Can you really discuss drama if you’re at the center of the drama?
We regret to inform you that Jake and Logan Paul are teaming up once again — this time, they’re skipping their usual impossibly loud antics to sit down and unpack YouTube drama in a shared tea channel called Jake ‘n Logan.
Their first video predictably opens with the brothers squawking at the camera.
“Since we’re brothers and we think alike, and we’re the exact opposite, we’d get together once a week to talk about whatever,” Logan said, turning to a cross-eyed Jake.
“This channel is going to be us talking about stuff on the internet,” Jake continued.
Over the course of the video, the brothers wrestled, tried to guess each other’s favorite food, and discussed Jake’s recent “feud” with fellow YouTuber Cody Ko. His attempt at canceling Ko for being a “cyberbully” backfired, but Jake took it in stride.
“He talks shit, belittling people, and I don’t like that,” Jake said in the video, acknowledging his own controversial past. “Just because someone has gone to jail, when they get out of jail, are they not able to be a good person?”
Although it’s notable that the brothers are getting along — partnering up, even! — instead of dropping diss tracks and sleeping with each other’s girlfriends, their channel shows how influential (and lucrative) tea channels have become.
YouTube is the new reality TV, and tea channels are the modern celebrity magazines. While vloggers continue to create content, involving themselves in drama tends to be the most sure way to maintain an audience.
If you’ve managed to shelter yourself from the hell that is Beautube, you probably aren’t familiar with tea channels. YouTubers may not enjoy the drama, but no marketing campaign can generate the same amount of discussion as sweet, sweet gossip, which is where tea accounts come into play. Tea accounts — based on the phrase “spill the tea” — are the lifeblood of internet culture. Through lengthy videos, tea accounts meticulously gather screenshots, lay out timelines, and break down YouTube feuds so even the most offline followers can keep up. According to SocialBlade, the channel Tea Spill pulls in anywhere from $57,600 – $921,600 per year. The channel Shook has the potential to make $19,300 to $309,200 per year. Even smaller channels, like What’s the Tea, are estimated to bring in up to $31,000 annually.
Modern tea accounts are not only keepers of the gossip tome, but they investigate, too. YouTubers will directly DM more influential accounts to set the record straight, often stirring the pot even more. Like the Atlantic points out, tea accounts and influencers have a symbiotic relationship that parallels Donald Trump’s relationship with Fox News. By manufacturing drama, whether positive or not, you ensure that you’re always at the forefront of the conversation. Tea accounts are the watchdogs of YouTube.
Which is what makes the Pauls’ shared channel so confusing — what is it for? Like many other YouTubers, Logan also has a vlog channel separate from his main account to upload curated daily snippets of his heavily manufactured life. Jake ‘n Logan isn’t quite a vlog, but it isn’t quite a traditional tea channel. They aren’t gathering receipts and establishing a definitive sequence of subtweets. If anything, the channel is a weekly talk show for them to defend their part in the most recent drama cycle.
As insufferable as Jake and Logan can be, further monetizing their drama is unfortunately brilliant. They don’t need to be objective receipt-gatherers on their tea channel because they’re going to get the views anyway.