Creators stake their claim in old media
Welcome back. This week has been a wild one for brand collabs. Minecraft and Burberry. Fortnite and Polo Ralph Lauren. Not gaming related but even more bizarre—Kraft Mayo and Juicy Couture joined forces to create a “velvety smooth” tracksuit and yes, there’s bejeweled lettering on the butt.
The Gap Between Traditional Media and New Media is Shrinking
Yes Theory / Instagram
We’re entering Emmy and Oscars season in the world of show business…and creators have entered the chat.
Let’s take a closer look:
Markiplier’s science fiction YouTube Original series In Space With Markiplier, was nominated for Outstanding Interactive Media alongside Netflix’s Cat Burglar and Oculus TV’s Madrid Noir. The gaming creator is one of two YouTubers nominated for an Emmy this season, joining Tab Time’s Tabitha Brown.
Yes Theory has long-said that they’re shooting for an Oscar nomination with the Project Iceman release, and turned down a $1.25 million streaming deal to make it the way they wanted. Now they’re on a world premiere tour, and partnering with Cinemark to bring the film to the public starting December 4th.
“The way that we [made the film] defied how the [traditional] industry works,” Pedro Paiva, head of operations at Yes Theory told us.
Funding for the documentary came from the worldwide Yes Theory community, with 4,212 people making the credits. By retaining independence and forgoing a traditional studio partner, they had to take on distribution themselves. To do so, they assembled a team of five to secure venues for their red carpet tour, and solicit movie theater companies for a wider release.
Paiva expressed excitement about how their community has responded. “This is a natural progression of how we see Yes Theory impacting and building with our audience, because we want to change behavior and impact people’s lives, and we know that’s by moving into more in-person experiences, while relying on the strong leg that is content,” Paiva said.
We’ve talked about the next Spielberg being a YouTuber, and these moves provide evidence that such a reality may be closer than we think. The most creative work is no longer gatekept by Hollywood. With creators being able to develop their own content and build an audience that follows, they are able to find views and distribution on their own terms.
Johnny Harris Opens a "Newsroom"
Johnny Harris / YouTube
Context: For the last year, Harris had been posting to his Patreon 1-2x a month, sharing scripts and maps from his videos. At the start of October, he began soliciting feedback through YouTube community polls and Patreon, sussing out ways to improve the experience.
Now he plans to bring his fans into his production process, with tiers of support ranging from $2–8/month.
How it breaks down:
Newsroom Writers can participate inpolls that influence video titles and thumbnails, as well as pitch story ideas.
Newsroom Reporters get exclusive access to video scripts, music from Harris’ composer, Tom Fox (which Reporters can use in their own videos), and extended interview footage.
Newsroom Correspondents get all of the above, plus a monthly behind-the-scenes video.
With the low price tags, Harris is likely using Patreon to deepen his relationship with community more so than to develop a meaningful revenue-driver. He just turned his Patreon into a Masterclass, except the learning is happening in real-time, and never stops.
Sponsored by Uscreen
How Uscreen Powers Creator Now to Level Up Their Membership Experience
In May 2021, Creator Now launched with a mission: build the modern-day film school for creators. They believed that real learning happens live and there are no better educators in the creator space than actual creators themselves.
So they launched a live, cohort-based boot camp where top creators like Airrack, Ryan Trahan, and MrBeast would host workshops exclusively for Creator Now members.
When it came time to figure out the best way to deliver these workshops to creators, the team at Creator Now found a match in Uscreen—a platform for video creators to launch and grow their membership business.
Why Uscreen? It allowed Creator Now to:
Create a branded, exclusive experience for Creator Now's members
Build mobile apps easily so users could enjoy content anywhere, anytime
Deliver a top-notch user experience with fast video loading, high-quality UI, and fully customizable design
Uscreen is trusted by more than 25,000 creators all over the world. Learn why at Uscreen.tv.
NELK Founder Goes Solo
Sunday / YouTube
If Friday night is the vibe of the NELK Boys and Full Send, the brand’s co-founder, Jesse Sebastiani, is aiming for something more chill with Sunday, the network and creative agency he started after selling his ownership in the NELK brand.
“[Selling my share] was due a while ago, there’s no bad blood, we’re just ready for a fresh start,” Jesse said in the brand's first vlog, posted this week. “I’m super grateful for all of this.”
The video gives a behind-the-scenes look into building Sunday, as the team creates merch, pitches new ideas, and holds consulting calls.
Sunday’s more mature, slow-paced vibe is a stark contrast to what the NELK Boys were known for. Instead of chronicling a weekend of going “FULL SEND” in Vegas, Jesse’s opening up and sharing his entrepreneurial journey with his audience through authentic and raw videos. This feels like a natural evolution for their longtime audience. As one commenter, EMTD 99, put it, “Feel like old school Nelk fans have grown up with the brand and growing into Sunday is so fitting. Good luck Jesse.”