I went straight to the beach this summer. Vidcon– The largest conference for innovators – to a symposium of labor journalism with Sidney Hillman Foundation. I’m talking to TikTokers about financial concerns. What happens if they are banned from TikTok tomorrow.I learn about the history of American labor regulations.
These topics can be combined: writing about the creativity economy is labor journalism. Beat Creator is a pulse for action.
Creative people are changing the way that artists make a living. They are taking control of their income and making money for themselves rather than for the big media conglomerates. Think of content creators like Brian David GilbertHe was the anarchically horrific video producer for Polygon (Vox Media’s game publication). He built a dedicated fanbase. Gilbert quit full-time to focus on creative projects, possibly because he realized that he could make more money with his audience than his media salary. YouTube channels such as defunctThen there’s the Sowell Entertainment, which are primarily investigative journalist outlets that are run by individual video producers. We see chefs making their brand on TikTok and teachers making extra money by sharing educational content on Instagram. In art industries notorious for paying little for the expertise their workers provide, YouTubers, Instagrammers, and newsletter writers alike prove that creativity is a monetizable skill—one that they deserve to earn for more than a living wage.
This belief — that the creative economy is a business — has guided my coverage of the industry this year. Below are my top stories about the state and future of the creator economy.
Chris McCarty spent a lot on YouTube like most teens. But, they had a serious question. How can influencers’ children protect themselves? They are too young to understand the ramifications of being a constant in online videos. McCarty and Emily Weeks worked together to introduce a bill in Washington that would protect and compensate children who appear on family vlogs.
Amateur YouTubers discovered that “nice kid doing things” was a trending genre in 2010. David DeVore, then 7 years old, became an internet sensation when his father posted a YouTube video about his reaction to anesthesia titled “David after the dentist. David’s father turned public interest in his son into small business that made a lot money. $150,000 within five monthsVizio has a license agreement and Vizio has earned advertising revenue. The Wall Street Journal reported that he was planning to save money for his kids’ college costs and also make charitable donations. The family left behind “Charlie bit my fingerThe video was enough to buy a new house.
YouTube’s biggest stars are children too young to grasp the life-changing responsibility that comes with being an internet celebrity with millions upon millions of subscribers. Seven years NastyaHer parents own her YouTube channel and she was the 6th highest-earning YouTube creator in 2022. $28 million. Ryan KajiA 10-year old boy who has been playing on YouTube with toys since he was four, is now earning his living. $27 millionA variety of licenses are available and brands can be negotiated.
I am impressed by MrBeast, but I feel like I’m watching a car crash. MrBeast continues to cruise along the highway without incident, but I am concerned about the guy (… not so much. I don’t mean. He’s fine). He’s a business model It doesn’t seem sustainableHe is an incredible wealth person and has achieved unimaginable success. We’ll see if he can continue to increase his stunts while trying to raise a unicorn-sized capital round. David Dobrik.
Is bigger always better? MrBeast’s business model is akin to a snake eating its tail. No one makes money like it but no one spends it. He described his margins in terms of “Razor thinLogan Paul discussed how he reinvests most his earnings back in his content. His viewer expects each of his videos to be more impressive than previous ones. It seems only a matter if MrBeast can keep up the ante. Disaster). If MrBeast’s unicorn business is real, I would bet on it. Then he has two options. To make his business more sustainable, he can use a $150 million cushion. Buried himself alive? Or will he continue pressing for more until nothing is left?
Casey Neistat, a longtime YouTuber, was interviewed at SXSW about David Dobrik. Neistat began work on the documentary to capture Dobrik and his Vlog Squad. After Insider came out, the documentary took a different turn. Allegations of sexual assaultDobrik almost kills Jeff Wittek while filming Dobrik’s movies. This was in a bizarre stunt that went horribly wrong. Neistat does a great work of capturing a creator’s fall.
Television series likehype houseand “The D’Amelio Show” dedicate entire lines to the creators’ fear of “canceling,” but Dobrik still does just fine, which raises the question of how far a creator must go to lose his fans. Dobrik has just opened a file pizza shopHe lives in Los Angeles, and has his own apartment. Discovery TV show. Wittek has had at most nine surgeries since his accident with the Dobrik set.
“I think there’s always a chase. It’s good for the musician — how do you keep your music interesting?” Neistat said. David Dobrik and others are different because they don’t seek to make the next song, or make the next movie. Their quest is to be more exciting. You have to get over it.”
The biggest secret to short video is that you cannot make it big on TikTok. Even viral creators can only make a small percentage of their income from the platform. TikTok is the dominant short video platform, but YouTube Short could be a challenger next year. YouTube Short will become the first platform to share ad revenues with short form creators. Advertising revenue isn’t exactly what I expected, but it’s something that I am excited to see change in the short game by 2023.
TikTok, and other short-form video apps, have not revealed a similar revenue-sharing program. This is due to the difficulty of dividing ad revenues over an algorithm-generated stream of short videos. It is not possible to include ads in the middle of a video. For example, if you have a 30-second video and an eight-second advertisement in the middle, who gets the revenue share for those ads? Who is the creator of the video that was just before or after him. Or do you clip a creator whose video was featured in your feed?
TechCrunch disrupt interviews OnlyFans CEO Amigan and Chief Strategy Officer Keily Blai about the future, in particular as it relates sex workers. OnlyFans has paid out over $8 billion to adult creators since 2016, thanks in large part to their success. Comparatively, Patreon, a safe-to-work competitor, has paid out $3.5 Billion since 2013. Online sex workers are among the most livid creators. They are also the most lucrative in business, but they are also the most vulnerable. OnlyFans almost lost its business last year when it was possible to change the privacy laws and credit card company regulations. The company said it would ban adult content, then reversed that ban — but even so, adult creators have been skeptical about how long they can make a living on the platform. I asked Gan if she thought adult content would still be available on OnlyFans five years from now. She agreed.
OnlyFans has worked hard to transform its image from a subscription platform that offers adult content to a Patreon-like home where all creators can create. However, it’s not far removed from them as users. Amy Jean, the platform’s CEO, confirmed today that adult content will still exist on the site in five more years and that these creators can continue to earn a living from it.
OnlyFans has a rocky relationship with adult creators, which is why today’s confirmation at TechCrunch Disrupt was so notable. Last year, the company stated that it would Adult content blockingAfter the card payment companies and their efforts put pressure on us, we are now on the site It saidHe was seeking outside funding. Then, suddenly, Resolution suspendedIt was only a week after users protested.
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