Creator's Digest - Issue #7
🖋 Everything you need to know since Jan 01 about #Creator Economy
Hi, it’s Ange!
Welcome to the 7th issue of Passion & Creator, the newsletter about emerging trends in the exciting vertical of the Creator/Passion Economy.
Every week, receive the news, resources, deep dives, and tips to better understand the ever-growing of the Creator Economy!
Feel free to reach out if you’d like to share comments or questions. Don’t forget to like this post above and share it with your friends and colleagues. 😉
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The breaking news with the deal TikTok X IMDb and other news
The fundraising and exits to watch with 6 rounds, $1B raised, and 2 exits
The top content to read, see and listen with my top resources up to date (and a small gift from Influencers.Club)
Let’s talk about Creator Economy with the most active VC firms of the Creator Economy.
The post of the week of a review of the 10+2 themes/trends of 2022
Have a good reading 💁🏿♂️!
📽 IMDb x TikTok partnership, a new step in the ever-growing connection between Creator Economy and Cinema
TikTok has partnered with IMDb for a new feature that will make our 7th art lover creators happy!
The short-content platform and the notorious movie database & rating platform have co-developped a feature which enables TikTokers, when they make & publish a new video, to connect it to 1-5 TV show or movie pages powered by IMDb. On these pages, the TikTok user will find movie/TV show info, like the names of the casting, the release date or the critic & public ratings. Still in beta mode, the feature will be only accessible for english or american user.
Ok cool, I have the data, but what’s next 🤷🏿♂️? Who benefits from the deal?
At first sight, the user could have direct access to other TikTok pages focusing on the movie it find interesting. By typing the favorite movie in the TikTok searching bar, they will find relevant creators, living their same passion. The “TikTok-as-a-search-engine” trend pursue its path.. 🧐
On the other side, the creator could share of its own universe by sharing his/her favorite movies to his/her followers, by embedding them in stories, or by pinning them to favorites tab. As the feature will show to the user, fan of Star Wars, other TikTok accounts connected to, for example.., the “Revenge of the Sith” (The best Star Wars movie, you could challenge me… ☕️😂), it’s an opportunity for creators to grab an additional volume of “highly qualified” followers, connected to them around the same passion.
But as you may guess, the big winners will be the big organizations, IMDb at first sight. The platform will have access to TikTok user data per movie. How? I’m not ure that lot of us go on IMDb to check movie reviews and even rate them, but we are hundreds of millions connected every day on TikTok, that could check IMDb pages and give consolidated info about what kind of movies we like.
Why does this matter?
1️⃣ For IMDb, TikTok will become its demographic & behavior user database.
In a influencer marketing platform, one of the core features is the influencer selection dashboard, based on follower base demographics and engagement. If you want to focus to French men, you’ll find lot of influencers answering to your wish. After selecting your influencer, you’ll be able to make sponsorship deals with one or some of them.
If I am IMDb, I will develop a specific offer for studios, TV production companies to help them focus on the best influencers during their movie promotion time 😎. Promotion is key for movies to skyrocket on the box-office: if I will be able to track people taste in movies, I could be able to make TikTok campaigns for easier with this “proprietary” data. And of course, more enriched data for TikTok to sell to ads agencies and brands.
2️⃣ For IMDb, TikTok will bring fresh air for its main revenue model.
IMDb claims that they have 200M monthly unique visitors & 120M monthly unique viewers on its TV platform. The Amazon-owned platform makes money from 2 revenue flows: the B2B subscriptions for film professionals (not our focus for this analysis), and ads revenue from traffic. From its side, TikTok gathers +1B monthly active users, +80% of users have created at least one video, and TikTok claims that 25B combined views for the hashtags #FilmTok, #MovieTok, and #TVTok. I let do your maths: the potential for IMDb is huge in terms of traffic (and ads revenue 💰)!
Beyond the IMDb x TikTok deal, this partnership is a new block of the ever-growing connection between the cinema industry and the Creator Economy 🤝.
The connexion is more obvious than ever in the Creator Economy. After all, the cinema is a industry based on content creation & monetization, but for corporates: the old guard 😎!
