The Creator's iPhone Problem 📲

Why apps cost more on phone vs. desktop

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Creators Address App Store Fees

Hank Green tells viewers to purchase creators’ apps from desktop, not mobile / Hank Green

YouTube Premium costs $5 more per month on iPhones than it does on desktop or Google Play. Education creator Hank Green dug into why…and why it matters for creators launching their own streaming services, like The Try Guys, Corridor Crew, and Dropout.

Breaking it down: Extra fees from Google Play and the Apple App Store mean creators keep less revenue and, in some cases, have to charge users more.

How it works → Both Apple and Google take a 30% cut of revenue from subscriptions purchased through their app stores. After a user subscribers for one year, that drops to 15%.

  • Some platforms increase the cost on the App Store to make up for the 30% fee. That’s why Google-owned YouTube charges $19/month for Premium on the App Store and $14/month on desktop and Google Play. 

The creator response: Corridor Crew charges about $20 more per year on App Store purchases than desktop (the latter is where they encourage followers to sign up). Dropout, Nebula, The Try Guys, and The Sidemen don’t charge more for subscriptions on the App Store or Google Play. 

Green’s suggestion? To support creators, don’t buy platform subscriptions on your phone. Instead, sign up on desktop then log in on mobile.  

“I get why [Apple] should take a cut. I just don't get the way they’re taking the cuts. And I don’t get why they don’t let people say ‘hey if you don’t want to use the App Store ecosystem, come buy it somewhere else where you don’t have to pay this 30% tax,’” Green said in a video.

Zoom out: Launching a streaming platform has become a popular creator business play—making app store prices an increasingly important factor in creator strategies.

Why This 26-Year-Old Finance Creator Retired His Channel

Nate O’Brien returns to his channel after one year to officially announce his departure / Nate O’Brien

After seven years of creating educational finance videos for his 1.3 million YouTube subscribers, finance creator Nate O’Brien announced that he’s retiring from his channel to focus on other ventures.

O’Brien told us what he learned from creating in the finance niche—and what he’s building next →

Maintaining trust is paramount for finance creators. The niche’s reputation suffered after creators started selling crypto scams to their viewers, according to O’Brien.

  • He believes his audience kept coming back because he never tried to sell digital products like NFTs or investing courses. 

  • “You have to constantly take it into your own hands to make sure [viewers] actually make financial decisions themselves,” he told us.

You can’t “half-ass” content. By 2018, O’Brien realized that he didn’t want to create videos full-time in the long run. So he teamed up with his brother to build a marketing agency (which now owns and manages several faceless media brands) on the side.

“That’s another reason why I had the luxury of being able to walk away from the YouTube channel,” he said.

O’Brien is bullish on creators as investors. He launched a venture capital firm in 2022, targeting consumer-facing companies that he advises on marketing and branding.

But O’Brien cautioned that angel investing isn’t for every creator. “You should really make sure you’re doing your homework before you just jump in,” O’Brien told us.

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The Platform Simplifying Storyboarding for Creators

For creators like Cleo Abram, storyboarding is a huge (pun intended) part of the creative process. But even with the latest tech tools, mapping out a visual plan has never been simple.

LTX Studio is trying to change that. With features like prompt to storyboard, enter a seed of an idea and this AI-powered platform will generate the building blocks for your next video.

Need to flesh out a plot summary? Test out different visual styles? Done and done.

It’s still in beta, but LTX Studio has started giving access to people on its waitlist. Sign up here.

Dude Perfect Enters ‘Fortnite’ With Dodgeball Game

Dude Perfect share a preview of their custom island built to play virtual dodgeball in Fortnite / Dude Perfect

Sports creators Dude Perfect launched a custom island in Fortnite yesterday, where players compete in rounds of virtual dodgeball—the “first of more Fortnite games to come,” the group said.

The game’s release coincides with an upcoming dodgeball-themed video from the Dudes premiering on their YouTube channel tomorrow.

Zoom out: UGC gaming content development has become a big business. Fortnite parent company Epic Games paid out $320 million to custom map builders last year—which has led creators including Andre Rebelo and Karl Jacobs to spin out their own game development studios in recent months.

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

  • Read: A struggling actor finally struck it rich. Then, the FBI showed up. New Yorker writer Evan Osnos dives into this strange (and true) story of a Hollywood Ponzi scheme.

  • Watch: The Verge kicks off its new creator interview series by traveling to Unnecessary Inventions’ studio in Burlington, Vermont.

  • Listen: On a recent episode of The Press Box, journalist and bestselling author Patrick Radden Keefe talks about how to approach a story when you don't have access to a subject.

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