How to Turn Yourself into AI

A lesson from gaming creator Kwebbelkop

Good morning. Toyota is releasing a highly anticipated new model of the Land Cruiser in the U.S. for the first time in three years, and reviews from auto creators are starting to populate the YouTube trending page. One creator we haven’t heard from yet? Doug DeMuro. It’s like if MKBHD didn’t drop a review after an Apple keynote. Maybe he’s taking his time (more power to him) but we hope soon…he lets the people know.

Kwebbelkop Turns to VTubing

Kwebbelkop / YouTube

Gaming creator Jordi Maxim Van Den Bussche—aka Kwebbelkop—has followed through on his promise to operate his 15 million-subscriber channel with an artificial intelligence clone of himself.

Context: Van Den Bussche has spent well over a decade uploading (often daily) to YouTube and has been vocal about burnout. His solution? VTubing.

The details: Van Den Bussche has been developing AI technology through his production company, JVDB Studios, for the last five years. His first experiment with VTubing was in 2021 with the launch of Bloo, an AI-generated Minecraft creator that grew to 700K subscribers on YouTube. That experience informed Van Den Bussche’s latest AI endeavor:

  • “[Bloo is] a completely virtual influencer with a protocol and set steps and a bunch of AI and machine learning applications involved in the system,” Bussche told Wired. “Now we’re applying that model to my IP and my friends’. It includes voice cloning, so it sounds like me.”

How Kwebbelkop AI works: Van Den Bussche’s team used generative AI to clone his voice and trained the AI to copy his mannerisms using his existing video content. According to Van Den Bussche, he “didn’t lift a finger” to make the new AI Kwebbelkop videos.

“My focus [is] on building out the IP, improving the AI software and thus improving the experience for all the viewers,” Van Den Bussche tweeted. “Give it some time, it should start getting really good really quickly.”

Big picture: VTubers have been growing in influence and numbers—Ironmouse is smashing viewership records on Twitch, Lil Miquela is scoring major brand deals, and Aphmau has been growing a significant audience.

News Roundup: Kick Builds Momentum

xQc (left) and Kick (right) / YouTube and Easygo

It’s been a busy summer for Twitch competitor Kick—it signed streamer xQc in an eye-watering $100 million deal, unveiled a host of new features, and more than doubled its active streamers and signups.

And the momentum is continuing into August, if recent headlines are any indication…

  • xQc weighs in on Kick. Over a month into his non-exclusive deal, the gaming streamer (who’s still creating on Twitch) said Kick is a better experience. “I’ve streamed on Twitch forever and I was under a massive contract for four years, ok, and I’ll be honest with you dude, [on Kick] I feel like I can just sit down and actually talk to chat—and that’s a massive f**king W,” xQc said in a recent stream. That could be, as Dexerto points out, because he streams later in the day and has fewer viewers on Kick.

  • Kick shares its plan to monetize. CEO Ed Craven told Forbes that although Kick is closely tied to controversial crypto gambling platform Stake, Kick won’t be receiving any financial support from Stake. Instead, Craven plans to monetize Kick through advertisements, an effort Twitch has at times struggled with.

  • Kick expands outside gaming. The platform now sponsors an F1 racing team and Premier League football team, Everton.

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You’ll also find fellow creators to collaborate, brainstorm, and hold yourself accountable with on your road to pressing publish.

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Startup Connects Black-Owned Brands With Creators

Jordyn Weaver (left) and Forefront (right)

Earlier this week, creator and entrepreneur Jordyn Weaver launched Forefront, a service that partners creators with Black-owned businesses via affiliate marketing. Think LTK, but for Black-owned brands.

How it works: When creators recommend a product, they earn a 10% commission from purchases made through their custom link. Forefront also takes a 10% cut from those purchases.

Big picture: Sales at Black-led small- and medium-sized businesses fell 51% annually early last year. Forefront’s launch makes it easier for creators to work with and support Black-owned brands.

🔥 Press Worthy

📚️ Thank You For Pressing Publish

The content we’re looking forward to reading, watching, and listening to this weekend.

  • Read: The Napkin Math newsletter outlines why the creator economy bubble popped and many creator startups failed.

  • Watch: Sabrina from Answer in Progress memorizes and recites over 3,000 digits of pi. Also included: helpful tips for how to improve memory.

  • Listen: The New York Times music desk shares their selection of best albums of the year so far, providing a good selection for those still searching for the official song of the summer.

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