Before the rush of the “Passion Economy” in 2020, there already are gates between the Creators and Cinema. The best example is the transition of famous Viners. The best performers of the old short-content, the Charli d’Amelio of 2010-2015, like King Bach, made their transition to cinema, without speaking about Logan Paul & the entertainment industry.
And it pursues now: the major talent agencies such as CAA or ICM, that had first breaked into content creator world through their unscripted TV department (dedicated to reality TV candidates, then became influencers), and then developed their own “Creator Department”, (and now even finance some startups of the vertical). Furthermore, creator-focused management agencies were created to help these talents to jump into cinema (I co-write a piece of content about this here), and lastly, the studios make the move. The NBCUniversal launches last year its own accelerator program to help talented creators to make their first original series that are authentic to their content as individual creators (read this post of Lindsey Gamble to know more about the NBCUniversal Accelerator).
Now, with the boom of the Passion-then-Creator Economy, lot of solutions emerge to help creators leverage their passion of cinema.
So, after analyzing the deals since 2020, I found different approaches:
👉 Film collaborative financing
🗃 Shibuya (Allows video viewers to purchase NFTs that fund new content)
👉 Creator movie distribution
🗃 Angel Studios (streaming for crowdfunded shows), FilmHub (enables creators to stream their films without relinquishing rights), Special.tv (stream direct-to-consumer, and give control pricing, ownership, and audience data to the creator)
👉 Social Cinema: enables creators to offer an enhanced experience of cinema viewing, by adding social commentary & insights about the movie
🗃 Kinema, SideStream (now closed 😕)
What we could retain from that: just that the connexion between Cinema & Creator Economy has good days ahead ☀️.
And some other interesting news…
The Creator Economy helps brands sell product & services, but also hires more talent: Litquidity, the anonymous creator behind +700k followers finance meme-powered IG account, partners with executive-search firms to help Wall Street financial firms finds new talent thanks to their appealing the specific white-collar working class.
Good news: New features on your social media: TikTok launches its Talent Manager Portal for talent management operations and and Twitter goes after TikTok by setting up a For You page …
… new features for Creator-focused platforms: Substack enables writers to introduce their transition to paid content with Pledge and enables them to create a private community with Private Substack, Medium launches it own one with Mastodon, and Roblox, with a a 18% YoY growth users and 20% YoY revenue growth, launches a Creator Hub for game developers.
… and GAFAM share more revenue with creators: Since February, Google will share 45% YouTube Short's ad-revenue with creators gathering 1k followers and generating 10M Shorts views in the past 90 days; and Amazon with Inspire,
AI-generative content & creators: beginning of issues around the wild creator art scrapping: Adobe claims it doesn’t use creator art for to train its AI-generative solution, but Stable Diffusing is sued by Getty Images by doing so.
A post-COVID 19 lockdown adjustement on the podcast market is noted, with a 80% decrease podcast show creation number since 2020, with tight market conditions pushing big players to reduce ads revenue % for podcasters, and highly reduce dealmakings.
💨 A late but powerful start, this is what we could keep in mind from this beginning of 2023, with a empty first week, and a heavy second with $1.051B raised on 6 rounds (including a mega-round of ~1B$), and 2 acquisitions!
🟪 Fletcher & Company (2003 / USA 🇺🇸)
#Management / #BooksAndPublishings / #Cinema: Manages the career of writers and authors
Acquired by the US Hollywood talent agency, United Talent Agency, at an undisclosed amount
New value for 2023: the Creator Economy deals database is evolving 🔥! You'll will find each week the deals of this month, listed on this new database, with lot of value:
👉 Structured by deals
👉 Company traction metrics, strategic next steps
👉 Investors & buyer info and location
👉 and many more..
NB: I am currently on a last check on the deals of 2022. Once finished, you’ll have you access of all deals of 2022 (+480 deals, +470 companies, +590 investors and +20 buyers)!
Dear investor friends, it’s time to pick new dealflow in it 🤩
In 2023, let’s grow together in our understanding of Creator Economy dynamics, and you could find different key opinion leaders according to your favorite medium, whether it can be 📰 writing, 🎧 listening or 📱 watching content!
