Inside SXSW’s Creator Lineup ↙️

We’re on the ground in Austin

Good morning. Just when we thought PRIME sponsorships couldn’t get any bigger, the beverage brand founded by Logan Paul and KSI became the official sports drink of the Los Angeles Lakers. What’s next…the Chiefs? Beyoncé? Sky’s the limit, it seems.

Creators Get Real at South by Southwest

Lilly Singh (left) premieres her film “Doin’ It” on Tuesday / Photography by Nate Graber-Lipperman

As conversations about AI dominated South by Southwest (SXSW) this year, the film, media, and music festival hosted its first creator economy track.

A common thread? Many of the series’ speakers stressed the importance of creating content and tools that facilitate more human-to-human relationships between creators and their audiences.

Some creator highlights from our week in Austin…

Patreon CEO Jack Conte reflected on his company’s major overhaul. In a sit-down conversation ahead of his keynote Friday, Conte told us that the company has learned “a lot” since launching free subscriptions and one-off digital goods sales last year.

  • He said Patreon’s transition from “membership platform” to “media, community, and business for creators and their fandoms” has been a success.

  • “We had one creator put up a [comedy] special on our commerce product—in one month, they made 6x what they make from memberships by just selling their special,” Conte told us.

Lilly Singh premiered her first scripted film, Doin’ It. The film festival portion of SXSW is known for generating early hype for indie movies beginning to roll out (see: Everything Everywhere All At Once in 2022). Singh—a veteran sketch comedy creator on YouTube—appeared ready for the moment.

“The one thing that is always the same [between making YouTube videos and movies] is that story is still the most important [part],” she said before the movie premiered Tuesday. “In our new film…just like my YouTube videos, I’m like, ‘How do people feel when they leave?’”

Twitch CEO Dan Clancy talks about the future of the platform with creators SushiDragon (second from left), Mizkif (second from right), and ExtraEmily (right) / Photography by Nate Graber-Lipperman

A big topic on streamers’ minds: “micro-productions.” A couple days after we spotted him playing a “portable piano” and streaming live on a street corner in downtown Austin, Twitch CEO Dan Clancy hosted a panel with Twitch creators SushiDragon, ExtraEmily, and Mizkif.

The streamers expressed their desire to focus less on long, expensive content shoots and more on simply talking directly to their chat in relatable terms. “[Streamers] are going to stay minimalistic in a lot of ways,” Mizkif said.

Stay tuned for more SXSW coverage Friday.

House Passes Bill That Could Ban TikTok

The House of Representatives passes a bill that puts TikTok at the risk of being banned / Illustration by Moy Zhong

This morning, the House of Representatives passed a bill (in a dominant 352-65 vote) that will force TikTok parent company ByteDance to sell the app to a U.S.-based company within five months or risk being banned country-wide.

Catch up: Last Thursday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously voted in favor of the bill. Creators have since protested and voiced doubts the bill will pass after years of back and forth.

So what happens next? Some important context to keep in mind:

  • Former Activision CEO Bobby Kotick floated the idea of partnering to buy TikTok with business leaders including OpenAI CEO Sam Atlman, the WSJ reports. The estimated price tag? Over $100 billion.

  • ByteDance’s U.S. investors have so far been silent, unlike in 2020, when investors including Sequoia Capital used their political ties to sway lawmakers against a ban.

FYI: President Biden previously said he’d sign the bill into law if it passed Congress.

Sponsored by .Store

Sticks.Store: A Script For Selling More Memorable Merch

In the last year, creators Lucas and Curtis, collectively known as Sticks, made their mark by turning YouTubers like Ryan Trahan, Mark Rober, and Airrack into heroes of their own mini-movies. Seeing their subscriber count climb gave them a bright idea…

Why not make movie posters they could sell from their YouTube cinematic universe?

Yes, you read that right—movie posters as merchandise. To set up their merch storefront, the answer to where was a no-brainer. Lucas and Curtis brought their innovative idea to life with, where they chose a .store domain to showcase their creative products.

Seeing your name and “.store” in the website link instantly tells your customers they can buy from you—transferring your credibility to your storefront URL.

See why the Sticks brothers and other top creators are popularizing their merch brand with a .store domain.

In Your Words: How Did You Land Your Creator Job?

Here’s how Publish readers are getting to work with creators / Illustration by Moy Zhong

On Monday, we asked all of you how you landed your jobs in the creator industry.

At 37% of respondents, the bulk of Press readers did it through cold email or DM, followed closely by 33% who landed their positions via job sites. 

Here are some of our favorite reader stories:

“I found the job through a YouTube community post with the creator I work with now. But it helped that I have my own channel I work on that acted as a portfolio of my work and showed that I was committed to the process of creating.” —Rachel L.

“I am a freelance podcast producer and I've gotten my clients from cold emailing them with a pitch deck.” —Emma K.

“Referral is the closest option—my friend started their channel and ultimately hired their friends who were lingering around and helping out each time they filmed. In just shy of 2 years, the channel has 4.4m subscribers and counting. Not a bad effort for a bunch of people who'd never made videos.” —Dazz B.

A local business found my YouTube channel and asked if I would create content for them.” —Ben K.

Looking for a job in the creator economy? Check out our job site.

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