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- Why Senators Grilled the CEOs of Meta and TikTok 🧑⚖️
Why Senators Grilled the CEOs of Meta and TikTok 🧑⚖️
The creator POV on child protection laws
Good morning. Some interesting creator highlights from last night’s Grammys:
It was a big night for artists who grew to fame on TikTok: Tyla's TikTok megahit "Water" won Best African Music Performance, and Laufey won for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album.
Youth activists including Yoelle Gulko (right) attend a senate hearing featuring tech CEOs such as Mark Zuckerberg / Matt McClain for The Washington Post
The CEOs of Meta, TikTok, Snap, X, and Discord testified before a senate committee last week about their efforts to protect children from cyberbullying, sexual exploitation, and other harmful effects of their platforms.
We talked about how creators are influencing the conversation with Yoelle Gulko, a filmmaker and member of Design It For Us (a coalition of young creators and activists advocating for safety regulations on social media) who attended the tense hearing →
There was “an emotional air in the room,” Gulko said, highlighted by a viral moment when Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologized directly to families of young people harmed by social media. “Everyone feels a personal attachment to this matter, whether it be themselves, their children, or loved ones they know,” Gulko said.
New legislation has bipartisan support. Senators Richard Blumenthal (a Democrat) and Marsha Blackburn (a Republican) are leading the charge to pass the Kids Online Safety Act. “I can guarantee you, we will win this fight,” Blumenthal said at a post-hearing rally organized by Design It For Us.
Young people have a voice. Gulko believes that we’ve reached a “turning point” where the “perspectives of young people…are finally being listened to.” Gulko said many lawmakers at the hearing brought new proposals that were informed by conversations with constituents.
Looking ahead: Now that decision-makers (from tech CEOs to senators) are paying attention, Gulko believes that the most effective way for creators to build momentum towards meaningful regulations is to continue talking transparently about their lived experiences online.
“Just by sharing your story, I think you create a more direct line of connection with your audience,” she told us. “Because odds are, your audience is going through the same thing.”
Is This The End of Exclusive Podcast Deals?
Now fans will be able to listen to audio-only episodes of Call Her Daddy (CHD) and The Joe Rogan Experience (JRE) on other podcast platforms such as Apple, Amazon Music.
Video versions will still be uploaded to Spotify, though a video format of Rogan’s show will also appear on YouTube.
Going forward, Spotify will still manage the ad sales and distribution for JRE and CHD as well as the podcasts under Cooper’s Unwell Network.
Remember when: Cooper and Rogan made waves in 2020 and 2021 by signing multi-million dollar Spotify exclusive deals—a podcast industry first.
Now, Spotify is shifting its strategy away from exclusive contracts and toward wider distribution with more advertising opportunities on different platforms. For example: Before Cooper and Rogan’s new deals, Trevor Noah’s new podcast from Spotify Studios launched last fall across multiple platforms.
Perspective: It’s not just Spotify losing its appetite for exclusive mega-deals—Twitch and YouTube have also recently pulled away from big-name streamer contracts.
Berm Peak Pivots Content Strategy
YouTube creator Seth Alvo of mountain biking channel Berm Peak launches a Substack newsletter as more YouTubers downsize their productions / Berm Peak
Mountain biking YouTube channel Berm Peak recently launched a paid Substack newsletter as a means of diversifying revenue. It includes a roster of mountain biking writers who’ll create articles, host discussions, and release videos to subscribers weeks ahead of their public release on YouTube.
Why now? After spending nearly a decade building an audience of 2.5 million subscribers on YouTube, Berm Peak founder Seth Alvo said in a video that the move was inspired by 1) the recent wave of YouTube creators downsizing and 2) the platform’s emphasis on watch time.
“Meeting many of you on the trails and in the streets, it's clear we need to continue educating, inspiring, and creating,” Alvo said in the first Substack post. “To achieve this, I need the freedom to produce content that my core audience wants to see, irrespective of its length, subject matter, or how it fits into the broader YouTube landscape.”
👀 Creator Moves
Proof News is hiring a digital strategist to develop partnerships with creators and amplify the outlet’s digital presence.
Jubilee Media is hiring a senior manager of platform growth to leverage data and make strategic programming decisions.
Creators Agency is hiring a talent manager to build strong relationships with creator clients.
🔥 Press Worthy
Toomas “Mudan” Lismus shares a tutorial on how to edit for YouTube creators from his experiences working with Ironmouse and CDawg.
Good Good Golf signs Karol Martin as a sponsored athlete.
Casey Neistat shares his take on the Apple Vision Pro.
Daniel Howell is releasing a comedy special.
Ten Hundred turns a warehouse into his own YouTube studio.
Khaby Lame is making his feature film debut.
Snap is laying off 10% of its employees.
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