The Unfortunate Reasons Why Live Shopping Might Not Work in the US, What We Can Learn From “Gentleminions” and the Powerful Creator Economy Masterclass Now Free for Everyone

7/11/2022: Here’s what’s new and what caught my eye last week

Live Shopping Might Not Be Right for US, Europe: You might have thought live-streamed shopping would save the creator economy. Perhaps in Asia, but it looks more likely it might not sweep the western world. Patreon’s Dylan Harari framed the debate last week – and that was before reports that TikTok was dropping plans to launch live shopping in the US. Yet another reminder that what works in one part of the world doesn’t necessarily translate to others (looking at you durian).

TikTok – the New Cinema Kingmaker: Truly all culture starts on TikTok. Much has been written about the army of TikTok “Gentleminions” accelerating – and in some cases disrupting – the launch of the new Minions movie. (Aside, no suit-jacketed GenZers disrupted my screening on July 3rd). But TikTok also helped propel Top Gun to its lofty billion-dollar revenue peak too. On the flip side, the Buzz Lightyear movie did try to activate on TikTok, but some of its efforts failed miserably. Note to anyone in the culture biz.. ignore TikTok at your peril.

Amazon Leaning into Creators: Like the moon, Amazon’s creator economy ambitions wax and wane. Yes, Twitch was a smart buy, but full of unrealized potential. Now that seems to be changing. Amazon was a big sponsor of VidCon, and the company continues to lean into creators. This week’s Prime Day features a huge creator marketing push. Last weekend Mr. Beast and Ninja had a League of Legends competition in Vegas which was streamed on Twitch and sponsored by Prime Day. And popular TikTok star Josh Richards will work with Amazon to promote NFL Thursday Night Football this year too. What’s unclear, though is whether Amazon’s creator ambitions will wane once again, but at least today the moon really is made of creator cheese.

Top Expert Shares 6 Steps to Building a Creator Economy Unicorn: You probably weren’t one of the lucky 150 people who got to take Li Jin’s Creator Economy masterclass in the Spring of 2021. Li’s moved on to Web3, but she graciously just made her entire week-long course free for everyone. It’s a little outdated, but still very relevant. Don’t have time for all six modules? Skip to the end – focused on the future. Lots of great insight for everyone here.

Virtual Real Estate: Sustainable or Bubble? Brands love Decentraland. Alas, less than a thousand daily users agree (HT to Brian Morrisey). With so few actual users, those huge investments don’t look so smart today. However brands typically set aside a few percent of their annual ad spend to learn, and not every experiment pays off. Some do though – many early brands funded their initial YouTube integrations from these experimental budgets. Even so, It’s worth revisiting A16z’s take on digital real estate to see if their arguments still hold up. I like the idea of virtual real estate, but it’s a bit of a cow path.



Tip of the Week: Leaning into some of the great work Carla Marshall is doing for Tube Buddy. One of her recent pieces lays out 7 reasons why you are failing at YouTube – Carla’s a must read every week. My favorite is number 2 “Viewers Can Find You But are Confused”. Make sure your title, thumbnail, video and description are aligned and actually reference what you do.


What We’re Watching:

Quick note – much thanks to my editor for the last year or so, Rachel Seo. She’s starting a new job at Variety today, and I know she’s going to do great things! Thanks for everything Rachel, and good luck with the new job. I’m going to miss you!

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