Creators Put GeoGuessr on the Map📍

How creators like Rainbolt grew the game

Welcome back. We’ve officially entered Q4 and the final stretch of 2023. As we think about the end of this year and all that creators have accomplished, we’re curious to hear from you: What creators have really innovated this year? Who has done something exciting or pushed the boundaries within their niche? Hit reply and let us know what creators left a lasting impression in 2023.

A Closer Look at the First GeoGuessr World Cup

Pieter “Consus” Noordijk from the Netherlands wins the first GeoGuessr World Championship on October 14 in Stockholm, Sweden / GeoGuessr

Google Maps location-spotting game GeoGuessr capped off its first-ever World Cup by hosting the finals in Stockholm this week. The event was hosted live on YouTube by top gameplayer and creator Trevor Rainbolt and brought in 71,000 peak concurrent viewers, along with 437,000 total hours watched across streams.

How did GeoGuessr build such a hungry audience?

  • GeoGuessr started in 2013 but became widely popular during the pandemic.

  • In 2019, the game had 10 million worldwide users. Today, it has 65 million.

  • With that spike in players, GeoGuessr grew revenue from just under $500,000 in 2019 to more than $18 million in 2022.

Lots of the game’s growth has been driven by creators, especially Rainbolt and his peer, GeoWizard.

  • GeoWizard started posting his GeoGuessr gameplay to YouTube in 2015, tallying as many as 6 million views on his videos.

  • In 2020, Rainbolt made GeoGuessr a household name with his popular TikToks. He went viral multiple times for spotting bagels (with some internet drama) and family photo backgrounds. During this week’s World Cup, Rainbolt’s stream of gameplay tallied more views than the official GeoGuessr stream.

Big picture: GeoGuessr’s first IRL tournament featuring Rainbolt adds a new dimension to gameplay—similar to the creator-fan meetup dynamic at Ludwig’s Smash Invitational and ChessBoxing events. This expansion of the esports category for both content creators and their audiences could potentially open up a new cottage industry within the game-streaming creator space, especially should interest continue post-World Cup.

"[It was] super easy to digest and contained lots of tension and drama. Who would have thought that GeoGuessr would be such a great esport?” one Redditor said.

Jacksfilms Accuses Streamer of Stalking Following Content Critique

Jack “Jacksfilms” Douglass (left) asks YouTube to remove streamer Alia “Sssniperwolf” Shelesh (right) from the platform after she leaked his address to her audience / Jacksfilms, Sssniperwolf

Comedy creator Jack “Jacksfilms” Douglass called for YouTube to kick popular streamer Alia “Sssniperwolf” Shelesh off the platform last week. Douglass alleged that Shelesh went to his home and revealed his address via Instagram stories to her several million followers.

“In my 17 years on YouTube, I’ve never once had someone come to my home and vaguely threaten me,” Douglass said in a video.

Why it’s significant: This comes after Douglass previously critiqued Shelesh for what he claimed was content theft in her popular reaction videos on YouTube (where she has over 34 million subscribers).

Douglass suggested that if Shelesh’s actions go unpunished, it sets a “terrifying precedent that you can dox and stalk your critics so long as you have a big YouTube audience.”

What Shelesh is saying: The streamer responded to Douglass’ accusations over Instagram stories, writing that she just wanted to have a conversation “like adults” and referring to his videos about her as “obsessive behavior.”

Zoom out: Companies like YouTube and Facebook have historically referred to themselves as “platforms” and not “publishers”—a classification that arguably absolves them of responsibility in issues like these.

YouTube has yet to say anything publicly about what’s going on between Douglass and Shelesh. But given how quickly things have escalated—and what a hot topic content plagiarism has been in the creator community—the situation might become a litmus test for how YouTube responds to actions some of its most influential creators take on (and off) the website.

Sponsored by Discord

Discord Servers Are Now Also Digital Storefronts

Colin and Samir here 👋🏻👋🏽. By now, you probably know we partnered with Discord to launch our own server earlier this year. And so far, it’s been awesome and has helped us tackle two big challenges we face as creators:

  1. Building depth with our community.

  2. Diversifying revenue.

The latter is possible thanks to a new feature called Server Shop. It’s a storefront where you can sell digital goods right on your Discord server.

We used Server Shop to release our first downloadable product: a font based entirely on Colin’s handwriting called…“My Font.” Yes, really.

Launching “My Font” was easy and it even ranked as the second-best selling product during the Server Shop beta test.

So if you’re looking for somewhere to bring your community together, try Discord. Server Shop just released in the United States.

Logan Paul and KSI’s Boxing Bout Notches 1.3M Purchases

The Prime Card boxing weekend event in Manchester, England, featured fights between KSI (left) versus Tommy Fury (middle left) and Logan Paul (middle right) versus Dillon Danis (right) / Misfits Boxing

Logan Paul and KSI co-headlined the “Prime Card” creator boxing event this weekend. The event, which included 11 fights and 24 boxers, drew eight figures in revenue, suggesting that creators are continuing to revive interest in boxing at a time when networks like Showtime are dropping their traditional boxing broadcasts entirely.

The Prime Card, by the numbers:

  • 21,000 live in attendance

  • 1.3 million pay-per-view purchases, according to Happy Punch

  • $32 million in PPV revenue (estimate doesn’t include ticket sales, advertising deals, and merchandise)

Go deeper: While many critiqued the quality of boxing on display, veteran combat sports journalist Ariel Helwani observed that fans filled the arena well before the main event to watch the undercard boxers. Helwani suggested this difference in boxing spectator behavior could be attributed to fans’ deeper connections with creators than with traditional boxers—they’ve watched the creator’s training journey (among other content) on their respective social media channels, so they feel closer to them even if they’re not fighting in primetime.

“What was so interesting about the crowd…there were ten-year-olds there, and they knew everything about everyone,” Helwani recapped.

🔥 Press Worthy

  • The Sidemen are raising a VC fund to invest in creator economy companies.

  • X is allowing a controversial user to monetize their hateful posts.

  • BrandArmy pays out $5M+ during limited beta and has opened applications to all creators looking to monetize their platform and audience.*

  • Twitch launches Stories to help streamers connect with audiences while they’re offline.

  • Please Don’t Destroy is releasing a movie on Peacock.

  • Comedy creator Ziwe is publishing a book.

  • Good Good Golf is hosting its first college tournament live with NBC.

*This is sponsored advertising content.

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