Influence Weekly #244- Who's Paying What for Creator Content

Influence Weekly #244
August 5th, 2022
Executive Summary
  • Why the creator of VidCon can’t quit YouTube for TikTok
  • Amazon is teaming up with Dude Perfect
  • MrBeast x 100 million subscribers
  • Who's Paying What for Creator Content

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Great Reads

Fiona Frills, CEO Of Frilliance, On The Power Of Gen Z And Influencer Marketing
Fiona Frills started Frilliance, a clean cosmetics and skincare company offering products that fight acne and nurture teen skin, at the age of 13. 

Fiona shares that she’s always loved makeup, even at the young age of eight or nine when she would borrow and play with her aunt’s makeup. 

As a young teen, she started having a lot of breakouts, rashes, and even tiny bumps on her skin, leading her to research the ingredients in her current skincare and makeup regime. 

She explains, “I took a step back, and I stopped wearing makeup. I was like, “Okay, you know, maybe this will help my skin clear up. That this is insane. It has to be the makeup products I’m using, so I started researching the ingredients in the products I was using, and I was baffled.”

She shares that the ingredients in the products were baffling to her, which led her to create Frilliance from the money she made from her acting and YouTube career. 

The name, Frilliance, comes from her YouTube channel name “Fiona Frills” and the word “brilliant,” which keeps the brand name positive and easy to understand. 

Why Hank Green can’t quit YouTube for TikTok
To talk about TikTok, let’s first talk about Instagram, because I think it is fascinating. Instagram never shared revenue with creators. Well, it has, but it has done it in weird little temporary ways. It has never been like YouTube in that, “We are going to create a stable economic ecosystem where you know how much you are making, and you are making that money based on how effectively we can sell ads against your content.”

In order to have a viable business as an Instagram creator, you had to do it as a person who was going to be good at doing brand deals. So Instagram kind of created the idea of the brand deal a little bit. That was the way that you could be a professional Instagrammer.

That created an ecosystem where you could only be a professional if you were good at selling certain products. That meant that Instagram became focused on lifestyle and beauty content and aspirational content, not because there was anything intrinsic to Instagram about that kind of content, but because that was the economic incentive. You had to create aspirational content so people would want to have a life like yours so that you could sell them shampoo.

That seems like a huge miss to me. If you had created a platform where you could make money doing lots of different kinds of things, like YouTube did, then you would have a much bigger, cooler, impactful and interesting platform. That is not to say Instagram isn’t cool, but most of the interesting things going on there don’t make any money.

TikTok saw that and it was like, “Okay, why would we share a portion of our money with creators if Instagram figured out how to do it without sharing anything?” I think if you say that you are screwing yourself over, because you are saying only certain kinds of content that are good at selling stuff are going to be economically viable on your platform. At the same time, brand deals are working very well on TikTok. I don’t know if that is permanent. It seems it doesn’t need to be as aspirational. It is less, “You want my life,” and more like, “We have the same life, so trust me.”


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Campaign Insights

How Colorbar's new campaign got social media influencers grooving on ‘Shringaar'
Beauty and cosmetic brand, Colorbar Cosmetics collaborated with Sony Music Entertainment for the promotion of its new Power Kiss Vegan Matte Lipcolor in the #ColorbarxShringaar challenge which ran on Instagram.

The #ColorbarxShringaar transformation challenge went live on July 10 when singers Akasa and Aastha Gill took to Instagram to post a video reel announcing the dropping of the new challenge wherein both were seen showcasing Colorbar’s new product in the starting five seconds of the reel, followed by them grooving to the beats of their latest song.

 As per Sheeko, the influencer management and branded content management platform, the aim of the campaign was to position the new lip colour as a product used to transition into one’s best version. As per the platform’s estimates the brand spent upwards of Rs 25 lakh on the campaign and so far it has managed over 12 million impressions.

