This Week: It’s the last week of October and here’s what you need to know.
The Reverse Beastification of YouTube: Editing, pacing and packaging is changing on YouTube, according to a new analysis by @Konstanin Kanin. We’ve already explored how YouTube’s new A/B testing features curbed “wide-open pie-hole” thumbnails. But there’s a movement to attenuate frenetic editing too, inspired by @Max Reisinger and the rest of his Creator Camp team. Their goal: reverse the “Beastification of YouTube”. But now even Jimmy Donaldson is on board, as he’s now tapering quick cuts too. The new wave is mainstream, but what’s next? Maybe we’ll all embrace David Dobrik’s 4:20 rubric.
- RELATED: Reed Duchscher shares 5 reasons why his client Mr. Beast added 100m new subscribers in 18 months.
- RELATED: Portal A announces 9 moonshot projects under development including one where @Marshall Sandman drives friends like Noah Beck home from the airport.
YouTube’s Ad Blocking Whack-A-Mole: YouTube is increasing the heat on ad blockers, threatening to cut off users who block ads. I’m mostly positive, as blocking ads steals money from creators. But there is another side. Users still complain about spammy and scammy ads on the platform, and insist they only blocking for safety and security. I still support YouTube, but Big Red needs to clean house and eliminate malvertising – for the safety of users and for creators too.
Brand Safety is a Chimera: Sure, brands don’t want to show up next to awful content – even more important right now. And TikTok and others are leaning into scoring creators based on their supposed “brand safety”. But long-time industry vet Brian Morrisey talks about the myth of the 25-year-old media planner, and how “words to avoid” lists obscure broader corporate and social missions. The industry of brand safety – he implies – exists because it promotes “the screenshot”. Good read.
Twitter Likely to Adopt Pay-to-Post: Called it! Looks like Twitter will charge $1 a month for non-premium users. I will pay, if only to keep my account active. But how many more will pony up? A quick survey from gambling bonus site “Bonus Finder” (odd, I know), found that nearly 40% of US users would cancel Twitter. That’s less than I thought – and of course price-point pays into it – but a dollar is not *that* much. I hope it’s not any higher.
- RELATED: Twitter seems to be slow-rolling links to Patreon, Whatsapp and other sites, which hurts creators and their fans too.
- RELATED: NPR left Twitter. It didn’t matter.
- Google rolls out a “Legislative Framework to Protect Children and Teens Online”, which includes deprecating age verification in lieu of a “risk-based approach”.
- Another nail in the coffin? YouTube building AI to help creators sound like popular musicians.
- YouTube leans into news with new curated video page, and a “Shorts Innovation Program for News” – I saw the beginnings of this at #IJF23 last spring, posted here and here.
- Lots of new features coming, including easier 2X viewing, better seeking, sparkly animated buttons and better navigation for TVs and phones.
- EU slaps an ultimatum on Meta and TikTok around war misinformation.
- Polls expanding from stories to comments on Instagram. I hate polls on LinkedIn and probably won’t like these either.
- Broadcast channels are coming to Facebook and Messenger.
- The Daily Mail shows that journalism can survive in a world where more (most) news comes from TikTok.
- Capcut (from Bytedance) launches a business version with AI enhancements.
- TikTok will make auto-generated captions mandatory in bid to improve language-based accessibility – I’m worried about captioning and translation quality.
- Some top creators are not happy with TikTok – and letting the world know.
- Gas station sandwich time! Now you can watch TikTok while pumping petrol, along with cooling your heels at an airport or waiting for that movie to start. It’s the inverse of a flight to quality.
BRANDING AND MARKETING
- Snapchat launches new creator/brand tools including paid tags, midrolls, and API access to its creator roster.
- Good Ad Week recap – peak fragmentation, the return of contextual relevancy and more.
- The Beeb explains the inevitability of creator/influencer marketing to its broader audience.
- Today’s business experts discover the (new to them) power of conversion. It’s a recurring theme, as attribution and ROI typically rises to the top in a down ad market.
OTHER CREATOR ECONOMY
- After firing most of their creator partnership team, Discord leans into developers instead. And they are working to rehabilitate trolls rather than ban them.
- Wattpad creating an animated series from Mike Booth’s webnovel “Hawk”, led by Mandalorian and Thor: Ragnarok writer Christopher Yost.
- If ad-free paid social takes off (a honking-big “if”), here’s what it might mean for brands.
- Patreon acquires Moment in a bid to add live event streams to its creator services platform.
- Related, Patreon announces its first user convention on November 4th in LA. With only three weeks’ notice it seems more test than fully conceived. Hoping for longer lead-times and more locations next year.
- Too little too late? Twitch to launch stories on mobile.
- Twitch streamers can now simulcast across a variety of platforms.
- Net Neutrality is back, which could give the US government broader powers to limit data gathering by TikTok and other non-US platforms.
- Portal A announces 9 moonshot projects under development including one where @Marshall Sandman drives friends like Noah Beck home from the airport.
- Sam Lessin, founder of VC firm Slow Ventures, releases a huge slide deck on the state of venture and where to invest. The Creator Economy played a starring role (TLDR, jump to slide 77). Oh, AI too (44).
- Related, Slow’s creator economy team just released 6 personas they look for when investing in creators.
- Related: The Sidemen are getting into the VC business.
- Now kids can sue platforms (this is good). But will they get time off from school to testify?
- Good essay on why Ai won’t kill storytelling – it’s all about statistics and averages.
- Universal Music suing AI startup Anthropic for training Claude on lyrics from The Rolling Stones, Katy Perry and Beyoncé
- Google also offers some copyright indemnity to its AI customers.
- Reddit is killing its blockchain based loyalty program to focus on cash
- Influencer partners with TikTok and releases a study on the power of influence on the platform. Directionally useful, but mostly a rehash and summary of 2-3 year old research.
NEWSLETTER SPOTLIGHT: Two newsletters worth reading – the first from VC Benedict Evans offers a variety of fascinating stories every week, and I continue to get value from The Rebooting by Brian Morrisey.
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