The Big Opportunity in Small Niches

Learn how creators and platforms are finding big audiences in their niche.

Nitsch, Neesh, tomato, tomahto. Today’s all about finding a niche and owning it. Try and be everything to everyone and you’ll end up being nothing to everyone. Focus, focus, focus.

In today’s issue:

Triller gets knocked out as TikTok competitor

Why companies must turn employees into creators

Why Patreon’s Creator Partnerships Lead quit

Triller Gets Knocked Out As TikTok Competitor

It’s now competing in a different arena as a live event streamer.

Source: USA Today

Jake Paul was in the headlines again this weekend after knocking out MMA veteran Ben Askren in the first round of a much-hyped fight on Triller Fight Club. Though unverified, the reported 1.5m PPV buys generating over $75m put this fight in the Top 10 most purchased fights, ever.

Triller debuted last year as a TikTok competitor and spent millions of dollars on advertising and exclusive creator deals in order to compete. While they arguably lost the battle for short-form video, Triller found success with a niche in creator-produced live streaming events including pay-per-view (PPV) boxing and music.

Why is this a big deal?

  • Platform Pivot → Triller saw the writing on the wall with TikTok’s traction and made a big bet when it announced its acquisition of pay-per-view streaming platform Fite. It’s a shift in strategy towards helping creators - even those on TikTok - produce high-quality live (and live streamed) events. If this fight was anything to go by, this could be a massive business.

  • Direct To Consumer → Creators have a direct relationship with their fans and are rightly protective of it. Platforms offering tools that deliver tailored direct-to-consumer experiences, like Triller and Patreon will be around for as long as the creator economy exists.

Our Take

All the biggest stars are on TikTok and as a social media app, Triller couldn't sway them. Instead, they paid all the biggest stars to be a part of their live event and put them behind a paywall. They found a way to give fans something TikTok wasn't. Bottom line: in the creator economy, attention is the currency and it looks like Triller found its moneymaker.

Did Mark Zuckerberg Just Do Something Innovative?

His audio tools may not be novel, but his announcement format was.

Source: Canada Marketing News

Earlier this week, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced a new suite of social audio tools on Sidechannel, tech journalist Casey Newton’s private, subscriber-only, Discord server. Unlike Apple’s famous keynotes or Zuck’s own infamous smoked meats monologue, the announcement was done in front of a small audience, who were interested in the business of social platforms.

Why is the new announcement significant?

  • Power To The People → “Individuals are getting more power and more opportunity,” he told Casey in the interview. What better way to announce a product focused on empowering individuals than on an independent journalist’s subscriber-only Discord server?

  • Small Creators, Big Profits → Though the company hasn’t announced plans to allow creators to export its subscriber lists, Zuckerberg did say he believes that Substack not locking in creators is significant.

Our Take

Platforms like Substack and Patreon have invested heavily in building and branding powerful, creator-friendly tools. If Facebook’s focus on small, independent creators is as strategically smart as this announcement’s format, creators will find it hard to ignore the company. It’s a small signal that big companies understand they need to meet creators wherever they are: on Discord servers or in Clubhouse rooms.

Why Did Patreon’s Creator Partnerships Lead Quit? 

She turned her side gig as a creator into her day job. 

Source: Business Insider

Alexis Gay’s day job was Creator Partnerships Lead at Patreon up until January when she quit to become a creator. With 3.2m followers on Clubhouse, 86k on Twitter, 14k on Instagram, and an ad-supported podcast, she’s successfully turned her side gig as a comedian parodying the tech industry into a full-time job.

Scroll through her Twitter and you’ll notice a lot of tech jargon. Words like SaaS and CAN-SPAM aren’t things most people know about. Dig a little deeper and you’ll realize that she’s tapped into a collective experience of an entire class of young people in tech.

What is she getting right?

  • Staying Niche → Her podcast interviews people in tech about non-tech things (the podcast is literally called “Non-Technical”). It’s niche content at its finest, and her audience loves it.

  • Community Native → She knows where her audience spends their time and invests heavily in those platforms. Her biggest following is on Clubhouse and Twitter. That’s where most non-technical people in tech spend their time online. Instagram and YouTube fall way behind - 14k and 7k respectively - because her audience doesn’t spend as much time there.

Our Take

No one understands the life of a young, San Francisco tech worker better than Alexis Gay, a former young San Francisco tech worker. We’re still in the early innings of the creator economy where most creators focus on mass appeal content. Alexis speaks to a specific audience in their language and this type of creator will become the norm.

Follow a super niche creator that everyone needs to hear about? Hit reply and tell us about them. 

🔥 In Other News

  • Reddit launches Reddit Talk, yet another Clubhouse competitor

  • Discord shelves Microsoft acquisition, refocuses on going public

  • Pearpop, a pay-to-collab marketplace announces $16m round of funding

  • 100Thieves announces a branded debit card at their 4/20 livestream event

💬 Today’s Team

Max Lowenthall  Writer

Kish Patel   Editor

Fernando Parnes   Curator

Colin and Samir   Editors-In Chief