What's Next?

The themes and trends we're paying attention to during the second half of the year

Good morning. It’s the dog days of summer, so we here at The Publish Press thought it was the perfect time to look ahead at the themes and trends we’re following during the second half of the year.

What have you been paying attention to this year? How's 2023 been so far for you as a creator? Let us know here.

Looking Ahead: Themes to Watch from Around the Creator World

Illustration by Moy Zhong with photography courtesy of Unsplash

During the first half of 2023, topics like generative AI, a potential TikTok ban, and the YouTube New Wave captivated our newsroom.

As we prep for this year’s second-half sprint, here’s three headlines we’re tracking…

  1. YouTube is dominating TV screens. The platform is expanding through new cable-like features and a partnership with the NFL that’s set to kickoff this fall. Plus, with Hollywood on strike, will more writers and actors flock to YouTube—and will creators continue to reinvent old TV formats?

  2. Creators are leaning into nonprofit endeavors. Between John Green’s fight against tuberculosis, the Sidemen’s sold-out charity soccer match, and Atrioc’s work to remove fraudulent deepfakes, many top creators are using their influence to create positive social change. How will others follow their lead and mobilize their communities in order to do good?

  3. The battle for streamers is just beginning. While Twitch has stumbled over the last several months, upstart platform Kick made waves in June after signing xQc to a $100 million deal. Will streamers crown a king by the end of the year—and can they look past Kick’s various controversies?

What did we miss? Let us know here!

Twitter Rebrands and TikTok Moves to Text

Moy Zhong

This week, we’ve seen platform updates that could signal a change in how creators create.

  • Twitter rebrands to X. In a callback to Elon Musk’s vision for an “everything app” called X, Twitter has rebranded to the single-letter this week, with a new logo and verbiage—tweets are not called xeets or xcretions, but x’s now. According to Musk, it’s the first step towards an app that functions like Twitter, Substack, PayPal, WeChat, YouTube, and Amazon all in one.

  • YouTube’s ad revenue increases. For the first time in a year, the platform’s advertising revenue is on the upswing, having risen 4% since last year. Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the uptick is thanks to people watching YouTube on connected TVs and more YouTube Music and Premium subscribers. This could be a good sign for creators, with a potential rebound in ad spending across the board creating more brand opportunities.

  • TikTok launches text posts. Not to be confused with the popular genre of Notes app screenshots, TikTok is allowing creators to make text-only posts, marking its first offering that doesn’t include video. Text posts can be made dynamic with stickers and background music, and posts can include up to 1,000 characters.

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A Video Series With 3 Billion Monthly Views, Explained

DaFuq!?Boom! / YouTube

If you’ve seen a creepy head in a toilet on TikTok or YouTube Shorts and wondered “WTF,” you’re not alone.

Context: Over the last month, a Half Life-looking animation known as Skibidi Toilet has taken the internet by storm, with its YouTube creator DaFuq!?Boom! averaging nearly 3 billion views per month.

What makes this series different?

  • Skibidi Toilet uses a viral TikTok sound and is based off a popular video from TikTok creator Paryss Bryanne.

  • The storyline carries from one episode to the next, with a new video uploaded to TikTok and YouTube nearly every day.

FYI: For more on the Skibidi Toilet “lore” across the 50-part series, check out Ludwig’s comprehensive recap.

🔥 Press Worthy

  • Amelia Dimoldenberg partners with Nike to interview the England women’s national soccer team.

  • FaZe Clan is considering acquisition offers from Gamesquare and Enthusiast Gaming.

  • The Streamys announces creator nominees for their 13th annual awards show.

  • Spotter was featured on the 2023 TIME100 Most Influential Companies list—see if you’re eligible to partner with them here.*

  • Mythical Kitchen chats with rapper Post Malone about mortality over his favorite meals.

  • Johnny Harris shares how he supports his independent journalism through YouTube.

*This is sponsored advertising content.

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