The Starry Co.: Debbie Soon on starting a jewellery brand at 25
Running through The Starry Co.’s process, Debbie says: “All of our jewellery is designed in-house by myself and my team. We go through many hours of designing and multiple drafts before sending our final designs to our manufacturer. After which, they will create moulds and send over samples of our jewellery for us to vet. We will then pick the most suitable pieces for the collection and place the order for manufacturing.”

Upon receiving the inventory, Debbie and her team will conduct a thorough quality check on all their pieces before putting them up for sale.

Aside from her attention to detail, Debbie also prioritises sustainability, using only diamond simulants instead of mined diamonds.

The social and environmental impact of irresponsible diamond mining is adverse. In some cases, mining is illegal, conjuring the infamous term ‘blood diamonds’. Said practices are severely exploitive to diamond miners, and many have lost their lives to this.

Creator management: How to win spend and influence people
When it comes to content creation and ensuring the authenticity of the story a brand wants to tell, Sattar highlighted the importance of having diversity both in front of and behind the camera. For example, if there is a black model featured in a campaign, it’s equally important to ensure that makeup artists and hair stylists are equipped and experienced to deal with their skin and hair type, while photographers may need to adjust their lighting too.

Sattar also warned against the risk of treating diverse communities as a monogroup, citing her own experience as part of a leadership team where all members have South Asian heritage as an example: “People look at us and they just see South Asian women, but actually we’re very different. I have Pakistani heritage, Roshni [Goyate] has Indian heritage. Sima [Kumar] is Fijian-Canadian… but we get pigeon-holed straight away.” She also heeded against expecting someone from a particular identity group to represent the views of everyone within that group. The panel also discussed the need for minorities to be given permission to express their true selves — with the understanding that people subscribe to different cultures, ethnicities, sexualities and religions among other identities, and this intersectionality is important. Few individuals have one overarching thing that defines them.

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Interesting People

Amazon is teaming up with Dude Perfect for alternate Thursday Night Football streams
Beginning this season, Amazon Prime Video will be the exclusive home for the NFL's Thursday Night Football. But if you don't want to watch the main show featuring two of the biggest names in sports broadcasting, the company will be offering alternative streams, including ones starring the hugely popular YouTube channel Dude Perfect.

The Dude Perfect creators built their giant YouTube channel — it has 58 million subscribers — on things like outlandish stunts and trick shot videos, and it seems like they'll be bringing that same energy to their Thursday Night Football broadcasts. “Watch the guys predict what happens in the next play and welcome an entertaining parade of dunk tanks, pudding cannons, special guests, and the occasional world record attempt,” Amazon wrote in a press release.

Amazon hasn't announced exactly which TNF games will include Dude Perfect streams just yet. If the Dude Perfect crew isn't your thing, Amazon says they are “among” the “multiple alternate stream offerings” that will be available this season

Tammy Hembrow: How this influencer built a $38m fortune
She’s built her success by mastering social media and attracting one of the biggest audiences of anyone in the country. Her 15.4 million followers put her ahead of fellow Young Rich Listers Kayla Itsines (14.9 million) and Emily Skye Anderson (2.7 million).

And, as Hembrow tells The Australian Financial Review’s How I Made It podcast, building a profile through social media has given her a platform to launch her various businesses, including fitness app Tammy Fit and clothing brand Saski Collection.

Her drive to set up her own company was seeded at Bond University, where she studied business. She didn’t particularly enjoy it until she took an entrepreneurship class.

“I was just like, yep, this is it,” Hembrow says. “This is what I am going to be. My own boss. I want to start my own businesses.

“It was the only class that sort of made sense to me. And then I actually dropped out of uni. I was like, ‘See you later, don’t need this any more.’ ”

It was while studying that she’d post pictures of herself exercising on Instagram, which had only been around a couple of years when she was posting in 2012. Then, at 19, she fell pregnant. She was told her life was ruined.

MrBeast just became the second person in the world to reach 100 million subscribers
YouTuber MrBeast became the second ever creator to hit 100 million subscribers on Thursday.

The YouTuber celebrated by streaming his live reaction on YouTube and thanking his supporters.

