This Week: It’s the third week of October 2023, and here’s what you need to know.
Old Media (re)Discovers Creators: It was 11 years ago when I sold my YouTube MCN Revision3 to Discovery. That started a wave of media/creator mashups, from Disney buying Maker, AT&T gobbling up Full Screen and Viacom buying Awesomeness, WhoSay and VidCon. The cycle begins anew. The Arena Group, owner of Sports Illustrated and The Street just launched a 100-creator strong network designed to complement its traditional journalists. Viacom owner Paramount returns to the table with its new “CBS Sports Creator Studio”, leveraging the remains of WhoSay. And in “turnabout is fair play” mode, Jellysmack leans into older media formats and buys Law&Crime.
- Related: Disney and TikTok team up to create an ad-safe on-platform destination.
- Related: Want a piece of the pie? @Avi Gandhi explains how to sell your creator business.
The Professionalization of the Creator Economy: Want to build a successful creator business? You’ll need a COO. Want to leverage social video platforms to build a brand? You’ll need a creator. Neither are easy to find. But there’s hope. @Matt Estes is building a network of strong Creator COO candidates – DM him to be included, or to hire your own. @Peter Hollens continues to build out his startup Inhouse Creators, which places creators at brands. And now the broader marketing world sees in-house creators as a win-win too.
AI Adoption Hamstrung by Lack of Education, Fear: Despite 97% of creators using AI, challenges keep it from being widely embraced, according to a new study from Creator Now and Creator Vision. ChatGPT is the overwhelming choice for creators, primarily used for idea generation. Lack of education and quality concerns weigh heavily on those surveyed. Although 2,000 creators were surveyed, the lack of explicit methodology makes this likely directional, not predictive – like other studies covered here in the past.
War Roils the Creator Economy: I typically don’t cover broader news here, but the Hamas attacks in Israel have shaken-up the creator economy. Words fail me as the horrible violence intensifies. Check out Israeli-Palestinian @Nuseir Yassin’s posts, along with those from @Jon Youshei for some context and insight. TikTok continues to grow as a news source, with war-related videos racking up billions of views. Misinformation abounds, unfortunately, with the EU threatening TikTok – along with X and Meta over their ineffective content moderation. Praying for peace, but likely the war and its impact on innocents – and creators — will only intensify.
- YouTube adds audio description capabilities to expand accessibility.
- Culture and trends are created on Shorts too, YouTube insists.
- CEO Mohan lays out five principles for building a healthy platform for kids and teens and implores others to follow.
- Instagram chief Mosseri hints that Reels bonuses are coming back. Bonus-Shomonus, how about a real rev-share program instead?
- @Matt Navarra dumps Twitter, joins Threads. Mosseri welcomes him aboard!
- Threads working on editing, trending topics, voice posts and more.
- Reels adds new brand safety tools.
- New “Direct Post” API capability allows third parties to post directly to TikTok. Perhaps now we’ll see a Reels/TikTok/Shorts cross-posting app.
- TikTok lowers eligibility requirements for effects producers to make money. Well done!
- The US ramps up efforts to ban TikTok with new legislation called “The Guard Act”.
- TikTok explains how it protects and stores data. Not sure I trust Oracle either.
OTHER CREATOR ECONOMY
- Creators.Org soft launches – it’s a new non-profit dedicated to “building a brighter future for creators”. Check it out and sign up here (it’s free).
- I spoke with Jack Conte about the future of the creator economy and why Patreon rebranded.
- Update on the Google anti-trust case, focused on marketers but relevant for creators too.
- Piper Sandler releases its semi-annual teen survey – they are stingy with the full report, but the summary page shows spending is down, but Crocs are up. Oh, and they love goldfish.
- Shame on Artlist for lying to creators about its $100,000 “grant” program.
- Teens discover LinkedIn.
- Epic supposedly working on “creator marketplace”, gamers are not amused.
- United States legislators prepare “No Fakes Act” to protect creators and musicians from AI.
- USC now stands for “University of Spoiled Creators” too (apologies to @dylan huey).
- We Are Social gets a jump on year-end predictions with new “Future of Influence” report.
- Creator networking app Canopy goes into beta. Sign up here.
- Next up after the creator economy – The Loneliness Economy.
- Spotify launches a “Merch Hub”.
- New text to video service Moon Valley launches a Discord beta. Check the “best-of-moon-valley” channel for examples. Best results yet for my test prompt: “A dog chasing a ball on the moon”.
- OG creator economy exec @Ben Relles launches “Real Creative”, a regularly updated round-up of the most creative AI projects. Oh hey, I’m listed as a thought-leader. Thanks Ben!
- Adobe launches new AI tools, but promises to be responsible.
- How to develop your own “LinkedIn Impact Score” to help you improve.
Thanks for reading and see you around the internet. Send me a note with your feedback, or post in the comments! 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!
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