Why a Spotify Exec Joined This Creator's Team 🏀

Jesser hires a president for his Bucketsquad brand

Good morning. Five Nights at Freddy’s smashed box office expectations over the weekend, grossing $131 million to become the third-biggest horror movie opening of all time.

As we wrote on Friday, gaming creators played a significant part in the franchise’s success over the years, and their decade of popular FNaF content seems to be paying off—one moviegoer tweeted that her entire theater applauded when Matthew “MatPat” Fitzpatrick appeared during a scene in the film.

Jesser Hires Ex-Spotify Exec as President for His Bucketsquad Brand

Sport creator Jesse Riedel (left) hires former Spotify executive Zach Miller (right) as president for his media and sportswear company, Bucketsquad / Bucketsquad

YouTube sports creator Jesse “Jesser” Riedel has been growing his Bucketsquad media and sportswear company at a rapid clip over the past year, from launching a sneaker line to partnering with the NBA. His latest recruit: the former head of content strategy and business development at Spotify Zach Miller, who’s joining Bucketsquad as president.

Why hire a president? “Creating content is the thing I love the most and bringing Zach onboard to run and grow Bucketsquad will allow me to double down on making videos,” Riedel said in a press release.

Context: Jesser has a following of over 21 million across platforms. His team has tallied millions of monthly views on basketball challenge videos—just last month, Jesser’s YouTube channel pulled in over 168 million views, more than double the official NBA YouTube channel.

How Miller is helping Bucketsquad tackle top creator problems: 1) diversifying content streams and 2) mitigating the risks that come with a creator-led media company.

  • “Diversifying revenue streams helps you move away from the key man risk associated with an individual creator,” Miller told us, aka the risk that the creator at the center of the business either can’t perform for some reason or bows out entirely.

  • Miller said he’ll focus on capitalizing on opportunities that make the most of Jesser’s talents while also engineering a more sustainable company better insulated from risk.

What that might look like? Potentially content subscriptions and retail opportunities for Bucketsquad, Miller said.

Zoom out: Creator media businesses have attracted more and more talent lately, especially as brands like Netflix decrease their content spend. “There seems to be an uncapped advertising revenue potential on YouTube and thus an uncapped monetization potential for creators,” Miller said. “So it won’t be long before YouTube is the No. 1 funder of creative people’s content in aggregate.”

Kick Signs Nelk in Strategic Shift

Members of creator group Nelk (including Salim Sirur, Stephen Deleonardis, Kyle Forgeard, and Aaron Steinberg) pose with their podcast guest and former president Donald Trump / Kick

Upstart streaming platform Kick signed YouTube creator group Nelk to an exclusive deal last week, signaling a shift in the company’s strategy. For the first time, it appears to be pursuing major deals with creators who haven’t established themselves as streamers…yet.

Context: Kick has grabbed headlines this year by signing top streamers including xQc and Amouranth to massive contracts.

  • Still, most of Kick’s talent has remained nonexclusive given their higher viewership on other platforms.

  • For example, xQc has continued streaming several times per week on Twitch, where his audience (11.9 million followers) dwarfs his Kick equivalent (569,000 followers).

But with Nelk, things are different. The group has capitalized on its YouTube success by launching a thriving podcast and alcohol brand, though they’ve yet to build a meaningful streaming presence. It appears that Kick will be where they try: Nelk encouraged their 8 million YouTube subscribers to tune into a “live prank” and party content on the alternative platform over the weekend.

FYI: Kick has dealt with its fair share of controversies this year. So too has Nelk, which has had multiple run-ins with police and YouTube itself in the past.

Keep in mind: Twitch CEO Dan Clancy recently said that most streaming platforms’ strategy of million-dollar content deals had created a “bidding war” that isn’t a “sustainable business.” With that, the major seven- and eight-figure exclusive agreements have slowed.

U.S. Census Bureau Doesn’t Recognize the Creator Economy

While the U.S. Census recognizes many careers, it doesn’t count “creators” / Illustration by Moy Zhong

The U.S. Census Bureau counts jobs across 22,607 American industries, but it doesn’t count “creator” (or related jobs like “thumbnail artist”) as career choices, according to the Washington Post.

The creator economy, by the numbers…

  • 50 million: The number of people who work as creators globally

  • 72%: The share of Americans between 18–29 who follow at least one creator

  • $250 billion: The industry’s total addressable market in 2023, expected to jump to $480 billion by 2027

Why it matters: The Post noted that without government support (or even official recognition), creators have struggled to bargain for better pay or working conditions from platforms including YouTube and TikTok.

👀 Creator Moves

  • Brittany Broski is hiring a freelance video editor to translate long-form content for short-form media.

  • Entertainment portfolio company Heroic Signatures is hiring a content specialist to grow the Conan the Barbarian brand on YouTube.

  • Motorsports creators CboysTV are hiring a YouTube editor to help create comedic vlogs.

Go here to browse more roles or post your own.

🔥 Press Worthy

  • Dr Disrespect releases a limited edition gaming headset.

  • The D’Amelio family launches a healthy popcorn line at Walmart.

  • Spotter Labs, the AI-powered wing at Spotter, is giving creators the chance to demo their new tools. Want in? Sign up for the waitlist here.*

  • Kai Cenat is on his fourth day streaming from “jail.”

  • Technoblade’s dad celebrates 10 years of Technoblade’s Minecraft YouTube channel.

  • Fill out this quick survey to share your experience building your creator biz and for a chance to win an Amazon giftcard.

  • Instagram is testing a feature that will let friends add to your posts.

*This is sponsored advertising content.

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