This Week: It’s Halloween week y’all! Here’s what you need to know.
The Monster Under Hollywood’s Bed: Hulu founder @Jason Kilar with a longish opinion column in Variety about how traditional TV can save itself. His premise? You either become a big enough streamer with 200+ million global users consuming hours daily (Netflix) – or you band together with others to create that single service. He posits that only Netflix can be the former, while his former company Hulu could become the latter. His analysis is solid, but he ignores the elephant in the room – YouTube. YouTube is clearly building the Netflix-style model – but with millions of global creators layered on top. Perhaps there’s a world where PeaDiWBParDisTeleGloStar and Netflix battle it out. But without creators, neither will win.
Social’s Monstrous Kids Problem: Imagine if companies encouraged kids to smoke cigarettes. Oh yeah, they do. Turns out companies also encourage kids to join social networks – as addictive as nicotine and arguably just as bad. But the world is fighting back. In the US, 41 states just sued Meta claiming it addicted kids to Instagram and Facebook. The UK’s comprehensive Online Safety Bill just became law, forcing social platforms to take more responsibility for content – especially those harmful to kids. Oh, and famously TikTok is not available in China (and India), for similar reasons. The world will no longer ignore the mental health problems that social causes kids. This trend will only accelerate in 2024.
- Related: New study on how social platforms turned GenZ into “Digital Captives”.
Don’t Fear the (AI) Reaper: That’s the conclusion of Adobe CSO Scott Belsky, in a fascinating post on how AI might twist existing business models. Yes, Tinder might deprecate AI matching algorithms to reduce churn, but his creator economy take (4th and 5th bullet down) is what’s relevant here. He sees an optimization of the core, as AI efficiencies let top creators take more creative risk, and successful long-tail creators grow 100x or more. Money quote: ”We need to value human ingenuity and free up the capacity of creative minds for higher order tasks.“ Amen brother.
- Related: Nightmare on Elm Street – Discord’s Derek Yang on why AI will slaughter the creator economy.
YouTube Steps Into Scary Creator Fight: Lots of posts about the SSSniperWolf vs. Jack Films drama last week. Lawyer Tyler Chou unpacks what it all means, and how SSSniperWolf is liable for both criminal and civil penalties. YouTube temporarily demonetized SSSniperWolf, which was smart – but should they have intervened sooner and more strongly? Perhaps, but I’d like to see creators – especially those running million-dollar businesses – act a bit more professionally. Stuff like this gives all creators a bad name.
- Related: YouTuber Rosanna Pansino calls out Mr. Beast for rigging last year’s “Influencer Challenge” to push her down the rankings and push Logan Paul up into third place. Then yesterday she deleted her tweets and backed down, according to “death threats” from fans. Yes, she should have handled it privately – just as SSSniperWolf should have. But if true, Mr. Beast’s credibility just took a major hit.
Vampires, Mummies and the Holy Kick: Four weeks ago, I called streaming platform Kick after two creators live streamed promiscuous acts with a sex-worker in Brisbane Australia – as the CEO smiley-emoted in the comments. The horror continues. The latest: creator Jack Doherty live-streamed his bodyguard sucker punching – and knocking out – another human being. Other Kick superstars celebrated the crime. Non-consensual sex. Assault and battery. What will this platform glorify next? It’s past time for all of us to cancel Kick – and for host country Australia to do the right thing and shut them down.
- YouTube music adds new features, including the ability to use AI to create playlist cover-art.
- The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated: YouTube’s Q3 ad sales jump 12.5%. But Shorts viewership stagnates at 2 billion (views were up 40% though – HT Kaya Yurieff).
- How can Sunday Ticket be seen as a success if it will lose $1.2 billion this year, likely growing to $1.4B in 2029?
- YouTube testing new ability to pause comments on videos.
- Roberto Blake shares even more reasons why ad blockers on YouTube steal money from creators.
- Looping video comes to Instagram’s Notes.
- Instagram testing a “verified only” feed. In what universe is ability to pay is a legit curation filter?
- Headcasting is now a thing.
- Creators call Meta’s AI data deletion efforts a PR stunt.
- TikTok’s hosting its first IRL concert in a smallish baseball stadium in Phoenix. A bunch of TikTok music stars will perform. Tickets are relatively affordable, and the whole thing will stream live.
- 15 minute videos coming to TikTok?
- Hank Green shares his experience with the TikTok Creator Program. In short, it’s not bad – although still under $1 CPM.
- Good interview with @Adrienne Lahens on brands, activations and the future of creators.
- @Dan Clancy sounds like a great creator-first leader for Twitch. Lots of work to do there though.
- The Ghost of Esports Past: Saudi Arabia launches annual Esports World Cup in the face of declining revenue and viewership. Perhaps Faze Clan zombies will rise from the grave.
- Nintendo rolls out new guidelines for creators, including a list of approved monetization sources. Kick is not on the list.
- Twitch just found that it’s tough to do fan events in Vegas.
- Stampylonghead retires the cat. Thanks for all the great content over the years Stampy!
OTHER CREATOR ECONOMY
- Surprise Surprise, the Creator Economy is worth 250 billion dollars, according to Taylor Lorenz in WaPo. I unpack what’s really going on in this LinkedIn reaction post.
- BravoCon sessions will stream on Peacock. Maybe VidCon will stream on Paramount+ (or Pluto) in 2024.
- Welcome to the pre-Halloween 2024 Prediction Season – SocialMediaToday posts 34 tricks and treats.
- Reese Witherspoon unveils the Hello Sunshine Collective, a year-long accelerator for 15 female creators.
- The owner of Tumblr just acquired a messaging aggregation app, which is a really good idea if done right.
- Consolidation coming to social commerce as startup Supergreat will shut down and migrate to Whatnot.
- Buzzfeed looking to unload Complex Networks to ecommerce platform Ntwrk.
- Duolingo is looking for an assistant to help wrangle its biggest creator.
- AWS’ Biggest Nightmare: The price to post on a blockchain (aka gas) is dropping like a rock. It might even approach AWS in the near future.
- Bored Apes squatters forced to pay for copyright infringement. Maybe hide that BAYC Halloween costume?
- Nightshade lets artists poison AI models with invisible pixels – cats into dogs, dogs into cats and presumably CatDog ascendent.
- My go-to AI aggregator Poe just launched creator monetization. Check out my “Headline Expert” bot and if you sign up I might make a few cents!
- Marques Brownlee sits down with Reid Hoffman and Aria Finger to talk AI, creators – and New Jersey pools.
- Reflections on how AI might twist existing business models from Adobe CSO Scott Belsky – his creator economy take is super insightful (4th bullet down).
- Technologist Kris Krug clones himself in surprising and incredible ways.
- New study shows how AI amplifies cultural stereotypes.
- This is cool tech but has nothing to do with the creator economy.
- Revealing data on the ideal post length for LinkedIn (ht: Brendan Gahan)
- Creator Economy startups will fail – @avi Gandhi on how to avoid getting screwed in the process.
- 4 sneaky brand deal gotchas you need to know about.
- Teachable finds that users who interact with at least 1-5 creators only interact with 1-5 creators. Weird – and this is why you start any research by reading the methodology (on page 37).
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