The Creator-Brand Relationship

Why they get lost in translation

Good morning. ICYMI, Silicon Valley Bank, a popular bank for startups, collapsed over the weekend in the second-largest bank failure in U.S. history. Looking for a good explainer on how it went down? Check this out

Creators should keep an eye out—the bank served companies like Etsy, Shopify, and Pinterest, and there may be ripple effects across industries.

Creators Speak Out on Brand Etiquette

MKBHD / YouTube

One of the best parts of working in the creator space? There’s no one right way to do things. Turns out, that’s also one of the toughest parts, especially for creators who work closely with brands—who may or may not understand the way they do business.

But creators are getting more vocal about the ways companies should treat them. Let’s roll the tape:

MKBHD, who says he usually rejects 99% of PR requests, recently reviewed products from every PR email he received in a month (including a casket and a Coca-Cola phone). He had some wisdom for creators negotiating with brands: 

  • “A lot of [companies] will try to make sure they can guarantee a video from the creator that they’re emailing, or make them sign a contract saying that you will make a video on the thing if you receive it,” MKBHD said in the video. “Creators—don't sign those.” 

MKBHD’s reasoning? Promising a video, regardless of whether the content or the product are applicable to their audience, could damage creators’ brands and reputations. 

Entertainment creator Amanda Golka also made a video last week addressing the biggest misconceptions brands have about creators.

  • “If they assume that I need the money, they're already starting behind,” she said.

  • “It can be hard to get a traditional financial company to understand how you make money and where it’s coming from,” Golka added.

Zoom out: 69% of content creators say brand deals are their most lucrative revenue source, according to a 2022 poll from NeoReach. But not all brands that work with creators understand the ways they operate.

So how should brands approach creator deals? Ashley Rudder, creator and Global Chief Creator Officer at marketing agency Whalar, told us this: “Creators are brands themselves and this is a B2B strategy. [Brands are] talking to founders.”

Looking ahead: Rudder said marketers who understand creators know they can give creators autonomy in promoting their products. But? “That’s just the first step,” Rudder said. “Now we’re seeing creators talking to product teams and taking a part in co-creation.”

Reddit Prioritizes Simplicity Through Video


Last week, Reddit announced plans to bolster its native video player by (you guessed it) introducing a TikTok-esque video feed in a move to “make Reddit simpler.”

Context: Reddit has about 500 million monthly active users, but chief product officer Pali Bhat told The Verge that Reddit needs to be less “chaotic” for those logging on to the platform for the first time in order to be “for everyone.”

“We found Reddit to be kind of like this ‘in’ thing, where if you actually got the joke and you’re on the inside, then you really understand Reddit, you love it and see the value of it,” Bhat said. 

Reddit’s strategy to expand that value: Its new vertical video “Watch” feed will complement a text-only “Read” feed. Reddit hopes this will shrink the learning curve for new users to discover communities and participate in conversations while simultaneously rewarding Reddit power users with new forms of multimedia.

The creator POV: It’s all about making video content, no matter where you’re pressing publish. Talent manager and Creator Now cofounder Zack Honarvar sums it up:

BuzzFeed's 'Worth It' Series Enters Final Season

Buzzfeed: Worth It / YouTube

After seven years of tasting, reviewing, and comparing cheap and expensive cuisine, BuzzFeed’s Worth It is closing up shop with its final episode airing April 8.

FYI: Worth It, featuring creators Steven Lim and Andrew Ilnyckyj and producer Adam Bianchi, started during BuzzFeed’s heyday in 2016 and became one of the media company’s longest-running shows. Worth It’s 87 episodes have earned more than 1 billion views and nearly 10 billion minutes of watch time. 

Zoom out: Worth It was BuzzFeed’s most popular investment in TV-like video, a sector that has declined in popularity in recent years. See also: the end of another popular BuzzFeed title Ladylike, whose stars Safiya Nygaard and Kelsey Darragh have gone on to pursue solo acts.

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