After six years of laughter, romance, heartbreak, and tears, This Is Us is taking its final bow.
It’s been a long wait, but the next chapter of Stranger Things premieres this week, and we cannot wait.
And whether you have been an Obi-Wan Kenobi fan through the decades or will feast your eyes on him for the first time, it’s worth tuning in to the new Disney+ series.
Saturday, May 21
8/7c Disappearance at Yellowstone (Lifetime)
A mother’s car breaks down in the middle of Yellowstone National Park, and sadly, her teen daughter is locked inside it. Jessie sets out on a long quest to find help, but her daughter is gone when she returns. When the police feel like she’s the one behind her daughter’s disappearance, she must prove them wrong and find her daughter.
8/7c Romance to the Rescue (HMM)
This is a cute romance from director Heather Hawthorne-Doyle starring Andrea Brooks and Marcus Rosner. Kyra plans to enter her dog in an agility show to impress a potential love interest. The problem is that she doesn’t have a dog, so she needs to find and train one quickly.
And we chatted with Andrea, so be sure to check out that interview for more on the flick!
Sunday, May 22
8/7c When Calls the Heart (Hallmark)
It’s here already! Can you believe it’s already finale time?<>P> Here’s what’s in store: Elizabeth worries about her relationship with Lucas; Bill helps Gowen through the fallout of the mine explosion, and Rosemary and Lee receive some news.
This will be BIG! But just how big? You’ll have to watch to find out.
9/8c NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS)
The NCIS team hunts for a crew that robs a Los Angeles casino with military-grade power on the season finale.
Kensi and Deeks hear exciting news regarding the adoption.
Also, Callen takes a big step in his relationship with Anna.
9/8c The Time Traveler’s Wife (HBO)
After their disastrous first date, Henry and Claire attempt a more laidback second date, but she struggles since he doesn’t seem like her Henry.
To better explain who he is emotionally, Henry takes Claire back in time to a pivotal childhood moment.
Elsewhere, Henry trains young Henry about the rules of time travel.
10/9c S.W.A.T. (CBS)P> It’s finale time for 20-Squad, and they may be getting ready to say farewell to one of their own.
After a university chemistry lab is seized, the team has to stop a devastating terror attack.
The case will take them to a pretty insane landmark in Long Beach, so be sure to have your life vests handy.
Meanwhile, Chris prepares to say goodbye as her final days on the team come to a close. Will this be it for her?
Monday, May 23
Days of Our Lives (NBC/Peacock)
The Devil may be gone, but it’s left a ton of messes to clean up!
Among other things, Eric gets kicked out of the priesthood again for performing unsanctioned exorcisms. You’d think the church would want priests that can defeat the Evil One, but their loss might be Nicole’s gain if she admits she still has feelings for Eric. With Rafe proposing to her, she’s again torn between two men.
Meanwhile, Johnny’s eager to remarry Chanel now that he is Devil-free, but Allie may not be as done with her feelings for Chanel as she thinks. There’s going to be plenty of heartbreak and romantic drama, and we haven’t even mentioned that EJ and Belle kiss. Bring it on!
8/7c All American (The CW)
On the season finale, after an intense ending to the Halloween party, Spencer tries his best to compartmentalize everything and focus on the big Homecoming game.
Much to Laura’s dismay, Billy and Olivia set out on a mission to do what they think is right, which leads them to learn more than they anticipated.
Jordan makes it known what he wants but is met with resistance, and Layla gets an unexpected bombshell at work. Coop is at an emotional crossroads, and Asher learns the power of adjustments.
Meanwhile, Grace gets a life-changing offer she may not be able to refuse.
9/8c All American: Homecoming (The CW)
On the All American: Homecoming Season 1 finale, Simone, Keisha, and the group work hard to keep everyone at Bringston. The fundraiser even means a special performance for Keisha.
The hunt is on to find Coach Marcus, and JR’s dad takes over the team, causing issues with his son and Damon.
Another long-time rival returns. Will it be solved in the finale?
Tuesday, May 24
8/7c FBI (CBS)
Did anyone else get a jolt of excitement and then sadness at the title of this episode, “Prodigal Son”?
It’s the season finale of the episode, and they go all-in on tracking down one of their most heinous criminals.
They need to track down a mass shooter before he does more damage.
9/8c This Is Us (NBC)
This is our last chance to spend an hour with the Pearsons.
The long-awaited series finale promises to be a feel-good epilogue to the six-year generational saga.
There’ll be some sadness, especially as the Pearsons prepare for Rebecca’s funeral, but also plenty of happiness and love, and we might even get a glimpse of the far future before the series wraps up.
9/8c FBI: International (CBS)
When many Russian heads and top spies are at the same place at once, nothing good will come from it.
But it especially sparks some rogue behavior from Forrester that may place him in some extreme danger, let alone has people questioning him.
It’s going to be a wild season finale!
10/9c FBI: Most Wanted (CBS)
Remy is a hit, and the season finale brings all the intensity and action.
