US$85.34 million). 

Early in March, Youtube claimed SPRINGme Pte, a Thailand-based company, which is indirectly owned by Yeah1 with nearly 17%, had violated its policies regarding Youtube AdSense, the program that allows publishers on the video channel to place advertisements by third parties, which in turn generates revenue for the content provider. 

Following the incident, Youtube announced that it would terminate all Content Hosting Services Agreements (CHSA) after March 31 with all Yeah1’s subsidiaries or investment companies with business activities related to Youtube Adsense. 

The termination would apply to several of YEG’s multi-channel network (MCN) companies it has control over, such as Thailand-based SPRINGme, US-based ScaleLab, and organic Yeah1 Network Pte Ltd.

Currently, the Yeah1 Group management has said it is seeking further clarification with YouTube regarding this action, and actively working with the video hosting website to prolong the CHSA’s after March 31.

Nguyen Ngoc Hung, CEO of Yeah1 Network, said in 2018, Youtube AdSense business of Yeah1 contributed nearly US$1 million to its pre-tax profit, equivalent to 12.9% of the total. 

According to Hung, in the worst scenario where YouTube would terminate CHSA with Yeah1, only revenue generated from channels owned by third parties would be affected, but not the group’s owned Youtube channels. 

In 2018, total revenue generated from Youtube Adsense reached VND309 billion (US$13.3 million). Of the total, US$1.35 million was from its owned Youtube channels and US$11.95 million from those of third parties, however, profit margin of the former at over 50% is significantly higher than that of the latter at 8%. 

Through the acquisition of ScaleLab in January, Yeah 1 has become one of the world’s top three largest MCNs. Therefore, the group plays a key role in managing and developing contents to support Youtube. The termination if happens would cause damage to both parties involved, Hung stated. 

By acquiring ScaleLab, Yeah1 has increased the total monthly YouTube views under its umbrella to 6.9 billion, and total YouTube subscribers to 610 million throughout the world.   

In a Facebook post, Yearh1’s Chairman Nguyen Anh Nhuong Tong has vowed to help Yeah1 focus on its core value, so that in the future the company would be immune to all challenges. 


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