Inside YouTube’s New Affiliate Hub 🔗

The platform expands shopping monetization for creators

Good morning. Kendrick Lamar’s Drake diss track “Euphoria” is still holding strong at No. 4 on YouTube’s trending charts three days after its release. But the biggest winners might be music commentary creators like Anthony Fantano and the Dissect podcast, who now have over 10 minutes of new music to react to on their channels after Lamar dropped a follow-up earlier this morning.

YouTube Leans Into Creator Affiliate Earnings

YouTube previews the look of their Affiliate Hub from the YouTube Studio / YouTube

As part of its larger push into ecommerce, YouTube recently launched an “Affiliates Hub” to power creators’ affiliate marketing businesses.

What it is: A tab on the app within YouTube Studio, where eligible creators can find commission rates and promo codes from participating brands. Creators must be in the Partner Program and US-based to participate.

Big picture: Affiliate marketing is a growing industry that can represent a significant chunk of revenue for creators like Kara and Nate, who make travel content, or Chloe Wen, who makes fashion content.

With the Affiliate Hub, YouTube is jumping into the increasingly competitive affiliate shopping space, going up against platforms like Amazon, Shopstyle, and LTK (which generated $4.1 billion in creator sales last year). 

But: Wen told us more isn’t always more with affiliate platforms (despite the common creator strategy of diversifying your content presence). “A lot of affiliate platforms reward you if you’ve got high sales on their platform, so to diversify could actually be more harmful because each platform sees smaller sales—even though it’s the same amount of sales, just widely spread out,” Wen said.

Worth noting: YouTube is the most popular social app in the US and part of Alphabet, one of the largest companies in the world. With that comes resources like data that other affiliate-first companies may not have. On the flip side, though, affiliate platforms like Amazon and LTK have been around for over a decade, earning them significant headway compared to relative newcomers in ecommerce. 

Livvy Dunne Signs NIL Deal with Creator Platform Passes

Livvy Dunne joins Passes (right) where audiences can pay to see creators’ exclusive posts, message them, send tips, and watch livestreams / Livvy Dunne

LSU gymnast and TikTok creator Olivia “Livvy” Dunne announced a multi-million dollar name, image, and likeness (NIL) deal with creator monetization platform Passes on Wednesday.

Context: With over 13 million followers across platforms, Dunne has become one of the most prominent athlete-creators since NIL came into effect in 2021.

  • She's partnered with brands including Vuori, Nautica, and Bodyarmor.

  • Her NIL valuation (a measure of her potential brand partnership opportunities over the next 12 months) is $3.9 million—ranking second out of all college athletes, according to sports analytics database On3.

But: Dunne, whose team won the national title last week, is set to graduate soon, and she plans to diversify her business now that she’s no longer competing.

“Passes allows me to…[offer] exclusive content and experiences, [turning] my passion for gymnastics as a college athlete and content creation into a sustainable career path,” Dunne told Forbes.

Zoom out: The NIL market is worth an estimated $1 billion annually, according to NIL company Opendorse, and Passes said partnering with Livvy is a step towards onboarding more sports creators.

“College athletes have some of the most engaged superfans [and] Livvy is a powerful example of female entrepreneurship in the evolving NIL landscape,” Passes CEO Lucy Guo told Forbes.

Delia Cai (left) hosts a live reading of her newsletter Hate Read (right) with Substack on Wednesday to celebrate its conclusion / Photography by June KimDelia Cai

“Hate Read,” a popup newsletter started by Vanity Fair writer, author, and Substack creator Delia Cai, celebrated the end of its three-week run last Friday. The newsletter published anonymous essays critiquing everything from the state of menswear to astrology—and went semi-viral in the process.

“Hate Read,” by the numbers…

  • 24 different writers contributed essays

  • ~600,000 views across three weeks

  • >18,000 readers now subscribe to Cai’s newsletter

Looking ahead: Cai hosted an event on Wednesday to celebrate the end of “Hate Read.” Given 70 people attended and a sponsor came on board, Cai hasn’t ruled out a second season.

🔥 Press Worthy

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  • Did you get hit with unexpected charges from your taxes owed? Start planning ahead now and let DeCypher Financials take the reins.*

  • Engineering creator Project Air breaks the Guiness World Record for the largest remote-controlled aircraft carrier model.

  • Mark Rober surpasses 50 million subscribers.

  • Instagram updates its algorithm to prioritize original content.

*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: Protests, Gamergate, and the Ice Bucket Challenge. Internet culture writer Steffi Cao explores how the year 2014 changed the creator economy forever.

  • Watch: “This is the story of how a delusional idiot spent the last 10 years filming a legendary success story.” Filmmaker Célin Do teases a six-part docuseries called Crazy Broke Asian.

  • Listen: Ahead of his Turtles All the Way Down movie premiere, John Green told us about the “collision course” of YouTube and Hollywood—and how growing online communities too large can paradoxically limit their impact.

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