Have Tweets, Will Pay

Twitter's swinging big on creators...but will it pay off?

Happy Friday to our beta list readers. We’ve got your second issue coming at you direct from Colin & Samir HQ. Don’t be shy - hit reply and let us know what you think about this issue.

In Today’s Issue 💬

Why Twitter’s Got Creator Money on Its Mind

Why Josh Richards & Griffin Launched A Sports Agency

What the Future of Original Content Looks Like At YouTube

Twitter’s Got $$$ On the Mind

How the bird app is trying to become a hub for creators

In the span of six months, Twitter has gone from having zero creator monetization tools, to making tweeting a viable career path. The company has been on a tear to find ways to make money outside of ads, including the launch of new ways to create content, an upcoming subscription service, and even a virtual tip jar.

Let’s breakdown the biggest changes coming to Twitter:

  • Turn 💖 Into 💸 → Twitter is launching Super Follows, a service that allows fans to subscribe to exclusive content from their favorite creators. They’re also launching the ability to give creators one-time tips via services like CashApp or Venmo for those times when you see a particularly spicy viral tweet.

  • Limited No Longer → There’s only so much you can say with 280 characters. To help creators diversify, the company has launched three new kinds of content to go alongside tweets: stories (a la Instagram), newsletters (courtesy of Revue), and live audio (watch out Clubhouse).

  • Pay to Create → Creators will soon be able to take a page from pay-per-view TV by selling tickets to live audio rooms hosted on the platform. The company is even rumored to be considering splitting ad revenue with creators who host their content directly on Twitter. 

Our Take

The power of Twitter’s creator investment lies in the sum of its parts. Its live audio rooms might not get as much traction as Clubhouse, but when you bundle them with tickets and a recurring subscription service, it doesn’t really matter. The impact is most noticeable with creators who have historically struggled to generate income. Imagine if a subscription to your local paper came with Tweets on breaking news and live audio chats with local reporters? By expanding the way creators use Twitter to create and engage their fanbase, the company is turning the platform from a content generator into a full-blown creator hub. 

TikTok Superstars Launch A Sports Agency

Why Josh Richards and Griffin Johnson are diving headfirst into pro sports

Source: Tubefilter

Josh Richards and Griffin Johnson are shooting their shot. Last week, the pair announced Crosscheck Sports, a new sports agency focused on signing up and coming pro talent, starting with the NBA. The sports world is just the latest bet for the TikTokers, who already launched a film studio in collaboration with Mark Wahlberg and a venture capital firm backed by the founder of Tinder earlier this year.

But what do two social media stars bring to the table for some of the world’s best basketball players?

  • More Than Just a Fan → Richards and Johnson have a combined 35 million TikTok followers, a venture capital firm with $15M under management, and direct connections to some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. While they can’t negotiate contracts or close deals, the value of the boys’ visibility and connections alone is something any public figure would want.

  • One Part Athlete, One Part Creator → The sports world is changing as athletes realize the value they can bring off the court. It's why you see superstars like Devin Booker and JuJu Smith-Schuster becoming creators. Who better to help newly drafted NBA talent build their brand than creators who have launched multiple businesses, run a creator house, and have millions of fans themselves.

Our Take

Because TikTok trends change so rapidly, successful creators have to post, learn, and fail, quickly and often. After uploading a combined 3,000 videos, it’s gotten easier for Josh and Griffin to make a hit. As founders, they’re taking the same “fail fast and often” approach. It might take 10 tries, or maybe even 100 before they hit, but all it takes is one good guess to go from content superstar to multi-millionaire.

YouTube Originals Are…Not That Original

The new content lineup includes lots of celebs, but where are all the YouTubers?

Source: Tubefilter

Earlier this week YouTube hosted Brandcast, their annual event targeted at key advertisers and business partners. While the event itself is all about getting brands like Apple and Disney to spend $$$ on ads, it’s also filled with plenty of content announcements and headlines that help us understand where the platform is headed this year. 

So what are the highlights from YouTube’s big pitch in 2021? 

  • Small Screens, Big Names → YouTube is pivoting away from prestige television and movie experiences to create more platform-native content. The next batch of YouTube Originals will take a more realistic docuseries approach with A-listers like Will Smith and Alicia Keys sharing a behind-the-scenes look at the Hollywood lifestyle.

  • Coming to a Living Room Near You → With the death of Cable TV comes a mad dash for watch time in viewers’ homes and living rooms. Over 120 million people in the U.S. watched YouTube content on their TVs in December 2020. This bodes well for long-form serialized content, like podcasts and video essays, that can take the place of traditional TV shows. 

Our Take

The notable absence of homegrown YouTube creators in both the Brandcast event and the company’s upcoming slate of Original Content was telling. The stream was hosted by Hasan Minaj. The headlining creator was Jessica Alba - her channel has just 188K subscribers & 9M total views. By excluding their biggest creators from their biggest money-making plays, YouTube is relegating its community to second-class citizens on the platform. When top creators feel like YouTube doesn’t care about their success, what's to stop them from going somewhere else to make a living?

🔥 In Other News