He also said he has more video ideas to post and thinks this is "just the beginning" of his career.

YouTube star MrBeast has become the second individual creator ever to reach 100 million subscribers, after hitting the milestone on July 28.

MrBeast, whose real name is Jimmy Donaldson, documented his live reaction in a YouTube stream, where he thanked fans for their support.

"I appreciate every single one of you that watches the videos. This is literally all I've ever done with my life," he said, adding, "All I do is wake up every day and obsess over how to make the best videos possible. It's all I care about. It's the only thing that's ever really made me happy."

Donaldson's channel is the fifth most-subscribed in the world, and he is one of the most-viewed and highest-paid creators on the platform. The only other individual YouTube creator to have previously hit 100 million subscribers is gaming influencer PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, and who currently has 111 million followers.
Industry News

Who's Paying What for Creator Content
The prospect of internet fame is no longer enough to bring in the best and brightest. Instead, paying for content has become table stakes for these platforms as they battle one another and compete in the broader attention economy.

Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings made that clear in a recent earnings call, when he called YouTube — rather than other streaming services or theater chains — his company's "second largest direct competitor."

Within the last two years, at least 10 platforms have announced they'll be paying creators for their work, but the size of the purse, what type of content they're funding and how differs by platform.

"These types of funds are what a lot of creators have been waiting forever for, and as soon as one platform starting doing it, the others had to follow suit," said David Rhodes, a multiplatform content creator with over 10 million followers across his 12 accounts, who has earned a few thousand dollars from Snapchat's creator fund.

Whether this new funding will be enough to lure talent and sustain quality content remains to be seen, but the financial arms race has been welcomed by many creators.

Dot. La takes a quick look at each

Korea's influencer marketing platform 'U-Connec' launches products for YouTube shorts
South Korea’s No. 1 YouTube influencer platform U-Connec has launched a YouTube shorts experience group product that can simultaneously secure multiple reviews and secondary advertising materials at a reasonable cost.

Since launching the YouTube influencer marketing service in 2017, U-Connec has been the No. 1 YouTube influencer marketing platform in South Korea. It has been running more than 3,700 YouTube marketing campaigns for 600 companies and a network of about 100,000 YouTube creators. 

Uconnec’s YouTube Shorts Experience Team is a product that can be conducted with at least 10 micro YouTubers with 1,000 or more subscribers and a fixed reconnaissance system. In addition, a second license of 6 months is provided so that it can be used as its site or advertising material. In particular, small and medium-sized businesses and startups that need a lot of review content for new products and promotions can secure YouTube search exposure and advertising materials at a reasonable price.

SuperOrdinary Acquires Fanfix, Proving The Creator Economy Is Here To Stay
Out of the millions of content creators globally, there are few that get to the level of being about to routinely secure brand deals. Even fewer have long-standing, semi-permanent relationships with elite brands. The lack of predictible, recurring revenue leaves the greater mass of content creators at risk of not being able to meet their immediate needs. Fanfix, founded by Harry Gestetner, Simon Pompan and Cameron Dallas in August 2021, is a “content monetization platform for creators.” SuperOrdinary, “the leading global growth partner and marketplace expert connecting brands, creators, and consumers,” acquired Fanfix in a deal that closed by the end of June of this year. While the exact price of the acquisition is undisclosed, it is estimated to be on the order of “eight figures.”

The startup was launched while Gestetner and Pompan were still students at Tulane University and Vanderbilt University, respectively. The team grew to seventeen members by the time of acquisition. Some of startup’s competitors are Patreon, OnlyFans, Fanhouse, and Subify. Fanfix generates revenue by taking a 20% cut of the subscriptions for creator-paywalled content purchased through its platform.

TikTok quickly grows its presence on smart TVs
TikTok, the short-form video-based social media network, is rapidly expanding its distribution on smart TVs and connected TV devices in the U.S. and Canada.

Earlier this month, the service launched an app on the Amazon Fire TV platform in North America.

