10-32-2022: Happy Halloween everyone! I’m in Lisbon this week at Web Summit, hosting the Verified and Music stages. Meetup Thursday night details below. Also excited to be helping my friend Jasper Donat build Creator World in Singapore November 24-27. I’m building/hosting the B2B/Industry content, while Jasper manages creators for fan weekend (and the rest of the event). Looking forward to seeing you there!
Here’s what’s new!
YouTube’s Interesting Week: Ups and downs for Big Red. The bummer – advertising revenue was down 2% YOY – the first down quarter ever. Lots of reasons, and as I said in my quick take analysis – some cyclical, some structural, none insurmountable. On the plus side, YouTube launched an elegant new redesign, subtly bringing the platform up to date – and looking just a bit more like TV. They also expanded creator access to shopping tools – and came up with a catchy new way to bundle their advertising message to brands – The YouTube Effect. That would be a great title for a Sci-Fi horror flick – and just in time for Halloween!
Instagram’s New Brand Tools: Good to see Instagram build a better creator marketplace product. Released this week, their brand/creator matchmaking tool encourages long-term collaboration – and now more brands can access it. In addition, IG announced a new Creator Portfolio tool, which lets creators build their bona-fides for brands. I’m also a fan of the new “Branded content ad code”, as it makes brand boosting of creator content much easier.
Creators Are Getting Screwed by Big Platforms: That’s the takeaway from an interesting study from Patreon on what creators think about platforms and algorithms. The survey appears directional, as they interviewed 54 creators and then surveyed another 1,644 globally. The questions seemed a bit “leading the witness” to me, but props to Patreon for interpreting the results and offering solutions instead of just data. VidCon programming director Jack Keyser concluded that platforms are actually repressing creativity.
Mr. Beast Goes to Sand Hill: Jimmy Donaldson’s company is looking to raise $150M from VCs at a $1.5 Billion valuation. It’s unclear whether he’ll get it – as it appears to be early in the process without a lead actually pricing the round. I hope he’s successful – as it should bring even more attention and capital into the creator economy. But at that valuation, it’s likely that a syndicate of investors would demand 1 or more board seats. That changes a company – sometimes for good, sometimes not. There’s a talented group of seasoned execs working for Mr. Beast today – and they know what it’s like to have VCs pull punches and then the rug. If anyone has a copy of the investor deck, I’d love to see it!
Facebook Investor Revolt: OK, it’s only one investor group. But Altimeter Group is not happy. The firm took the rare step of releasing a public letter to Mark Zuckerberg and the board, saying it was time to “get fit”. As of today’s writing their holdings are about 9% of the fund – but they were obviously much more just a year ago (Meta is down 69% in the last year). Zuckerberg owns more than 50% of the company’s voting shares, so there’s not much Altimeter can do – besides sell in a down market. But the natives are restless. There’s a lesson here for Mr. Beast.
- Alas poor audio, we hardly knew ye.
- Prediction season comes earlier and earlier each year. Colin and Samir weigh in with four problems, six predictions and a Jellysmackeroonie in the middle.
- Bob Lefsetz on how abundance is killing the music industry – and makes me wonder whether the creator economy is next.
- TikTok to launch a game tab.
- Forbes: Hey you kids, get off my lawn!
- Twitter to charge $20 a month to be verified. Evan Britton thinks it’s dumb.
- Snap cuts payments to creators – winter is here.
- LinkedIn Battles the Bots!
- If it has a word, then it has arrived – LinkedInfluencers are here. (Aside, I would never have anyone ghostwrite this. Or was that obvious?)
- Major progress from startups Kyra and Creable as both aim to help creators make money and build empires
- What happens when TikTok thinks you’re a serial killer.
- New haptics gloves poised to change everything in VR – I cannot WAIT to try them.
- Apple clarifies its stance on NFTs and the app store – it hamstrings utility and probably won’t lead to much activity.
- Why Reddit NFTs are prospering when so many other platforms and media companies are failing.
- Matt Levine from Bloomberg/Businessweek does a full-issue deep-dive on Crypto – where it came from and why it matters.
MEETUP AT WEBSUMMIT – Are you going to WebSummit? If so, join me for a casual meetup/drink Thursday night at Carmo rooftop – I’ll be there from around 5:30 until at least 7. Address – Ravessa D. Pedro De Menezes, 1200-874 Lisbon Portugal – Entrance by carmo square, or rua do carmo until 20HOO.
What I’m Watching:
- Love this AI-enabled animation called “A Year” built with a modified Stable Diffusion algo.
- Props to TikToker Renee Rodriguez for outing yet another brand attempting to swindle creators.
- Lot of hating on Facebook PM Riley Rojas, but I’m with Eric Wei – I would have totally hired her too.
- The Creator Economy on Brewster RockIt. So funny. Thanks Tim Rickard!
See you around the internet, and 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! And don’t forget to listen to The Creator Feed – the weekly podcast Renee Teeley and I produce – get it on Apple Podcasts or Spotify!
In our latest Creator Feed, Renee and I expand on the top stories in this issue, including YouTube, Instagram, and much more. Listen now!