This Week: Interesting creator economy insight from my visit to the International Journalism Festival (#IJF23) last week. Revealing data from the Shorts team and the TikTok and YouTube creators were surprising. I also spoke about LinkedIn (see tips section below). Also a Snap summit, AI fakes and megatrends too! It’s the last week of April and here’s you need to know.
7 Surprisingly Successful Shorts Formats: The YouTube Shorts team shared fascinating insight at #IJF23 about how the algorithm really works – and how different it is from long form. They gave tips on how news and factual creators should build views and audience on Shorts and laid out the 7 formats that drive the most views. No surprise – they still won’t commit to longer than 60 seconds. But they did encourage creators to experiment and use analytics. 50 Billion daily views can’t be wrong. Related – Video Creators with more insight on Shorts growth and Paddy Galloway’s more pessimistic research findings.
Could TikTok and YouTube Save Journalism? Dueling panels at #IFJ attempted to pit YouTube vs TikTok but ended up elevating both. Google News brought top YouTube journalists – including Chloe Abraham and Johnny Harris – to talk about how they’re building the creator economy of journalism. Over on the TikTok side, Washington Post’s TikTok star Dave Jorgenson was joined by execs from Brut and The News Movement to explore TikTok. No sparks ensued, as the panelists were more alike than different. Read my story about the sessions and let me know if you agree with my startling conclusion: TikTok, YouTube and other social video platforms might actually save journalism.
Ai-Generated Creator-First Media is not Going Away: Big dust-up over the AI-generated Drake and Weeknd song released early last week. Everyone loved it – except the two artists and their label. And everyone else who creates authentic media. But this is not going away. Creators and artists can either embrace it and build new business models or put their heads in the sand and sue everyone. Imagine, for example, if Taylor Swift started her own “Swiftify” service that included all her music – but also encouraged fans to develop GenAI Swift songs too. And she promised to share revenue for top creations? Swifties would subscribe for sure and everyone would make money. Is this the end of music as we know it, or a great new opportunity for creators? Share your thoughts in the comments below. For a more far-out think piece, check out Stratechery’s take.
Snap Expands Revenue Sharing: Big news from Snap’s Partner Summit – now more creators can get in on the revenue. It’s a welcome expansion of the monetization options we’ve been talking about here for the last few weeks and could transform Snap into a viable creator economy platform. But it’s also a diffusion of vision, according to Casey Newton, who sees these moves as a hazy way to become just like everyone else. I think Snap can do both, and that this is great news for creators – for now. The hard work comes from expanding the platform and offering more opportunity to creators while still charting a unique course.
Three Megatrends that Will Change Media: Media cartographer Evan Shapiro explore the rise of “Yes, AND” across all forms of media – from broadcast to streaming to creator-first platforms. It’s all about the cults, he insists. Worth a read. Also, he wants to change “Creator Economy” to “Community Economy”. I’ve been calling it community-centric media for years, so of course I agree. Still not changing the name of this newsletter though.
- Download the decks used by 36 Creator Economy companies to raise nearly a billion dollars of venture funding.
- I guess I’ll never return that old Netflix DVD now.
- Casey Newton explores Snap’s future in the aftermath of its Partner Summit.
- Beware of lazy reporting. This story from Net Influencer highlights a study from 2022 as if it were brand new (I covered it here on 11-28-2022). The data is from May 2022. It’s ancient history.
- Instagram ups links in bio to 5. Some think Linktree is dead. I think it’s more nuanced – the smaller companies will die, but Linktree (and a handful of others) provide much more value.
- The D’Amelios won’t buy TikTok after all. Dang, that would have been epic.
- Newsletter plug: I really like the “Film Booth” newsletter, great stuff last week about focus, burn-out and thumbnails. Worth subscribing to (scroll to bottom of Ed’s site).
- TikTok leans into performance marketing.
- Good essay on “Eventness” from Brad Berens, riffing off the end of TNG. You can skip much of the trekkie stuff at the top, but anyone creating live experiences should read this.
- Jellysmack will distribute creator-first videos on Spotify.
- Kai Cenat banned from Twitch (again).
GENIES and CRYPTIS:
- Reddit wants money from GenAI companies for scraping its data. I wonder if they’ll share it with creators?
- AI will make the internet beautiful – unleashing all sorts of creators and creativity. I support that!
- Startup culture beware – AI will also lead to the democratization of company formation – like how the internet and streaming enabled the creator economy.
- Interesting report on brands and NFTs show that there’s been little decline in interest or activity.
- Nike drops its first .Swoosh NFT sneakers
- Roblox releases resalable digital items – just don’t call them NFTs!
- Forget ads – here’s how GenAI makes money.
- Stability AI releases an open-sourced Large Language Model to complement its GenAI image tools.
Tip of the Week: I gave a workshop at #IJF23 on h.ow journalists can use LinkedIn to build their personal brand– you can download the slides from that presentation here. It’s relevant to anyone looking to grow on LinkedIn
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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And don’t forget to listen to The Creator Feed – the weekly podcast Renee Teeley and I produce – get it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher!