Influence Weekly #262- TikTok Music Lawsuits Fire Warning Shots to Brands, Influencers

Influence Weekly #262
December 9th, 2022
Executive Summary
  • TikTok Music Lawsuits Fire Warning Shots to Brands, Influencers
  • How Bosch Made Social Into A Tool Of The Trades
  • Inside History: Transforming Educational History Content Into Entertainment
  • A Recession Looms Over the Posh World of Influencers

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Great Reads

Katch: Earning Additional Income By Hosting Live Streams
Net Influencer sat down with Paul Numan, CEO of Katch. Katch provides creators with the software and platform needed to go live and monetize their events by allowing creators to charge for live shows. Attendees can interact with other like-minded fans, giving the events a live gig feel. 

Paul shares that Katch started with the rising issues of catfishing online. The Katch team began exploring and developing facial recognition software that allowed the platform to validate who a person is, creating a secure verification process. 

He adds, “By doing that, it creates more authenticity with regards to user interaction because you’re not afraid to deal with it because that person’s been validated.”

Paul shares that the Katch team sought a niche to break into. After noticing that many content creators were going live but struggling to make money from this, they decided to create additional monetization opportunities for creators. 

“They [the creators] are going live in a broadcast or dual broadcast amongst their fans, but also the users of Katch, so it allows them to generate income, but also their fans can mingle because their fans have a lot in common with one another.”

For example, fans may connect over their shared love of a creator, a hobby, beauty products, and more. Paul notes that Katch also brings fans together socially and intellectually, with some events aiming to foster friendships or romantic relationships between attendees..

TikTok Music Lawsuits Fire Warning Shots to Brands, Influencers
The music industry’s legal crackdown on brand owners that use unlicensed songs in social media posts sends a warning for companies looking to capitalize on the explosive growth of TikTok Inc. and other short-form video sharing platforms.

The upstart energy drink maker Bang achieved enormous marketing success through its aggressive and flashy social media strategy that used popular influencers to advertise its drinks on TikTok and Instagram Reels.

But the company didn’t obtain a license to use the music in more than 100 of its videos, and it was hit with copyright lawsuits from all three of the major US record labels. A federal judge this year ruled in favor of the labels in two of those cases.

Other social media-driven brands are facing similar liability. Labels and publishers under Warner Music Group Corp. recently sued UK-based makeup and skincare company Iconic London Ltd. for copyright infringement based on TikTok and Instagram posts.

“There’s an assumption that just because music is available on a social media platform through one of its music libraries, that availability means it must be permissible to be used in any capacity,” said Robert Freund, an attorney specializing in advertising and social media marketing. “That’s not the case.”

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Campaign Insights

How Bosch Made Social Into A Tool Of The Trades
The Drum reports Bosch Professional has run a successful social influencer campaign to improve efficiencies and avoid costly breakdowns among its target audience of tradespeople. A plumber, electrician, tiler and carpenter were pitted against each other in a series of challenges to promote a range of power tools designed to make jobs more efficient and safe. The strategy included a teaser competition inviting audiences to guess who would win and videos for each winning influencer. The Instagram-first approach also included Facebook and YouTube content, but not LinkedIn or Twitter.

New Balance unites Snap’s AR, voice tech to offer gifting advice
Snap and New Balance unveiled a lens that leverages a mix of augmented reality and speech-recognition technology to offer gift recommendations across footwear, apparel and accessories, according to details shared with Marketing Dive.

The Holiday Gifting Concierge includes a selfie mode where users can verbally answer questions about their recipient using Snap’s VoiceML technology for help when selecting a gift. In worldview mode, the lens provides an AR unboxing experience that displays a recommendation.

A Gen Z-led company tapped TikTok influencers to turn out young voters in midterm elections, creating a “blueprint” for 2024
Two months before the midterm elections, Social Currant Founder and CEO Ashwath Narayanan thought TikTok and Instagram influencers would have better luck persuading young people to vote than a Facebook ad.

So Narayanan, a 22-year-old recent college graduate, matched his progressive advocacy clients like NextGen America and Community Change Action with creators on social media who have nothing to do with politics. Among them were a comedian, an actress, a makeup artist, and a rapper, who all delivered the message in whatever way they saw fit.

Their followers responded, and now the influencer campaigns of 2022 have become a model for how some advocacy groups will mobilize young voters in 2024.

"I think the people that cracked the youth voter turnout code are the youth," said Narayanan, whose staff is mostly Gen Z. "Trusting us to get other young people to vote I think is the lesson here. And I definitely think creators, and reaching young people where they are, is a huge part of it."