“TikTok is a household staple in our home and I’m thrilled the whole family can now enjoy their favorite TikTok videos together on the best screen in the house with TikTok on Fire TV,” said Daniel Rausch, vice president at Amazon Entertainment Devices and Services, in a statement. “We love to pull up TikTok hands-free on our Fire TV Omni Series by just asking, ‘Alexa, play TikTok.’ We can’t wait to hear how our customers are enjoying the latest dance craze or viral trends with their families.”

Now, TikTok is adding Google TV and other Android TV OS devices, LG smart TVs and Samsung smart TVs to its list of distribution partners.

“We’re taking TikTok to the big screen in the living room, offering a new way to experience the joy and creativity of TikTok together at home. With our mobile app, we bring people little bursts of joy, and the big screen experience allows families and friends to easily enjoy TikTok together,” the company said in a news release.

Giving Creators Control Over Monetization Is The Next Step In Influencer Marketing
According to Fatemi, Fireside distinguishes itself from the giants by promising more monetization potential and transparency than a single black-box social platform can. But Fireside is compatible – not competitive – with social media, she said.

Creators can use Fireside’s virtual production studio to create video content and then distribute that content to CTV streaming services and social platforms, including TikTok, Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

They can also separate out the audio feed and repurpose it as podcast content on audio-based platforms, including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, iHeartRadio and Stitcher.

Fireside content can be viewed in browser on Fireside’s website or via its mobile app, as well.

The ad experience depends on which platform the content appears on. For example, on CTV, ads will be served by the AVOD platform in question, Fatemi said. On the audio front, creators can insert up to 10 ad slots per podcast, she said.
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Great Paywalled Content

The Moment These Influencers Turned on Daily Harvest - WSJ
Daily Harvest, a company that delivers plant-based meals, has been known for years for its flashy social-media presence and the influencer marketing that helped build its brand. 

The risks of that influencer strategy were on display when the New York-based company in June recalled its French lentil and leek crumbles after hundreds of people said the product made them sick. Some influencers, who had previously promoted the company’s products, criticized Daily Harvest after they said they ate the crumbles and then got sick.

Luke Pearson told his 80,000 followers on Instagram that he had his gallbladder removed after getting sick from eating crumbles.

“My life is forever changed by this,” he said, adding, “Daily Harvest needs to be held accountable.”

Daily Harvest, a private company founded in 2015, sells plant-based dishes, smoothies and other items that customers can quickly prepare. The company said one of the ingredients in the crumbles, tara flour, was the cause of the issue. Tara flour, which is made from legumes, isn’t used often in food products but is sometimes added as a protein source.

The company said after it recalled the product that it had received about 470 reports “of illness or adverse reactions.” 

With U.S. on brink of recession, Twitch streamers tighten their belts - The Washington Post
Khairi Harris, who goes by the handle “KDotDaGawd” on Twitch, is hanging onto his career as a full-time streamer by a thread. Last month he found himself scanning the classifieds for a part-time job to help make ends meet; a last-second promotional contract with a PC hardware company kept his finances from flatlining. For now, at least, he can pay his bills. But that’s all.

“I still have to figure out where my next meal comes from, how I’ll put gas in my car and other necessities,” Harris told The Washington Post.

On a platform where 25 percent of the top 10,000 highest-paid streamers don’t even make minimum wage, promotional deals help prevent some from slipping through the cracks. But those deals might be on the verge of drying up. With inflation at a 40-year record high and the supply chain unsteady while the economy contracts, the United States seems poised to enter a recession. During recessions, companies tend to cut marketing budgets, and the ad market appears to be headed toward a slowdown. Now, some content creators on Twitch and other live-streaming platforms are starting to feel the squeeze.

“Lots of creators have felt the shift as income has decreased noticeably,” said Miguel Lozada, a senior partnerships manager at Elgato who also creates gaming-related content on YouTube, TikTok and Twitch. (Twitch is owned by Amazon, whose founder, Jeff Bezos, owns The Washington Post.)
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