TKO for Legacy Media

Why creators like Logan Paul are taking over storyless industries

Good morning, Hollywood thought creators were punching above their weight but could this year be the year that creators deliver the knockout punch to the entertainment industry?

In Today’s Issue 💬

  • Why Logan Paul vs. Floyd Mayweather isn’t about boxing

  • Why Spotify’s new podcast subscriptions can beat Apple

  • Why Netflix created their own influencer instead of hiring one

This Fight Isn’t About The Boxing

Get ready for another round of content creator turned fighter

Fanmio Boxing

Earlier this week, Logan Paul and boxing legend Floyd Mayweather announced they’d be stepping into the ring in June. The event will be broadcast by Showtime, the same team who helped Floyd sell over $50 million in pay-per-view subscriptions for his previous fight with Conor McGregor. 

The match comes hot on the heels of the recent Triller celebrity showdown, which pitted Paul’s younger brother, Jake, against ex-MMA heavyweight Ben Askren. The fight reportedly made north of $75 million, making it one of boxing’s Top 10 most lucrative fights ever.  

Why is a boxing legend risking his undefeated record to step in the ring with a YouTuber? 

  • Love Me, Hate Me → Most people have an opinion on Logan Paul, and either want to see him win or get beaten badly. That kind of divisiveness drives ticket sales. As Floyd himself puts it “some pay to see me win, some pay to see more lose, but they all pay.”

  • The Leading Man → Unlike YouTube or TikTok, boxing doesn’t have many “main characters.” Showtime has tried to build narratives for previous fights using docu-series, but Paul comes into the event with a story that's already been told. As ESPN’s Max Kellerman aptly said, “people know these characters and are already emotionally invested in them.” 

Our Take

Good content is built on storytelling. If you’re able to make people care about what you're making, then they’ll tune in to watch. While boxing has an attention-grabbing premise - two guys enter, one guy leaves - it can only take the concept so far. By supercharging the fight’s narrative on the back of Logan’s years of content and history, the end product is an event that's one part fight, one part spectacle, and all entertainment. 

Is Spotify Winning the Podcast War?

The audio giant won’t take a cent from creators on its new subscription platform

Spotify

Earlier this week, Spotify announced its paid podcasting subscription service. The company plans to take a 0% cut until 2023, and then 5% every year after. Seven days after Apple made headlines for announcing a similar product (and a 30% cut alongside it), Spotify’s timing couldn't be better, with the company positioned to make a play at every corner of the audio creator world. 

Besides a bigger piece of the pie, what's Spotify doing differently to make creators’ lives easier than Apple? 

  • Listen Anywhere → Because the podcast subscription service will be run through Anchor, a podcasting start-up acquired by Spotify in 2019, listeners can access their paid content on any platform (including Apple Podcasts).

  • Come One, Come All → You don't need to buy through Anchor to access paid content on Spotify. The company will allow fans with subscriptions on other platforms (like Substack) to use existing log-ins to access content.

  • Your Money Isn’t Good Here → The one key drawback to Spotify’s new subscription is that you can't buy it on iPhone. Due to the App Store’s 30% take (sound familiar?), the company has opted to divert fans off the app to make any kind of purchase. Meanwhile, Apple can slap a subscription button front and center on its own platform without worrying about giving up too much in the process.

Our Take

Low take rates. Transferable subscriptions. Content Importing. Spotify’s podcast focus is built with one goal in mind: make podcasters' lives easier. It’s a stark difference from Apple’s walled garden, with a high-take and a “we’re the only platform you need” approach to business. It’ll be interesting to see if fans will be willing to pay for Spotify Premium on top of extra creator fees, but the company's focus on decoupling Spotify and Subscriptions will almost certainly draw more creators than Apple in the long term.

Meet Netflix’s YouTuber 

Netflix didn’t buy an influencer, they built one

Netflix

Meet Netflix’s newest brand ambassador, N-Ko Mei Kurono. N-Ko is just like every other brand ambassador, except for the fact that she doesn’t actually exist. Like Lil Miquela, N-Ko is a VTuber (i.e. ”Virtual YouTuber”), a completely fictional character that exists solely online. 

Why would Netflix build a digital ambassador instead of using their stacked talent lineup? 

  • A Match Made In Heaven → According to Google Trends, interest in VTubers has grown 4x in the last year. At the same time, Hundreds of millions of users are turning to Netflix as their go-to source for anime content. There’s a natural connection between animated influencers and animated content, making Netflix’s virtual ambassador the perfect choice to give anime fans what they need.  

  • Safety First  By co-signing an IRL creator to your brand, Netflix assumes tons of risk. The creator could ask for more money, they could back out, or they could even become involved in a controversy or scandal. VTubers offer the same level of audience connection, with none of the risk.

Our Take

Hollywood celebrities relied on looks, charm, and luck to make it big in entertainment. But with animation and a good camera, VTubers can build and control a new, perfectly crafted persona. If audiences are truly able to find the same level of affinity to digital creators as they are real ones, what's to stop big brands like Netflix from manufacturing their own carefully crafted talent to mitigate their risk?

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