BBDO Singapore Gears Up for Social-First Focus with Top Influencer Partnership
BBDO Singapore partners TikTok specialist Boom Digital Media to drive social media strategies and solutions as part of its integrated suite of creative services for clients. The partnership comes on the heels of strong social media consumption in Asia. 

“In today’s climate, social media is crucial in a brand’s communication mix to engage with its audiences. We will now be able to turbocharge our digital solutions with critical data insights and strategy from a leading practitioner in this space,” says Melvin Kuek, CEO of BBDO Singapore.

BBDO has partnered Ng Ming Wei, the founder of Boom Digital Media and one of Southeast Asia’s most followed  TikTok creators, with 35 million followers on his social media accounts. To date, he has garnered 10 billion views on his personal comedy skits and videos on @mingweirocks. 

“Because Boom is founded and led by Ming… he is the best possible partner for us. He has done the walk already and built a massive personal brand as well. Also, he’s someone whom I have gotten to know well and built a good synergy with. Working with people you like and respect is critical in building a successful partnership,” says Melvin. He adds that BBDO has seen a shift in recent years, with clients asking for campaign builds to start from a digital-first perspective and even more recently, a social-first perspective.
Interesting People

How To Use Pearpop To Secure Successful Brand Collaborations
Founders Cole Mason and Guy Oseary launched Pearpop as a way to help content creators jump on the latest trends whilst still being compensated for their work. The platform works to pair influencers and brands together, presenting a wealth of challenges for creators to complete. 

Pearpop was officially launched in October 2020 and quickly received funding from a plethora of stars such as Snoop Dogg, Mark Cuban, and Mr. Beast. The platform then raised an impressive $16 million in funding, helping to boost the earnings and exposure of a wide range of creators. 

The platform aims to assist influencers in finding profitable projects, bringing influencers and brands together without the use of agencies. Pearpop also focuses on eliminating scam collaborations, which can help to support the financial stability of a creator. 

Pearpop promises to aid creators of any size, helping influencers to earn a living by creating enjoyable content. The platform mostly revolves around challenges, these are produced by many advertising agencies who are looking to recruit influencers and content creators in the next campaign.

Clutch: How The Creator Economy Is Becoming The Future Of Work
Clutch is a platform that empowers creators and emerging brands in the new creator economy. The platform was created by Simone May and Madison Long, who are passionate about democratizing access to opportunities and empowering the next generation. The goal of Clutch is to provide creators with flexible, remote work opportunities and educational resources to build a sustainable brand without burning out. Madison shares that only a small percentage of creators can make significant and consistent money, but Clutch connects creators with steady income streams by introducing them to brands that need their expertise. The platform also offers creators access to a range of career development opportunities and services, such as a professional network and personal branding resources.

In it's exclusive interview, Net Influencer talks to the founder about the following-
What is Clutch's primary purpose?
How does Clutch connect creators with steady income streams?
What career development opportunities and services does Clutch offer creators?

Inside History: Transforming Educational History Content Into Entertainment
Inside History is a social media account that features educational content on entertainment, history and news from all eras. The account, created by Hon, a criminology student, has gained a massive following of over 220,000 in just a few years. Hon shares that he started the account as a friendly challenge with a friend to see who could gain the most followers in a week. Hon won the challenge by gaining 10,000 followers on his history TikTok account and later created an Instagram account to capitalize on this success. About a year and a half into his social media career, Hon received offers from Doing Things Media, a media and entertainment company, to work for them. Hon worked for Doing Things Media for eight months and even created a docuseries with them. He has recently gone part-time with his platform as he is going back to college to continue his criminology studies.
Industry News

Underscore Talent Launches Underscore LABS, A New Web3 Studio Division
Underscore LABS is a new division of the management company Underscore Talent that is using Web3 technologies to foster a passionate community. The company's CEO, Brandon Eng, is a data scientist who previously worked at Amazon and in the fashion and music industries. Eng reconnected with a contact, Reza Idad, a Co-Founder and Partner at Underscore Talent, which led to the launch of Underscore LABS. The company is focused on the intersection of the entertainment industry, media, Web3 and community, and aims to build a next-generation, modern Web3 studio at the intersection of Web3, intellectual property, and entertainment. Eng explains that they are taking a unique approach to build Underscore LABS by building a community slowly and deliberately. The company's target audience is people who care about pop culture, media, and entertainment.

Meta threatens to remove news content over US journalism bargaining bill
Facebook owner Meta threatened to remove news content from its platforms on Monday following reports that US lawmakers have added controversial legislation favoring news media to the annual defense authorization bill.

