Saw It Here First

Jet Lag’s rollout strategy breaks with the norm

Good morning. Did you see that Kai Cenat made history by becoming the first streamer ever to pass 300,000 active subscribers on Twitch? Told ‘em don’t you doubt the kid, indeed.

'Jet Lag' Season 5 Debuts on Creator-Owned Streamer

Sam Denby / Twitter

Popular educational channel Wendover Productions premiered season 5 of its travel competition show “Jet Lag: The Game” on creator-owned streaming platform Nebula today—one week before dropping it on the Jet Lag YouTube channel.

To understand what makes Jet Lag’s launch strategy work, we asked a few questions of Wendover founder Sam Denby, who’s had quite the journey…

  • Uploaded his first YouTube video essay analyzing the psychology of advertising to YouTube in 2015.

  • Launched several educational channels under Wendover, including Half As Interesting and Extremities.

  • Cofounded Nebula in 2019 and began releasing Jet Lag on the platform in 2022.

What is Jet Lag? Think The Amazing Race, but made by creators—a challenge show that pits teams of two against each other as they race to accomplish tasks that span countries (and sometimes continents). Each season is 1) shot entirely on iPhones over the course of several days 2) put through intense weekly cycles of post-production and 3) launched first on Nebula then on YouTube.

What is Nebula? Think Netflix meets Patreon.

  • Denby and other top creators founded the platform in 2019 as a home for premium videos, podcasts, and classes from creators.

  • Denby, who owns equity in Nebula, mentioned the platform recently topped 600,000 paid subscribers—a third of whom watch his team’s show.

Why the nontraditional release strategy for Jet Lag season 5? Access to Jet Lag on Nebula runs fans $4/month. Putting Jet Lag—along with other exclusive content and events—on Nebula a week early keeps the show ad-free and engages a community willing to pay for content, Denby said.

Looking ahead: Denby is bullish on the staggered release strategy. “There’s so much depth in terms of building out the [Jet Lag] universe,” Denby said. “The fans are just crazy engaged. We did a premiere event for our last season in New York. It was only open to Nebula subscribers…200 seats were filled up, just like that.”

Snapchat Hits User Milestone

Snapchat / Search Engine Journal

About 12 years after its founding, Snapchat hit 750 million monthly active users.

  • That’s less than TikTok, which claimed to have 1 billion monthly active users in 2021 (though Insider Intelligence thinks that number will be closer to 834 million this year).

  • But that’s more than Twitter, which has 450 million monthly active users.

Big picture: Snapchat just launched two new creator tools—audio recommendations and song syncing—that make Snap look and feel more like TikTok for creators. Paired with increased monetization efforts including Snap’s Creator Marketplace, in-app gifting, and Spotlight programs, it seems Snap’s focus has evolved from photo-based communication to creator-driven content.

While Snapchat’s creator payout strategy isn’t perfect, the platform did pay 12,000 creators more than $250 million in 2021 as part of its TikTok-esque Spotlight feature. And several creators are cashing in…

  • David Dobrik posts some 30 snaps/day and has said he’s made up to $100,000/week on Snap.

  • Creator Katie Feeney, who counts most of her audience on TikTok, has earned over $1 million posting videos (some of which are original and some of which are repurposed TikToks) to Snap Spotlight.

Do you post content on Snapchat? We’re interested to hear about your experience. Hit reply and tell us more.

Today in New Creator Jobs: Venture Edition

Rashad Assir / LinkedIn

Creators are being recruited by venture capital firms to build out brands and make content in-house. Some recent examples:

  • Comedian Rashad Assir was hired by Redpoint Ventures to make workplace-type humor for the venture fund’s TikTok.

  • Last month, finance creator Kyla Scanlon partnered with O'Shaughnessy Ventures as an “Entrepreneur in Residence” to build out her finance education company, Bread, and advise the VC on its work with creators.

Zoom out: Many venture firms are partnering with content creators to utilize their audience-building skills in the effort to improve deal flow, source young talent, and connect with the next generation of founders and investors.

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