The House Always Wins

Owning your audience...and their attention

Good morning friends, over the weekend these three platforms made major moves that will surely impact the future of creators. Let’s dive in.

In Today’s Issue 💬

  • Is the TikTok mansion gold rush over?  

  • Is Netflix struggling to keep up with Gen Z?

  • Is Twitter killing “link in bio”?

Like Jason Derulo, Creators Are Ridin’ Solo 

With Team 10 and other collab houses disbanding, a new era of collaboration emerges 

Jake Paul’s Team 10, a now defunct creator house founded in 2016, is in hot water again following an investigation by the New York Times. The exposé alleges misconduct and exploitation including bullying, racism and emotional abuse described as “living hell”.

So why does almost every content house end up disbanding?

  • Bad Apple vs. Bad Management → The Team 10 teenage dream turned nightmare isn’t an isolated example of content collectives gone wrong. Daisy Keech left the Hype House last year, accusing its current manager and ex-Team 10 member Thomas Petrou of being “manipulative and controlling”. TikTok’s Sway House split in February, following a year filled with controversy, with one founding member moving out to “protect his brand”.

  • Prank Economy Goes Broke → Outside of questionable management agreements, the recent fallout involving members of David Dobrik’s Vlog Squad has encouraged a re-examining of the prank and stunt culture that has defined this era of content creation. Just this week, Vlog Squad member Jeff Wittek released his own YouTube series detailing one near-fatal Dobrik stunt that left him with numerous injuries, including a broken skull and broken hip.

Our Take

Alongside the content house fallout, we’ve seen the continued rise of solo operators, like Emma Chamberlain and Victoria Paris, who create content on their own terms, no costars or clickbait necessary. So, after numerous scandals set against the backdrop of creator collectives, is it time to part ways with this toxic talent framework? We think this recent backlash represents the ushering in of a new era, where creators are renegotiating the value they provide to their audiences, shock or otherwise – and if ‘strength in numbers’ still holds true.

Hype House Gets a Reality Check  

TikTok’s most notorious content house gets their own Netflix reality show

Last week it was announced that TikTok’s Hype Hype, one of the platform’s most popular creator collectives, is getting its own reality show, courtesy of Netflix. This should come as no surprise following recent string of streaming deals; including the Sway Boys on IGTV and the D’Amelios with Hulu. Navigating life in the spotlight and a sudden rise to fame seem to be common themes at play for this influencer to reality star pipeline. 

So, is landing a reality show the new holy grail for content creators?

  • Read The Room, Netflix → Current Hype House members were able to ride the coattails of the short form video boom. With a non-existent barrier to creation on TikTok and an iPhone, these creators were able to churn out relatable, high-growth content in record time. Will Netflix be able to recreate this well-trodden path of audience/creator intimacy with their “unscripted” series? The jury is still out...at least according to the TikTok comments. It’s no surprise there’s been a backlash – with Netflix viewers threatening to cancel their subscriptions over a show that “no one asked for”.

  • Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder Notably missing from the upcoming show are founding members of the Hype House, such as the D’Amelio sisters, Addison Rae and Daisy Keech. “Don’t expect to see its biggest stars”, says the Los Angeles Times. We concur. 

Our Take

Creators looking to other platforms to grow their audience and diversify their income streams has become an increasingly familiar path. But after this latest Netflix announcement, is the reality show format really the creator accelerator it claims to be? With Dixie D’Amelio building her own late night talk show on YouTube, we expect more creators to follow the DIY expansion plan rather than seeking exclusivity deals with major streaming partners. Given TikTok’s recent experimentation with 3 minute videos, perhaps the next reality show will even happen under the roof of a single platform – lock, stock and TikTok. 

The Twitter Tip Jar

Monetization for Twitter? Groundbreaking.

Though not formally announced, word on the street is that a tip jar is coming on Twitter, after the platform flirted with the idea for its Clubhouse competitor, Twitter Spaces, in March. This is big news considering Twitter has long been the forgotten middle child of the internet when it comes to creator monetization.

Will Twitter be the next money maker for creators looking to secure their slice of the tweetie pie? 

  • You $nooze, You Lose → It’s no secret that Twitter has been lagging behind when it comes to creating viable frameworks with its top creators in mind. With Snachat’s Spotlight creating teen millionaires overnight by rewarding virality, alongside TikTok’s well established Creator Fund, we’re continuing to move away from creator models that rely on outside investment to stay afloat (think: brand deals, product drops and #sponcon). 

  • Ditch The Merch, Tip Me Instead → The tip jar prototype, reportedly offers the ability to support your favorite creator via Cash App, Patreon, Venmo and Paypal, and could mean the end “link in bio” on Twitter. When it comes to securing more bang for your buck, we think this functionality appearing front and centre on user profiles will be an asset to existing creators. Is it enough to encourage future users to invest more time cultivating community on Twitter? Watch this space. 

Our Take

Pop and internet culture landmarks have been the backbone of Twitter for more than a decade, unrewarded and often uncredited. Yet, the Twitter influencer (yes, they exist) has long been out of pocket when it comes to having the tools to monetize their audience directly.  Prolific tweeters have taken their craft elsewhere to bring home the bacon, often fracturing their audience. Investment in digital tipping via Twitter will allow creators to grow on the platform instead of external subscription-based models. This announcement follows a flood of announcements by platforms including tipping on Clubhouse and virtual gifts on Instagram and TikTok livestreams.

🔥 In Other News

  • Tana’s Mongeau announces the launch of Tana’s Angel Agency, a talent management division of Unruly Agency, who manage the OnlyFans accounts of top influencer talent like Tana and Daisy Keech. 

  • Finstas have found a friend in the rise of the alt TikTok account, most recently catching our attention thanks to Charli D’Amelio’s burner which hit 1 million followers in 24 hours.  

  • Spotify is joining the paid podcast game through a new feature in Anchor