For a Penny

One creator's quest to deliver one cent to MrBeast

Good morning. MrBeast aired his recreation of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory over the weekend, and 44 million views in, the chocolate river, edible door, and Gordon Ramsay cameo do not disappoint. What part of the video did you find most impressive?

Ryan Trahan Attempts to Survive on a Penny for 30 Days

Colin and Samir

Last week, the challenge YouTuber embarked on a cross-country trip to deliver a penny to MrBeast. The catch: he has to get there in 30 days living off of a penny. So far he's made money in a number of ways including selling water bottles to beachgoers, delivering DoorDash orders, and even telling jokes on the Las Vegas Strip.

He’s vlogging his adventures every day in an effort to raise $100,000 for Feeding America—a goal which he already exceeded.

Throughout the journey, if Trahan receives a $50,000 donation, he has to start over with one penny, which he refers to as The Great Reset. That happened for the first time yesterday.

Trahan’s 30-day Penny Series by the Numbers:

29,031,196→ how many video views his vlogs have received through the first seven days.

$187,000+ → how much money he’s raised so far.

$73.70 → how much money he has to his name seven days in.

The penny is a consistent theme for Trahan—he has a one-cent tattoo, and has done multiple penny-based videos in the past, trading a penny for a house and surviving on a penny for a week. But this vlog series ups the stakes. “It’s such a fun motivation because it’s alive,” Trahan told Colin and Samir. “I feel like that's what made me want to do this. Creators have a responsibility to innovate and try something new because if not, we’re going to be doing the same old same old—the audience is going to suffer, the platform is going to suffer.”

The pace of uploading daily vlogs is drastically different from Trahan’s usual content schedule, where he typically posts two videos a month. In preparation, he and his team made all 30 thumbnails beforehand. “It’s kind of liberating and a huge relief for the series. There’s some that are vague enough to make sense on every video, but some that are specific.”

Our Take

This video series is a redefining moment for the vlog format on YouTube. It’s a budget MrBeast-style challenge meets a Casey Neistat-style vlog, with Emma Chamberlain-like vulnerability.

We expect to see more creators develop limited series and special event content. It allows creators and audiences to be in sync with a set time to tune in, adding an element of excitement and urgency. Plus, the flexibility reduces the pressure to keep a rapid posting pace, which will allow for more sustainable, long-term careers as many creators are feeling the burnout of the weekly posting cycle.

Jericho Mencke launches first paywalled show on TikTok

Hollywood Reporter / Pearpop

As of last week, Mencke’s new comedy show, Finding Jericho, can be watched on TikTok for a one-time payment of $4.99.

The sketch comedy TikToker has nearly 2 million followers and his last five videos averaged 12 million views each.

The show was made in collaboration with creator monetization platform Pearpop. The series consists of eight episodes with comedic interviews that take inspiration from Borat, Nathan For You, and The Eric Andre Show. New episodes go live each Tuesday and Thursday on Mencke and Pearpop’s TikTok accounts.

The first two episodes will be available for free on TikTok Live, but access to the remaining six installments is restricted to viewers who pay the $4.99 price.

Our Take

TikTok doesn’t have a great rep for creator monetization—with creators like KSI, MrBeast, and Hank Green calling out their low payments from its creator fund. If this is successful, it could signal a fresh start for TikTok to introduce new forms of monetization to larger creators who are skeptical of receiving earnings proportional to their influence.

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Student Wins High School Election Through Viral TikTok

Teen Vogue

By doing her own take on a classic Mean Girls scene interweaved with popular audio, HS student Saniya Imani not only secured the vote of her classmates—but of the greater TikTok community. After posting the video to her personal account last month, it quickly got over 1 million views.

According to Teen Vogue, Imani’s school counselor even had to manually filter the online ballet because the voting form was being inundated with voters from TikTok.

Our Take

Imani’s experience shows that if you make something that speaks to your specific community, it might just be strong enough to break through your local bubble and have mass appeal. We also have to wonder—if TikTok can impact an election at this scale, what power will it have on a national level?

🔥 Press Worthy

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