The warning highlights the danger that Meta perceives to its business model in the face of the proposed bill, known as the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA).

The legislation introduced by Sen. Amy Klobuchar and backed by more than a dozen other lawmakers from both parties would create a four-year exemption under US antitrust law allowing news outlets to bargain collectively against social media platforms for a larger share of ad revenue in exchange for their news content. It is one of several tech-focused antitrust bills currently pending on Capitol Hill.

“If Congress passes an ill-considered journalism bill as part of national security legislation,” Meta said in a statement tweeted by spokesman Andy Stone, “we will be forced to consider removing news from our platform altogether rather than submit to government-mandated negotiations that unfairly disregard any value we provide to news outlets through increased traffic and subscriptions.”

A Recession Looms Over the Posh World of Influencers
In times of economic hardship, what happens to influencers? That's the question posed by WIRED, which notes that many Britons are currently experiencing "fuel poverty" as energy prices soar and inflation reaches 41-year high. Many families are choosing between heating and eating, and rail workers, nurses and firefighters are planning to strike for livable wages. Economists fear the world is on the brink of another recession, so the backlash against influencers is growing. New York-based influencer Sophie Wood says she has made a personal choice to post more sensitively and has begun working with sustainable and ethical fashion brands. Amy Zwirn, head of agencies at London-based marketing company Influencer, believes that if the UK enters a recession, brands will build trust with consumers by seeking out specific influencers as long-term ambassadors.
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Great Paywalled Content

Instagram cuts influencer payments for short videos - Financial Times
Instagram has cut the amount it pays makers of short videos as the Meta-owned business adapts its strategy towards so-called influencers while facing fierce competition from TikTok.

The invite-only scheme, which is available to some Instagram users in the US, pays a rate based on the views received on clips called “Reels”.

Instagram introduced the programme last year, partly in response to the popularity of TikTok, the short-form video app that Meta chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has blamed for stealing attention from its social media apps including Facebook.

Under the Reels system, influencers are given personalised payouts with specific targets for views, with money capped at a maximum fee per month.

Several creators told the Financial Times that payments for Reels have been down for the past few weeks by as much as 70 per cent per view, and the threshold for getting paid is more than 10 times higher. One user who could be paid a maximum of $35,000 said their personal target for views jumped from 58mn to 359mn.

TikTok Pushes Social Features as Growth Cools — The Information
The Information reports that TikTok has been rolling out features to promote social connections between users and keep them engaged with the app, despite some staff misgivings. The company introduced a Friends tab in May, followed by TikTok Now, which encourages users to post a single photo or video daily in exchange for viewing similar posts from friends. The features could help the company retain its audience at a time when its growth has slowed. However, they may also reduce TikTok's distinction from other apps over time. The company is also facing a financial impact from the downturn caused by the pandemic.

This Hollywood influencer company is helping internet stars - Los Angeles Times
Enter FaZe Clan, the sprawling web content and lifestyle brand that organized the event this summer. It’s among many companies trying to capitalize on the huge demand. This summer, the firm went public in a reverse merger valued at $725 million — with mixed results.

That number undershot an earlier projection of $1 billion, and the company’s share price has plummeted since then. After FaZe Clan debuted at around $13 a share, but amid a broader tech sector downturn, the price has dropped considerably, closing at $2.44 on Friday.

“Going public gave us a balance sheet that we’ve never had order to really invest in the current business [and] build the future,” Chief Executive Lee Trink said.

Sitting somewhere at the intersection of management agency, record label and artists collective, FaZe is largely built around influencers, streamers and web personalities with ties to the world of video games. The company also fields esports teams and makes money lining up sponsorship deals with brands.

Influencers Reveal What Pinterest Was Paying Them in Shuttered Program - Business Insider
Pinterest is ending its paid, invitation-only beta program that rewarded creators for engagement on short videos.

The Creator Rewards program launched in a closed beta test in October 2021, with an initial investment of $20 million. 

The Information first reported that Pinterest would be ending the test program and would shift to developing other paid features for Pinterest creators.

Some creators were earning thousands of dollars a month from the program. As part of the program, Pinterest rewarded creators monthly for completing specific posting goals related to the platform's short-video feature called Idea Pins.

For one lifestyle influencer, who requested anonymity in order to speak freely about the payouts, the program was worth the time spent. They earned around $14,000 from the program, according to documentation viewed by Insider, and they would often cross-post the short videos to other platforms like Instagram, where they have over 200,000 followers.

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