The Con

What’s going on with Twitch?

Welcome back. Have you heard of Podcast AI? This week they released a 20-minute podcast episode using artificial intelligence to imagine what it’d be like to hear Joe Rogan interview Steve Jobs. The episode title? The Bro Jogan Experience.

–Hannah Doyle

Is Twitch On Its Way Out?

Canoon / YouTube

Last week’s TwitchCon is bringing the platform’s significant shortcomings to light. According to attendees, TwitchCon fumbled several important aspects of the event—from accessibility compliance to safe programming.

By the end, streamers’ POVs said it all:

  • “I don't feel confident as a streamer on the platform with someone who is that out of touch,” said streamer Jakenbake after meeting with Twitch President Dan Clancy.

  • “Twitch has grown a lot, and it’s a lot harder to run an event at this scale now. They have a lot to learn from this event,” said Ludwig in a recent stream.

  • One TwitchCon attendee we spoke with who asked to remain anonymous called parts of the event “mayhem.”

Some context: For Twitch, these criticisms add to a growing list of recent scandals and crises…

  • A recent report suggested widespread child predation on Twitch—behavior that appears to remain unchecked.

  • Twitch recently announced a change-up in revenue sharing that earned widespread streamer disapproval.

Big picture: Amazon-owned Twitch hosts over 73% of all mobile video game streaming and brings in an average viewership of over 2.5 million at any given moment. But the competition for creators and audiences is mounting, especially from YouTube Gaming and its 700+ million livestream views a month.

Our Take

Twitch is in the thick of it right now—positive commentary about the platform is tough to come by. But platforms, especially those owned by Amazon (which is worth $1.15 trillion), tend to weather the storm. What shape Twitch takes next—perhaps smaller or less impactful—gamers will be paying close attention.

TikTok Bets on eCommerce


According to over a dozen new job postings, TikTok is conjuring up a global fulfillment center in Seattle for warehousing, delivery, and customer service returns. Translation: a supply chain system to rival Amazon.

If successful, TikTok will be taking a page from the playbook of its Chinese parent company, ByteDance.

  • ByteDance-owned Douyin, TikTok’s Chinese counterpart and the country’s top video app, has popularized in-app livestream ecommerce.

  • For example: Over the last two years, the Douyin creator group “Make Friends” has tallied a transaction order volume of 55.5 million pieces in more than 10,000 hours of live streaming.

Keep in mind: This won’t be the first time ByteDance has tried social commerce in the west. The company abandoned plans to expand its TikTok Shop app to the U.S. after testing in the U.K. flopped earlier this year.

Our Take

For years, investors and tech entrepreneurs have been trying to make social commerce happen in the U.S. to mostly incremental success. But TikTok is different from initiatives like Instagram Shopping—the app fundamentally changed the way we consume content. Who's to say it can't change the way we buy things?

But…today’s running theme is Amazon is still Amazon, and it feels impossible to beat the tech giant at fulfillment, no matter who you are.

Sponsored by Shopify

Launching a Simple Store Has Literally Never Been Easier

Shopify is here with another launch designed to help creators build and scale their businesses—the Starter Plan.

For the cost of a cold brew ($5) per month, this Starter Plan allows you to:

  • Create a simple store in minutes, without any code

  • Sell your products to communities across platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, and more

  • Connect to Shopify’s new link in bio tool, Linkpop, that allows your social following to shop your store without leaving the app

  • Manage orders, analyze sales, and talk to customers

Start building your store on Shopify—try out the Starter plan.

Sidemen Expand to Hospitality

Sidemen / Twitter

Imagine staying in a room with XIX Vodka and PRIME in the mini bar and Sides chicken nuggets on the room service menu.

That hypothetical could become reality at the Sidemen-themed hotel set to open in the U.K. next year.

The YouTube challenge and lifestyle group, along with their management brand Arcade Media, partnered with startup Ghsthotels for the venture, which plans to bring the tech advancements of ghost kitchens (like automation and personalization) to a themed hotel.

Our Take

Dude Perfect has a new larger than life headquarters. The Sidemen are breaking into hotels. We’re seeing creator groups grow their brands in Disney’s image—create valuable IP and build your audience an IRL experience around it.

🔥 Press Worthy

  • ItsDesignerTom launches a presale for his design workbook.

  • Kelly Wakasa and Ashley Alexander open up about the details of Ur Mom’s House breakup.

  • A rare look into ByteDance’s finances.

  • Creative Elements is a new video podcast that goes behind the scenes with today's top creators.*

  • Feastables collaborates with Corpse for a limited edition chocolate bar.

  • Caiden Cernius teams up with Volcom.

*This is sponsored advertising content.