Why Creators Are Downsizing ⏬

How creators are growing up by scaling down

Good morning. Thanks for choosing to start your 2024 with us and 110,000+ other Publish Press readers. For those new here: We write about the business of creators three times a week, share creator job opps, and host IRL events. Without further ado, let’s get into it.

Trend Watch: Creator Downsizing

More creators are downsizing their teams / Illustration by Moy Zhong

In the last week, we’ve seen a growing trend of creators taking stock of what it means to run a successful business (and sharing their POVs in honest and transparent videos). While 2023 saw big creators getting even bigger, many are finding the theme for 2024 to be less is more

Some creators who recently shared about significantly downsizing their operations:

Matt D’Avella is shrinking his team from 10 to one and will stop selling his productivity course. D’Avella said he found that scaling his team created more stress, expenses, and obligations. 

  • “I wanted to make more videos, fund bigger projects, and work less,” D’Avella said in the announcement video. “The irony was I was creating less, making less money, and working more than I ever have before…I was also making worse videos because I was pulled in a million directions.”

Tom Scott is going on an indefinite hiatus he planned six months ago. Scott, an education creator, has been posting weekly videos to his YouTube channel for exactly a decade—from here on out, he’ll upload periodically and publish his podcast and newsletter on their regular weekly schedules.

Leon Hendrix is taking a break from video. The self-development creator said he’s found it hard to 1) maintain a bimonthly upload schedule while keeping videos up to his standards of education and entertainment and 2) find a good editor.  So now, he plans to focus on podcasting. "There's so many things that I can't make videos about because the packaging isn't right—the title or thumbnails aren't interesting. But podcasting compared to what I've been doing is easy mode. Bonus is YouTube is focusing more on podcasts and longform content," Hendrix said in the video announcing this pivot.

Meat Canyon is reducing its upload schedule from biweekly (which had been the cadence for five years) to only when its creator, animator Hunter Hancock, feels creatively driven to publish something. “If this channel is a place where I'm supposed to be creatively genuine, I shouldn't put such a time limit on it,” Hancock said in the video detailing his new schedule. Hanock plans to work on his non-animation channels like Papa Meat more regularly.

Big picture: Creators like Ali Abdaal have said they love working on a big team, while those like Ryan Trahan and Tina Choi prefer to run lean. As D’Avella said in his video, everyone has a different answer to “How do I spend more time on the things I love and less time on the things distracting me?” And when it comes to creator businesses, growth comes in all sizes—including smaller. 

Airrack Sets Record on New Year’s Eve

Eric “Airrack” Decker takes on the challenge of visiting over 100 pizza restaurants in 24 hours just before the NYC New Year’s Eve Ball Drop / Airrack

To bookend his 2023, Eric “Airrack” Decker took on a new challenge: visiting the most pizza restaurants in 24 hours, all in time for a live TV appearance alongside Ryan Seacrest as the New Year’s Eve Ball dropped in Times Square.

How he got there: Decker took Vlogmas to the extreme in December, vlogging every day as he raced around the globe and reaching over 55 million combined views. That journey ended in New York City, where he celebrated by attempting the pizza-themed challenge.

Decker smashed the 69-shop record by buying at least one slice at 102 stores. To make it official, Guinness World Record adjudicators spent the day in NYC with Decker and verified the record live on “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.”

ICYMI: It was a fitting end to 2023 for Airrack. Decker celebrated passing 10 million subscribers by making the world’s largest pizza last January—setting his first of now two Guinness World Record in the process.

Zoom out: The appearance on ABC’s annual New Year’s broadcast turned into quite the brand moment for Decker.

22.2 million total viewers (the most among TV networks) tuned into “Rockin’ Eve” to see fellow celebrity cameos that included rapper Megan Thee Stallion and K-Pop group NewJeans, according to Variety.

Unpacking Coffeezilla’s Allegations Against Creator Merch Brand Revolt

Stephen Findeisen, also known as “Coffeezilla,” lists Valkyrae, MrBeast, Anthony Padilla, Corpse Husband, and more as creators who may have been wronged by merch supplier Revolt / Coffeezilla

Investigative creator Stephen “Coffeezilla” Findeisen released an exposé on creator merch supplier Revolt, volleying accusations against founder Ryan Piasente that range from fraud to sexual assault.

The accusations Coffeezilla is making:

  • Creators like Anthony Padilla, Corpse Husband, and Valkyrae are allegedly owed thousands of dollars from Revolt for their percentage of merch sales.

  • Revolt allegedly inflated the cost of materials for creators like MrBeast to meet minimum sales requirements they promised to deliver on.

  • Piasente allegedly used business funds to pay people for sexual material.

FYI: Piasente also manages the YouTube comedy group Misfits. Neither he nor Revolt have responded publicly to Coffeezilla’s accusations, and Revolt’s website appears to be down as of Wednesday morning.

👀 Creator Moves

  • Preston Summerrow is hiring a long-form video editor to develop raw footage into working drafts.

  • Jacklyn Dallas of NothingButTech is looking for a videographer based in NYC.

  • Tina Huang is hiring a video editor for her tech-focused YouTube channel.

Looking to grow your team in 2024? Post your job listing here!

🔥 Press Worthy

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