I’ve shared previously on LinkedIn my top content sources to read. Now, let me share you my whole database, according to each medium. Keep these resources in your favorites, and grow in 2023 😉
Here are some of my top content about Creator Economy (non-exhaustive and no particular order):
📰 The news by Creator-focused organisations & Key opinions leaders
🖋 The newsletter/blogs by Creator Economy experts
🎧 The podcasts by Creator Economy experts
NB: In bonus, shoutout to my friend, Alexandre Durand-Chabert, founder of Airparty, dedicated to the digital communities builders, and with he host, with Julie Leroy, co-founder of French student VC firm G. Ventures; Anthony Amar, co-founder & CEO of audio studios network Studiomatic, and me on a 🇫🇷 French-speaking Creator-Economy-focused podcast series.
📱 The video creators
Want to access and extract the full list? Click on this button! 👇
They’ve produced insightful stats coming from the analysis of 250k+ IG creators activity, and give you access to top platforms list. Enjoy!
👨🏿💻 Tell me what do you think about this list in comments and what kind of subjects would you like to be covered in this section!
🥇 Who are the most active VCs in the game?
We know who are about the most followed creators (MrBeast, Ninja, …), the most popular content platforms (YouTube, TikTok, Instagram …), or the most known service providers (Substack, Patreon, Jellysmack, Cameo …).
However, like in any tech vertical, the Creator Economy has partially powered by the cash of investors, and we don’t know who are the most active investors in Creator Economy 🤷♂️!
After analyzing during a year about the rounds & exits of the Creator Economy, I found who are the most active investors of the Creator Economy 😎!
Like any tech vertical, we have different types of investors (Business angels, VC, Corporate VC, Family offices…), so I will present in a series, by beginning with the VCs.
From my research, I've found almost 80 VC firms, distributed in 3 categories, that you could discover in this content 👇
🥇 The mega VC of the Creator Economy (+20 investments in the Creator Economy)
👉 One VC firm: Andreessen Horowitz, alone on the top
🥈 The Super VCs of the Creator Economy (Between 10-20 investments in the Creator Economy)
👉 20 VC firms: Lightspeed Venture Partners, Seven Seven Six 7️⃣7️⃣6️⃣, Index Ventures, Play Ventures, Slow Ventures …
🥉 The very active VCs of the Creator Economy (Between 5-10 investments in the Creator Economy)
👉 58 VC firms: Headline, BITKRAFT Ventures, Mechanism Capital, Variant, Kima Ventures, Global Founders Capital …
🖋 Want to know more access about these investors: click here to have access to the database
🗓 A last review of the main events that have shaken the Creator Economy in 2022
2023 has begin since almost a month, but let’s get a last look at 2022, and what happened on this full of twists and turns year. Among the several opinion leaders speaking about their opinions on 2022, I choose to pick the writings of Lindsey Gamble, Associate Director of Influencer Innovation at the influencer marketing platform Mavrck.
I follow him since a few months, and I found his analysis of Creator Economy news always insightful (Thanks to his wonderful work, he was featured in the top voices of Creator Economy 2022 by Business Insider and LinkedIn, kudos my man 👏!).
So, there are the 10 trends & themes that shaken the Creator Economy in 2022 according to him 👇:
In addition on these observations, I’ll add two other themes that emerged in the Creator Economy in 2022:
🏎 The blueprint of creator-led sports exhibitions has been written.
Before 2022, you can find two major cases of broadcasted sport exhibitions.
The first one is the sport high-level competitions, with highly talent athletes, led by global organizations, and driven by team/athlete performance: the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar in last December, the NBA Playoffs; or the Formula 1 World Championship. These competitions are the spinal of the sport business, with the money, glamour and all that goes with it…
In the other hand, we have the charity exhibitions, like the Tennis Plays for Peace charity, a tennis exhibition competition, with famous stars, where big organisations set up big names and lot of money and resources to offer entertaining exhibitions and raise money for charity causes.
In 2022, a new class of individuals get access to these opportunities generally only accessible to A-list celebrities: our creators!
We had two examples, the first one with on Sidemen Charity Match, and the GP Explorer.
The Sidemen Charity Match was an soccer match played by two teams of A-list creators, in last September, in London. 22 top creators including KSI, MrBeast or VikkStar123 plays together, like a real Premier League match (without the technicality of playing ball 😅, you could imagine).
The GP Explorer was a F4 Grand Prix in Le Mans (France), organized by a top French Creator, Squeezie, in the same conditions of a real GP: 22 competitors, 11 racing teams, and a “Grand Prix” real structure (free trials, qualifications and the race).
