Jesser's Creator Business Playbook 🏀

The sports creator sits down with Colin and Samir

Howdy. Good news for tote enthusiasts: Trader Joe’s is restocking its mini tote bags that were released in February, went viral on TikTok, then sold out. Right now the 13” bags ($2.99 retail) are selling for upwards of $500 on the secondary market.  

P.S. We’ll be at The Information Summit in LA tomorrow. If you’ll be there, say hi!

Jesser Shares Lessons from Building a Sports Creator Biz

Jesser shares lessons of balancing sports leagues and creator business with Colin and Samir / Photography by Jesse Leon

Sports creator Jesse Riedel (aka Jesser) appeared on The Colin and Samir Show today to share insights from his journey to 18 million subscribers, his hiring strategy, and the lessons professional sports leagues can learn from creators’ success.

Three key takeaways from their conversation →

Create with other people. Though Riedel began making enough money to go full-time on YouTube as a teenager, he credits collaborating with friends (even moving into a content house at one point) as his motivation to keep pressing publish. 

“Have fun with it [and] make videos with your homies…you gotta fall in love with it,” he said.

Different stages of growth require different skillsets. On his path to building a seven-figure business, Riedel felt confident finding his initial team members (such as videographers) through his personal network.

But scaling requires new specialties. Riedel said bringing on former Spotify exec Zach Miller as president has helped his business with everything from developing an internal org chart to networking with major players in sports media.

To reach young fans, pro sports leagues should help players become creators. Riedel pointed to NBA athletes Matisse Thybulle and JaVale McGee, both of whom uploaded vlogs from the NBA’s 2020 Covid quarantine “Bubble,” as examples of pros-turned-creators driving massive interest from viewers eager for behind-the-scenes stories.

“The NBA can’t tell players to do that, players have to want to do it…[but the league should find] ways to empower [them] because at the end of the day, people watch for the players,” Riedel said.

UMG Expands Spotify Partnership Amid TikTok Battle

Universal Music Group and Spotify announce a new “music discovery and social interaction” experience / Illustration by Moy Zhong

Nearly two months after Universal Music Group (UMG) pulled its music catalog from TikTok, the music label is expanding its partnership with Spotify. The new deal will let US Spotify users watch music videos from UMG artists on the platform.

Closer look: UMG and Spotify also announced new features that will focus on “music discovery and social interaction” to enhance fan experience.

FYI, Spotify recently updated its home feed to mimic TikTok’s video scroll—a change that’s been met with frustration from users who prefer a simple interface. 

Between the lines: UMG pulled its music from TikTok earlier this year after the two parties failed to meet a licensing agreement. It appears UMG is now deepening its partnership with Spotify to fill a TikTok-shaped hole in its artist discovery strategy (and to allow musicians to promote their work on an algorithmic feed that isn’t TikTok).

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said in a statement that the new features will help artists “better monetize their art,” though Spotify hasn’t said exactly how. Currently, artists have reported making less than one cent per stream on Spotify.

Sponsored by Shopify

The Many Lives of a Self-Taught YouTube Chef

Wil Yeung has reinvented himself many times. Violin flipper, wedding photographer, coconut milk maker—the list goes on and on.

His current life? He’s the creator behind Yeung Man Cooking, a YouTube cooking channel focused on plant-based recipes.

With close to 100 million views, Wil’s built not just an engaged audience, but one that’s eager to purchase his products. For example, he’s written a series of cookbooks he sells directly on his Shopify-powered store.

How did someone who’s tried (and failed) so many different paths find his way as a creator? Read Shopify’s Founder Story about Wil’s non-linear journey to find out.

Keith Lee Embarks on ‘Redemption Tour’

Keith Lee will revisit cities from last year's food tour, reviewing new restaurants under an updated rating system / Keith Lee

TikTok food reviewer Keith Lee is going on a Redemption Tour, revisiting some of the cities in which he gave food reviews last year. First up: Atlanta.

Context: When Lee visited Atlanta last year, his reviews caused a commotion—restaurant lines out the door, fights, and death threats that sparked a city-wide conversation on Atlanta’s restaurant culture.

This time around, Lee is visiting new restaurants and rating them based on different rules and categories. And he’s bringing his own security.

“We come in peace, that said we will be protected,” Lee said on TikTok. “Me and my family are getting home safe. We just come to eat food, meet the people we’re supposed to meet, and do what we’re supposed to do.”

👀 Creator Moves

  • Dhar Mann is hiring a content associate to capture and edit videos for vertical platforms.

  • TBNR Productions is hiring a head of production to manage content schedules and budgeting.

  • Electronic Arts is hiring a creator partnerships manager to help build an affiliate business to market its video game catalog.

  • The NBA is hiring a part-time Snapchat creator to produce engaging content that highlights the best moments from games.

Looking to grow your creator biz? Post an opportunity on our job board.

📽️ From the Studio

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