Why MatPat, CoryxKenshin Cameo in this Horror Movie 😱

‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ debuts this Halloweekend

Good morning. And welcome to Halloweekend. What do you think will be the most ubiquitous couples costume this year? Barbie and Ken, Taylor and Travis, Hailey and Justin? Or for real YouTube heads: Haley and Ryan? Let us know your deeply online get-up by hitting reply. And bonus points for dressing up as Colin and/or Samir.

How Creators Helped Make ‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ Possible

The “Five Nights at Freddy’s” movie features cameos and references to creators who helped popularize the original games / Universal Pictures

The first film adaptation of horror video game series Five Nights at Freddy’s (FNaF) hits theaters today—and creators have played a massive role in hyping it up.

The film includes cameos from popular creators including MatPat and CoryxKenshin, and a Wednesday video from gaming channel Socks called “Five Nights at Freddy’s in Real Life” peaked in the top five of YouTube’s trending charts.

But: The connection between creators and FNaF goes back nearly a decade…

  • The original game was released in 2014 and quickly became a viral sensation. YouTube creators began uploading “Let’s Play” videos (which document game playthrough alongside a camera view of the creator), such as Markiplier’s “WARNING: SCARIEST GAME IN YEARS,” his most-watched Let’s Play ever with 110M+ views to-date.

  • The initial success inspired FNaF creator Scott Cawthorn to build out a fictional universe, which developed a loyal following over the years. In between game and book releases, fans stayed engaged by watching popular commentary creators including MatPat, whom SlashFilm labeled the “undisputed champion of theorizing FNaF lore.”

  • In 2017, production company Blumhouse acquired the film rights to FNaF. And as of 2023, the video game series has made over $33.5M.

Zoom out: Creators are celebrating (and sometimes even producing) the viral moments generated by tentpole films—consider Amelia Dimoldenberg interviewing Barbie stars this summer or Ninja cameoing in 2021’s gaming-centric Free Guy.

Creators Reassess TikTok’s Monetization Program

TikTok creators are still looking at how to crack the platform’s Creativity Program / Illustration by Moy Zhong

As TikTok’s Creativity Program enters its sixth month of testing in the U.S., creators are still trying to figure out the best way to maximize the feature—which has brought up more questions than answers about monetization on the platform.

Context: The Creativity Program allows creators to monetize videos that meet certain requirements. Videos must be longer than a minute, and revenue is calculated using a CPM setup—creators are paid per 1,000 “qualified” views.

But creators have expressed confusion re: what counts as a “qualified” view. TikTok hasn’t said what that means, but creator Hank Green shared this week that he suspects it has something to do with minimum watch time. Green said “qualified” views on his videos only account for ¼ to ⅓ of total views. Other creators have theorized that qualified views only count when directed from the For You Page.

Still, creators are testing strategies to optimize their cross-platform monetization opportunities, even if best practices from platform to platform remain unclear. Many are making videos that are just over one minute long to qualify for monetization on TikTok, then trimming them down to sub-60 seconds to meet Shorts requirements.

The creator findings:

  • Green said he makes more money on TikTok than Shorts, but both pay less than a regular YouTube video.

  • So far, Green receives about 80 cents per 1,000 views on TikTok and about 8 cents per 1,000 views on YouTube Shorts.

  • FYI, CPMs can climb up to $50 on a standard YouTube video (depending on a creator’s niche).

Looking ahead: TikTok continues to push longer videos with its new 15-minute upload option in effort to attract long-form creators and compete with YouTube.

But as Green and other creators show, the incentive for making longer TikToks is still lacking: creators, who are at times fighting to be seen by their own followers, haven’t experienced enormous demand for longer videos from their audiences on short-form vertical video platforms.

Sponsored by Discord

This Streamer Makes $16k a Month Breaking the Creator Playbook

Woohoojin is not your typical creator. He's not loud, skips shorts, and often goes out of his way to tell fans not to pay him. Yet, he's pocketing an average of $16k a month as a gamer, playing and teaching.

What’s his secret? A loyal community on Discord.

On his server, Club Banana, he doesn’t aggressively sell subscriptions…even though they’re available to buy through his Server Shop, a storefront where you can sell digital goods right on Discord.

Instead, Woohoojin rewards loyal viewers of his stream free access to one of his paid tiers. He believes doing right by his community has helped skyrocket his earnings.

“There’s inherent value in just being likable and doing things that everyone respects and would want to do themselves,” he said.

Got a genuine connection with your community? Bring them together on Discord. Server Shop is now available throughout the US.

Are You Someone’s Favorite Creator?

Teachable reports that people on social media tend to actively follow only a handful of their favorite creators / Illustration by Moy Zhong

A majority of social media users only follow and meaningfully engage with 1–5 creators, a new report from Teachable found.

But: That number may be increasing. While most users prefer following a smaller number of creators more closely, the study found that nearly 20% of Gen Z viewers engage with 15+ creators (compared to only 10% of Millenials).

The upshot: Even as “following” lists grow, loyalty isn’t disappearing. 40% of Millennial users said their decision to buy products is influenced by a sincere desire to support creators. That jumps to 50% for Gen Z.

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📚️ Thank You For Pressing Publish

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

  • Read: “BING BONG!” Sidetalk co-creators Jack Byrne and Trent Simonian shared the behind-the-scenes story of how they created an iconic viral moment following a New York Knicks win with GQ.

  • Watch: Cody Ko’s editor and comedy creator Zade INC gives editing tips in such an entertaining way, you don’t even have to be an editor to enjoy watching.

  • Listen: How has streaming changed the kind of music being made? Writer Jaimie Brooks explains how music emphasis has shifted from albums to singles, largely thanks to streaming.

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