5/23/2022 – Here’s what’s new and what caught my eye this week:
TikTok Will Overtake YouTube in the only metric that really matters: You’ve seen the breathless stories claiming TikTok is bigger than YouTube in the US. But visits, mobile usage and other narrow metrics just cloud the picture. Total time spent across all screens is the only metric that really matters. Why? Because with media it’s all about attention. More time means more ads, more signals about what YOU like, more chances to refine that personalized addiction algorithm. YouTube totally rebuilt its algorithm over the last ten years to focus on time spent – because it’s the only way to increase ad-spend share vs. TV. And while YouTube’s been chasing TV, TikTok’s been chasing YouTube. Apparently – according to eMarketer – later this year Double-T will win. Even combined they still won’t beat out TV. But keep swiping kids, it’ll happen eventually!
Why You Should be Optimistic About Creators: We’ve all been on a creator economy rollercoaster recently. Broad market layoffs, YouTube missing revenue goals and web3 darlings destroyed. But based on my time at the annual Clamour Summit last week – an invite only confab for family and utility creators – I’m here to tell you the kids are alright (the adults too). Sure, there was hand-wringing and impassioned calls for change. But that happens wherever creators collect. There was also brilliant cross-posting advice from JustKass (hint, don’t recut vertical videos), inspiring merchandise tips from the Skorys (parents buy books) and how The Idaho Painter is building a Home Depot competitor. It was an optimistic forward-looking series of round-tables – and according to event host Jonathan Katz it was diametrically opposed to last year’s depressing end-of-the-internet tone. Also, don’t miss our own “magic of creators in real life” at this year’s VidCon. That optimistic and collaborative spirt I saw at Clamour will infuse VidCon as well – and will inspire, challenge and entertain you . Get your tickets today!
How to Survive the Winter: You may not have seen a downturn like this in the past, but believe me, it’s normal. Business cycles happen regularly, and when they do you’ll meet lots of Chicken Littles. Don’t freak out. With some discipline you can survive – and thrive – during the next few years. Napkin Math lays out strategies for survival, which include, in part, leaning into mid-sized creators, lowering your expectations and some guesses on what types of company formats will work best. You should also read and heed Y-Combinator’s advice to startups. If you’re a full-time creator, then you ARE a startup – and these lessons apply to you too. Wondering how you rate compared to others? VC Tomasz Tunguz has a quadrant chart you should check out. Looking forward to talking about these issues with you at VidCon too.
Doing NFTs Right: NFTs are going to get slammed. Happening already. But there’s a sustainable model – and Gary Vaynerchuk, Kevin Rose and Meta Angels did it right. It’s all about UTILITY and COMMUNITY. Not surprising. I’ve worked with and been in awe of both Kevin and Gary since the early 2000s, as they are passionate about respecting and enabling their communities – and giving back. We should learn from these successes and think about how we might do something similar. Perhaps not today though, as many creator-based communities have soured on crypto. Rightly so – and no guarantee that these three won’t follow other influencer-touted projects into the toilet. But profitable crypto-based businesses will come back. Study these (and other) value-based winners and plan for when the tide turns.
- TikTok finally adds in “credit” feature that lets creators tap others who inspired their creativity. Congrats to all on this important new feature. Hope it gets used.
- Rex Woodbury wraps up six innovative new creator / affiliate marketing tools. Hey Rex, did you invest in any?
- YouTube at work for you! I love this diary of a YouTube partner manager.
- The surprising reason why social media moderation and censorship on Facebook and other platforms is good for the goose AND the gander.
- Profiting from domestic violence –The awful, senseless lunacy of Heard/Depp videos.
- Wattpad moves into movies – and just might provide a career path for TikTok heartthrobs.
- Geek alert – why can’t we get HDMI right?
- The startups renting creators’ back catalogs might be on to something.
- Scary story about algorithms run amuck: how an Instagram account for a new baby turned dark and dismal.
- Phil Ranta on how “data makes you dumb”.
- Maybe OG YouTubers are suffering from “YouTube Brain”?
- This cool YouTube player update makes it easier to find the good stuff.
- Want to build and sell a physical product – read this first!
- Twitch founder Kevin Lin and the internet’s favorite storyteller Bernie Su raise $24M for a wacky new crypto-based video game.
- Li Jin shares how Web3 will create a more perfect union.
- Web3 will rebuild itself on the other side of this crash. Chris Dixon from a16z thinks Blockspace will be the winning formula.
- Meta to use the Polygon blockchain for its Instagram NFTs – and other projects.
Tip of the Week – Why Sweating the Details is so Important for Creators: Derek Yang is working his way through 7 habits of top creators. Number two is about focusing on details. He’s so right. For a prime example, check out what kids podcaster Mr. Jim does to sweat the details in a cool viral audience-building loop: When a kid signs up for Spyology, he sends them a QR code and asks them to invite a friend. When it’s redeemed, Jim sends a personalized message telling that second kid that he’s awesome and welcome to the club. THEN he sends them a free badge in the mail. Sure, he loses a dollar on the badge. But he gains two fans for life (or at least until middle school). How can you do something similar in your business?
What We’re Watching:
- Crypto Boy is a fun little song developed by Salemilese with friends on TikTok. It’s funny, timely, catchy and an interesting look at how musical collaborations happen on TikTok. You can see an edited version of the whole song here.
- Four mistakes new YouTubers should avoid – from expert Jeremy Vest
- Loving these hilarious stories from high school teacher Rebecca Rogers – the cow in the classroom one is classic (Rebecca will be attending the creator track at VidCon, say hi if you see her).
See you around the internet. Feel free to share this with anyone you think might be interested, and if someone forwarded this to you, you can sign up and subscribe on LinkedIn for free here!