Try This At Home

Three creators pioneering three different platforms.

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In Today’s Issue 💬

  • How Dixie D’Amelio is taking over late night

  • Billie Eilish launches an ephemeral TikTok account

  • Jeff Wittek heads to Patreon and hits it big

How Dixie D’Amelio Is Taking Over Late Night

Dixie D’Amelio has her own talk show, and so should you.

YouTube / Dixie D’Amelio

In August of 2020 Dixie D’Amelio started hosting interviews with fellow high profile TikTok stars out of her family home. With guests like Addison Rae and Noah Beck, Dixie’s “The Early Late Night Show” quickly became her most consistent and popular format on YouTube. What started as a joke interview show in her home with friends has turned into a full-fledged set with high profile guests (Hailey Bieber), lighting, hair and makeup, and late night style segments. 

As Season 2 guest Dave Portnoy said, “This is more elaborate than Seth Meyers”. 

Dixie’s “The Early Late Show” is part of a much larger trend taking place on YouTube. The platform is quickly becoming the home for loose and long-form conversations once reserved for late night TV. So why is that? 

  • A Deeper Connection → It’s hard for creators to build relationships with audiences on short-form trend-based apps like TikTok. YouTube’s algorithm rewards 15-45 minutes of loose conversation and most importantly lets a personality shine through and create a stronger connections with fans. We’ve also seen this format as an opportunity for audience redemption for creators like Logan Paul with “Impaulsive”, and Harry Jowsey’s reinvention from reality star to podcast host with “Tap In”.

  • Talk is Cheap → Season 1 of Dixie’s show was an attention grabber, generating over 91 million YouTube views across 12 episodes with no studio and no script. Conversation as content is high margin and low lift. Over time the advertising rates go up but the cost to produce remains the same. Not to mention, one recording session can result in a month’s worth of clips for other platforms.

Our Take

Creator talk shows on YouTube represent the merging of the traditional late night TV format with audiences’ growing appetite for long-form conversations via podcasts. Expect YouTube to enter the race with Spotify, Apple, and Patreon to court audio creators with paid subscriptions and new monetization tools.

Billie Eilish Launches Ephemeral TikTok Account

The pop star is promoting her new album with an ephemeral TikTok account

Fader / Kelia Anne MacCluskey

Creators with multiple accounts have been around for a hot minute, take MrBeast with his five accounts, and that’s just on YouTube. But this week, we saw something ~TikTok nouveau~ thanks to Billie Eilish, whose alt account @happierthanever caught the attention of fans on TikTok. Turns out, this account formerly operated under “theworldsalittleblury”, a promotional tool for Billie’s 2020 Apple TV documentary. 👀

The 15 seconds of promo audio she uploaded to announce the forthcoming album has already been used to soundtrack more than 76,000 videos on the platform. 

So why have a burner account?

  • Creative Freedom Burner accounts have swiftly joined the ranks of the finsta when it comes to allowing creators to express multiple facets of their identity. Recently, we’ve seen a trend of creators using alt accounts to upload content away from the pressure of their existing audience. Most notably, Charli D’Amelio’s burner TikTok grew to 7 million followers in 2 weeks and her sister Dixie (twice in one newsletter, we know!), uses her burner account @user768jjy3no7 to tease unreleased music. 

  • Fortune Favors the Temporary → Fans want what they can’t have. When people know a video or an account is temporary, they have a sense of urgency to view it before it’s too late. Burner accounts aggregate a creators most die-hard fans who are interested in being first to the latest news. Burner account audiences act as the megaphone from the creator to the rest of the community.

Our Take

Billie’s model of recycling burner accounts is here to stay. Nothing looks worse than a dead promotional account from a past event or marketing initiative. By “recycling” her burner account and wiping it clean, she has a fresh slate to promote every album while continuing to grow the audience with the fans who care the most.

Jeff Wittek Heads to Patreon and Hits it Big

His return to the screen is a blueprint for monetizing risky content

YouTube / Jeff Wittek

Owning your narrative and your audience have been key themes of today’s newsletter. Cue Jeff Wittek. Formerly known for his “Jeff’s Barbershop” talk show series and appearances in David Dobrik’s Vlogs, the YouTuber launched a docuseries “Don’t Try This At Home” detailing a harrowing accident, caused by Dobrik, that could permanently render him blind in one eye. 

As Jeff’s episodes started getting censored by YouTube, he capitalized on the interest by launching a Patreon, notching almost 40k patrons in less than 10 days for behind-the-scenes and uncensored content. This makes Jeff one of Patreon’s top earners (at least publicly) in less than two weeks, with $2.2 million in annual revenue.

What does this mean for creators?

  • Platform Loyalty Is Over → Creators are increasingly platform hopping – often to paid venues and setting up shop with their community elsewhere. Retention will be the biggest test for creator platforms over the next decade.

  • Get Rich By Going Paid → While launching a paid product used to be a terrifying litmus test for creators, platforms like Patreon and OnlyFans have proven to creators of all sizes that fans are willing to pay. In tandem, we’ve seen a trend of members-only clubs emerging, like Bryce Hall’s $20/month Party Animal University.    

Our Take

The next phase of creator monetization is here and it looks increasingly more like pay-per-view than an ad-supported subscription. While Jeff’s numbers on Patreon are impressive, he’s already dropped down to 24k patrons after reaching the high of almost 40k. It’s unsustainable for a single creator like Jeff to keep the content coming every week like he’s Neftflix. Although Patreon is a subscription platform, Jeff used it like pay-per-view. Expect more of that.

🔥 In Other News