The results speak for themselves for their first editions: The GP Explorer gathers reaches the M mark of live digital viewers, and breaks the record for a French Channel. On the field, it was +40k persons present to see and support the “drivers”. In comparison, in 2021, the f1 Grand Prix gathered between 100k-400k spectators per weekend and Up to 70M unique viewers (on TV). We are still very far of the performance of the FiA, but for it’s not bad for a non-professional competition.
For its side, the Sidemen Charity Match, gathers 2.6M live digital viewers and +27k spectators in the stadium the and help to raise £1M, for a pool of 22 high-level creators.
These two exhibitions put a step further the creators in the same game as the “traditional” celebrities, by jumping into the world of the average consumer, and not limited the to the world of digital-natives and GenZ.
Furthermore, with these results, creators prove once again that being creator is not limited to a video or social media channel: they could gathers people on big sports events and generate a revenue opportunity that could attract brands used to make ads on sport events.
Al last, it's an incredible opportunity of “mega cross-promotion”. Everyone pushed their audience to be connected on the same event, on the same moment: everyone could grab a part of the audience of the others. For now, only the gaming world with e-sports tournaments have the opportunity to do that, now it’s open to entertainment creators. It's a win-win opportunity for the involved creators, and and expansion of capabilities portfolio for them.
All these great promises aside, the format has its structural limits: these opportunities could be only limited to A-list creators. Given that the leverage you'll have to use (or the social proof that you'll have to demonstrate as a creator) to grab the audience from his comfort zone, to push it “take a look” of a uncommon event at first, then follow the whole competition as a second: only the most followed creators could do that for now.
In the future, we could have more “creator sport exhibitions”. More easier to set up (as one-time events), and to justificate (the creators don't take the place of real athletes, it’s just another form of entertainment). But I don't think that it will be more than that 🤷🏿♂️.
The real championships need too heavy logistics and resources; the athletes (and the industry) would want to preserve the reputation of seriousness of their art, which makes sports fans happier.
⛓ The rise of web3 solutions in Creator Economy
In 2022, 50-55% the fundraising in the Creator Economy are coming from Web3 Creator Economy tools. Given that fundraising rounds represents a fraction of all the existing entrepreneurial activity, I couldn’t even count the numbers of web3-powered solutions that raised money that launched to the market: the web3 wave was everywhere!
Everyone working in a the tech-enabled or tech-related business is heard about he new “web3 Eldorado”. So do the Creator Economy.
For the Economy, Web3 represent for the Creator Economy the promise of a best content ownership and fair upside rainfall for the creators. Thanks to NFT technology, the digital artists have seen their artworks been converted in collections, and digital art are taken serious between by the public, and ready to spend a lot to acquire their creations.
Beyond the NFT pictures, the web3 displays a new catalogue of possibilities based of the back of the “digital asset” concept, from the self-representation to the financing solution. You have here a non-exhaustive list of applications of the Web3 Creator Economy 👇, like the digital fashion, the avatars, or the social tokens (I let you read this post to discover the other opportunities of the web3 by clicking here):
So, in 2022, the volume of Web3 Creator Economy fundraising reach $6B in the first semester, distributed +230 fundraising rounds, representing 52% of the total volume &half of money spent this period. A majority of these deals were concentrated around NFT applications and Play-to-Earn gaming.
Given that the business model of lot of web3 solutions is based on the velocity of money circulation, or transaction volume, if these businesses are still fueled by the hype and not be powered by a knowledgeable and committed customers that could stay beyond the up and downs of the hype, lot of Web3 solutions will fail, by lack of VC funding in 2023 and the most sustainable (and luckiest) will be bought out.
With the crypto winter (the most visually impressive metric is the volume of NFT transactions of main NFT & digital assets marketplaces 👇) and the scandals (FTX as a flagship in November, $615M hack on Axie Infinity in last March …), it will be interesting to see how the investors will be keep some ventures alive through bridge rounds and others financing solutions, or if the time of “natural selection'“ has already begun.
Click here to access to Lindsey Gamble’s LinkedIn post
That’s it for today!
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See you next time 🙋🏿♂️ !
Ange Michael AHYI