Creator Businesses Take Center Stage 🎤

On the ground at The Information’s annual Creator Economy Summit

Good morning. Did you get got by any creators on April Fools’ Day? Some of our favorite (prank) products: PRIME’s fried chicken flavor collab with KFC, Epic Gardening’s seeds that grow into “Bacon Flowers,” and Hank Green’s real, living pet rocks.

Creators Get Real About Their Businesses

Creator Michelle Khare shares her “personal mission” in her YouTube career at The Information’s Creator Economy Summit on Tuesday / The Information

Tech publication The Information hosted its annual Creator Economy Summit yesterday in Los Angeles, bringing together top creators, entrepreneurs, and platform executives.

Three quotes that stood out to our team →

“I really believe that within the next few years…an independent creator could win an [Emmy] award.” Challenge creator Michelle Khare shared that her “personal mission” is to produce longform content on YouTube that can rival any Hollywood television production in quality.

“If I can do that and break down that barrier…I feel like that would be a really big win,” she said.

“Specializing allows you to charge what you’re worth.” Accountant and finance creator Duke Moore (aka @dukelovestaxes) began receiving “hundreds of DMs” every day when his videos started taking off on TikTok.

His accounting business, however, didn’t find solid footing until he stopped trying to serve everyone—instead specializing on creators with tax questions tied to their unique profession.

“Personality is certainly a single point of failure…of [this] creator-led brand wave.” Ty Haney, the founder of activewear brand Outdoor Voices, advocated for creators to tie products they launch to specific communities or activities—not just their personal identities—in order to be sustainable long-term.

Outdoor Voices’ early success came when the brand focused on outdoor-centric groups such as hiking clubs, Haney said; her latest venture is a platform that helps brands reward early community members.

Nick DiGiovanni’s Editor on the Key to Good Food Content

Brandon Kaplan (left) helped grow food creator Nick DiGiovanni’s (right) channel and production team as an editor / Brandon Kaplan, Nick DiGiovanni

Food creator Nick DiGiovanni hired lead editor Brandon Kaplan full-time in 2022. In the time since Kaplan’s been on the team?

  • DiGiovanni grew from 5 million subscribers to 15 million.

  • Videos Kaplan edited for the channel topped 307 million combined views.

  • And the team Kaplan is managing grew to three assistant editors.

Here’s what Kaplan has focused on as an editor to help grow the channel → 

Audio. “We might use 100 tracks in a 15-minute video and I can spend a full day just doing the music for one video, whereas when I started out I might only spend a few hours,” Kaplan told us. 

The goal? To create more emotion throughout the video. “If we want to inspire them when Nick finishes a world record or we want to emphasize a joke, we use music to underline those moments.”

Connection. Kaplan explained that DiGiovanni has a global audience, so he likes to emphasize physical humor and facial expressions that transcend language. 

“I like to find those little moments that someone else might say ‘this isn’t essential to the story, this isn’t meant to be in the video’ when really it’s those moments of authenticity and originality that create a human connection,” Kaplan said.

This is part of our series profiling the creator powerhouses behind the camera. Read our first article here. Is there another creator or position you want to hear about? Hit reply and let us know.

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Tezza Launches In-App Camera

Creator Tezza Barton shot the campaign for her photo editing feature, TezzaCam, in-app / Tezza

Photo editing app Tezza is going beyond presets and filters with TezzaCam, an in-app camera that lets subscribers take photos mimicking the style of a film camera. 

We talked to lifestyle creator and Tezza founder Tezza Barton at The Information Summit yesterday to hear all about the new feature, launching tomorow.

The why: “We wanted something that gave you that fun, spontaneous feeling of taking a disposable camera, going out and capturing in real-time, and not having to import or edit,” Barton told us.

Zoom out: 2023 was the Tezza app’s highest performing year yet, with $32 million in annual revenue. Their plan for 2024 is to lean into more in-person events and collaborations with brands like 818 Tequila.

➕ Community Tab

On Monday, we asked you about the biggest challenges you’re facing as a creator. 55% said Burnout and/or Hiring, followed by 24% saying AI. Here are some of our favorite responses:

“The transitions taken to join the creator community can be a lot. You can go from borderline unemployment to self employed or from stable corporate career to unstable managing of your channel.” —Bella M.

“Performance Marketing = diminishing returns over time and the death of authenticity. We're in a vice.” James P.

“The nature at which YouTube (and all socials) don't have show slot times makes running ‘seasons’ of content feel undefined and puts pressure on creators to make in times they probably should rest. It would be interesting to take a page out of traditional [media] by filming in bulk, posting over a few months, and then taking a break.”—Rachel L.

🔥 Press Worthy

  • YouTube now shares auto-generated “key moments” for connected TV viewers.

  • Apple is pushing audio creators to launch paid subscriptions on its platform.

  • Connect with a community of content entrepreneurs like you at CEX2024. Save $100 with the promo code PRESS100.*

  • Nebula adds video content from business publication Morning Brew to its News division.

  • Car creator Supercar Blondie is launching an auction site for luxury cars and yachts.

*This is sponsored advertising content.

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