Jack Conte on Patreon's Big Change ‼️
Inside the platform's rebrand
Good morning. Comedy creator Cody Ko—a self-proclaimed fan and critic of YouTube dating show The Button—got to voice the infamous button during the show’s latest episode. Of course, Ko then did exactly what we’d expect him to: He reacted to the episode on his second channel.
Why Patreon Rebranded, According to Its CEO
Patreon debuts a new visual style / Patreon
Creator memberships platform Patreon is launching a rebrand today. In addition to a new logo and brand identity, Patreon is rolling out a redesigned app and features like community chats, commerce, and free memberships (once in beta and now available to all creators) in a bit to enable creators to connect with fans outside algorithmic feeds.
The reasoning: “We’re no longer a membership company, we’re a creator fandom company [...] and that’s what we’re tackling in this next chapter of Patreon,” CEO Jack Conte told us. The company’s new focus is on deepening creators’ relationship with their audiences through Discord-like chats and tools that will let creators make sales and offer free memberships and profiles for fans.
The problem Patreon is trying to solve: Algorithms on platforms like TikTok and Instagram can make it difficult for creators to regularly reach their followers these days.
“Our creative freedom as artists is challenged when we’re forced to play by [a platform’s algorithm] in order to reach our audience,” Conte said.
But Patreon is steadfast in that it’s a supplement to other platforms, not a replacement.
“YouTube and TikTok will help you reach new fans, but Patreon isn’t going to have discovery and recommendations and personalization,” Conte said.
Zoom out: In the wake of Patreon’s valuation dropping 70% from its high last fall, the platform has been looking for new ways to add value for creators. Patreon said that during beta, new features like free memberships helped creators Under The Desk News grow their Patreon audience by 120%, but it’s TBD if this facelift will have widespread success.
“We’re thinking of ourselves like, ‘If you found an audience and you're having trouble building a community and a business online, Patreon's the place where you can form that tight community with your most passionate fans and strengthen the relationship with those fans,’” Conte said.
The Self-Help Book Taking Over TikTok
Over the weekend, author and TikTok creator Keila Shaheen’s mental health workbook, The Shadow Work Journal, topped the bestsellers list on Amazon for the fourth time since August—outperforming many popular titles including Walter Isaacson’s new Elon Musk biography.
Who is Shaheen? The 24-year-old studied psychology and marketing before working as a creative strategist for several companies, including TikTok. Inspired by the work of psychoanalyst Carl Jung, Shaheen completed an online training course in therapy and self-published The Shadow Work Journal in 2021.
But the book didn’t take off until this year, when it was listed on TikTok Shop. The platform’s affiliate features (which enable commissions for fellow creators) have helped sell 290,000 copies of Shaheen’s workbook on TikTok alone since April, according to The Atlantic. That’s the power of #BookTok.
FYI: In the same Atlantic story, expert therapists critiqued Shaheen’s qualifications—raising questions around mental health and wellness creators’ ability to make an outsized impact on audiences despite not always having the résumé to back it up.
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Feastables Debuts NBA Jersey Patch
MrBeast’s Feastables brand lands an NBA sponsorship / NBA
MrBeast’s snack brand Feastables revealed a new jersey patch partnership with his hometown NBA team, the Charlotte Hornets, on Monday. It’s the first such collaboration between a creator and an NBA franchise, ESPN reported.
The Feastables logo will be stitched on Hornets jerseys (for both players and fans) during the 2023-2024 season. Feastables branding will also appear in press conference backdrops and the Hornets’ NBA 2K esports team.
Zoom out: It’s been a big year for creator-led brands linking up with professional sports franchises—consider Dude Perfect’s investment in British soccer club Burnley or PRIME’s partnership with the UFC.
🔥 Press Worthy
Business creator Meredith Marsh explains YouTube’s “invalid traffic” problem that’s currently hamstringing many creators.
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Pop culture publication Dirt acquires design newsletter Sitting Pretty.
YouTube is required to comply with the Canadian government’s online content regulations ahead of Bill C-11 passing in November.
TikTok is testing an ad-free subscription tier.
CollegeHumor celebrates the fifth anniversary of its subscription streaming platform, Dropout.
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