Unpacking FazeWorld's Rebrand 🏀

The short-form media company is now Gymnasium

Good morning. Cargo pants aren’t the only thing from 2007 that’s back in action. Facebook just reintroduced its Poke button, an early feature that notifies users when they “poke” each other. While we’re here…could Facebook bring back .edu email requirements? And FarmVille?

FazeWorld Rebrands as Gymnasium

Adam Faze (left) rebrands his short-form video production studio to “Gymnasium” (right) / Adam Faze, Gymnasium

Imagine securing a seed round for your creator company at a valuation of $7.5 million…then immediately getting a cease and desist that brings your startup to a grinding halt.

That’s what happened to Adam Faze’s FazeWorld, a short-form video production studio in NYC that works with creators to make shows like Clockwork Dynasty and Keep The Meter Running.

Catch up: In December, FazeWorld announced a $750,000 fundraising round. Later that month, it was served a cease and desist from esports group FaZe Clan for using “Faze” in its name. 

Faze told us that, though the team’s lawyers thought a win was possible, fighting the cease and desist in court could cost up to $1 million. So Faze rebranded as Gymnasium.

  • Faze said the new brand's school-adjacent theme better encompasses the studio’s Gen Z-focused programming. 

  • "The irony of the FazeWorld name was that it wasn't a world and I'm so excited that we actually have a world that our brand lives in now," Faze told us.

What’s next: Gymnasium yesterday launched Boy Room, a short-form show featuring comedian Rachel Coster touring the messy bedrooms of NYC bachelors. Next up? A game show with comedian Kareem Rahma, and shows with talent including model Isabel Timerman and nail artist Ameya Okamoto.

And if Gymnasium gets another curve ball, with the TikTok ban? 

“We’re definitely taking this TikTok ban seriously. This more than any other time is the closest a bill has reached Biden’s desk,” Faze said. “Our mission has always been to make the best short-form content, reaching people where they are and eventually doing more longer form stuff on YouTube. And so we’re just going to keep having our content everywhere.”

Platform Roundup: IPOs & Creator Payouts

Reddit goes public, Roblox supports content creators, and Pocket FM raises funds / Illustration by Moy Zhong

Today in important platform headlines:

Reddit makes its stock market debut. The company is now publicly traded, but some power users (including often unpaid subreddit moderators) have mixed feelings.

  • Reddit allocated about 22% of shares to its “directed share program,” which offered those users exclusive access to purchase Reddit stock at initial prices.

  • “It doesn’t really feel like Reddit is necessarily giving back, so much as it feels like maybe it’s asking for even more,” one moderator of r/AskHistorians (a subreddit with 2 million members) told CNBC.

Roblox introduces a $35 million creator fund. The platform’s previous “Game Fund” only paid game developers. But now, it’s expanding the program to fund individual creators and projects such as Clip It—a video editing tool that allows users to turn Roblox content into vertical, short-form videos.

Audio platform Pocket FM raises $103 million. The India-based company offers a pay-as-you-go model for podcasts and audiobooks—rather than pay a subscription to access all content (like Spotify), users unlock episodes by purchasing coins.

Pocket plans to use the new funding to expand into Europe and Latin America after it gained traction in the US, TechCrunch reported.

Sponsored by Fiverr

Fiverr Wants to Sponsor You

Here’s why: Fiverr has completely revamped their partnership program and is looking to work with new creators like you.

Become part of an exclusive community of high-end creators and get paid for every video you publish. Here’s what to expect from the new-look Fiverr Creator Network:

  • Not just YouTubers: Fiverr is extending invites to creators from all social platforms.

  • Tailored Sponsorship Deals: They’ll create a personalized proposal that’s specific to your needs and evolves as your partnership together grows.

  • All-New Website: Enjoy major updates that give you a brand new experience and make it easier to track your success.

Plus, Fiverr extends perks to leading partners, like getting your content featured on Fiverr’s official social channels and promoted as ads for extra income, plus the chance to speak at their official events.

Last year, Fiverr paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars to over 500+partners. Their plans for 2024 are even bigger, so why wait? Join the Fiverr Creator Network today.

TikTok’s ‘DermDoctor’ Releases New Skincare Brand

“DermDoctor” Dr. Muneeb Shah (left) debuts skin care brand Remedy with three products / Dr. Muneeb Shah, Remedy

Dermatologist Dr. Muneeb Shah—better known to his 18 million TikTok followers as “DermDoctor”—has released a research-backed skincare brand called Remedy.

Why it matters: Shah has built trust with his audience as a practicing, board-certified dermatologist in North Carolina.

This launch could either expand or break down that trust—after all, skincare is a crowded field, and other creators have struggled to break through (think Valkyrae’s controversial product launch in 2021).

Big picture: We’ll be watching to see how people respond to Remedy.

🔥 Press Worthy

  • Casey Neistat attends the Road House movie premiere with director Doug Liman.

  • The number of Teachable creators earning more than $100K grew 10% in the last year.

  • Smosh’s Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox share their 10 essentials with GQ.

  • .store domains helps you enrich your online merch brand name and ditch the lengthy unmemorable URLs for something clean and simple like www.yourname.store.*

  • Abigail Thorn announces her involvement in an upcoming Star Wars project.

  • Wesley Wang is debuting his next short film, starring TikTok creators Avani Gregg and Vinnie Hacker.

*This is sponsored advertising content.

📚️ Thank You For Pressing Publish

The content we’re looking forward to reading, watching, and listening to this weekend.

  • Read: “The fastest growing sector of the culture economy is distraction.” Longtime music critic and author Ted Gioia writes on the “cultural food chain” in 2024. 

  • Watch: Tyler, The Creator releases a commercial to coincide with his first capsule in collaboration with Louis Vuitton.

  • Listen: On the MUBI podcast, filmmaker Sofia Coppola details the production behind her latest movie, Priscilla, and how she made a movie around Elvis without using any Elvis music.

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