The team takes on a new case when an oligarch goes on a terror spree to NYC in a desperate attempt to escape an impossible situation.
Tune in for the last episode of the season.
10/9c New Amsterdam (NBC)
Sharpwin wedding time!
The big day is finally here, and Max and Helen plan to share their vows in front of all of their friends at New Amsterdam. However, a storm may put a damper on things and send the hospital in a tizzy.
Meanwhile, Iggy and Martin reach a crossroads in their relationship.
Wednesday, May 25
8/7c Chicago Med (NBC)
Chicago Med wraps up its season with a special mother-to-be going into labor: Sharon’s daughter!
Hannah may be a bit too busy to help out, though — she’s busy butting heads with Will over a patient who needs a kidney transplant.
And Blake can’t help them because she’s having her disc surgery, leaving Marcel to make a tough decision on his own.
10/9c Chicago PD (NBC)
It appears Hailey survived that explosion, but she may not be the only person in peril!
The season finale might bring the ultimate showdown between Voight and his C.I. Anna after she learned he deceived her, and they still have to take down Escano once and for all!
But who may not make it out of the finale alive? Tune in to find out.
Thursday, May 26
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (Paramount+)
Ok, we’re getting seriously Trek this week, people. Strap in for a truly terrifying conflict when a routine mission turns deadly for the Enterprise.
Expect conflict. Expect the unexpected. Expect monsters AND miracles.
See how the crew is tested and who survives!
Under The Banner Of Heaven (FX on Hulu)
Revelations about Ron’s calling come to light, with multiple influential prophets attempting to guide him. Brenda’s motivations for her mission become clear thanks to her sister, Betty.
Detective Pyre and Allen find some common ground, but it may come at a high personal cost. It’s the harrowing penultimate episode of Under The Banner Of Heaven.
9/8c Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)
It’s the landmark 400th episode of this hit series, and it’s a celebration like no other. Jackson and April return to the series when the hospital finally gets word on whether or not the residency program will get shut down. It’s a two-hour celebration that you won’t want to miss!
Friday, May 27
The Essex Serpent (Apple TV+)
Cora continues her investigation, now with the help of Dr. Luke, as they all want to find out the truth.
As the investigation heats up, so do the romances, leaving Will, The Vicar, in a battle internally.
Martha continues her correspondence with Spencer.
Stranger Things (Netflix)
After almost three years off the air, Stranger Things returns with the first seven episodes of its fourth season.
Thankfully, the episodes are longer, making up for the longer-than-planned delay.
We’ll have a full review when the embargo lifts, followed by episodics.
We have you covered!
Obi-Wan Kenobi (Disney+)
It’s been a long wait, but the first two episodes of Disney’s latest Star Wars series will be available to stream.
This new series is a miniseries that brings back Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen, among others.
The trailer teases an epic story, but as has been the case with streaming offerings based on big-screen greats, we’ll reserve judgment until the series premieres.
8/7c The Blacklist (NBC)
Red and Cooper square off with conflicting endgames for their mutual traitor, Marvin.
A significant secret about the Task Force falls into the wrong hands.
If you’ve been following Netflix lately, then you’d know the streamer is on shaky ground at the moment. Antenna data reveals that Netflix saw 3.6 million subscription cancellations in the first quarter of 2022, over one million more than the company experienced in Q1 2021 and Q4 2021. This is a significant indicator that Netflix is inching closer to losing its top spot in the streaming battle.
While Netflix’s downfall has raised speculations about if the SVOD (subscription video on demand) industry has peaked and is beginning a downward trend, new Antenna data supports the contrary.
Antenna discovered that U.S. Subscriptions in the Premium SVOD category grew +4.0% quarter-over-quarter and by +24.7% year-over-year. The research also shows that there were 37.4 million new gross SVOD customers and a loss of 29.8 million subscribers, leaving a gross of just 7.7 million new subscribers in the first quarter of 2022.
Image Credits: Antenna
The 37.4 number is consistent with the past two quarters yet significantly higher than 2019 (before Covid-19). The growth was largely driven by fledgling services Peacock and Paramount+, which added a combined 6.1 million or more U.S. Subscribers.
In comparison, in 2019, when the market was dominated by Netflix and Hulu (services like Disney+, Peacock, and HBO Max didn’t exist yet), there were a total of 10.3 million subscriptions in the year’s first quarter. The massive increase depicts a three-year compound annual growth rate of 54%.
While subscriber growth may be high right now, so are cancellations. There were just under 30 million cancellations in Q1 2022, which is 12% higher than any quarter in history, or 4.5 times the cancel volume seen three years prior, Antenna finds.
The cancellations may not be anything to worry about since the new subscriber additions indicate consumers are bouncing around– also known as churn and return. Paramount+, Peacock, and Disney+ accounted for 51% of all new sign-ups in the quarter. Plus, the three mentioned services made up a large portion of new sign-ups for the churned Q1 2022 Netflix users.
Image Credits: Antenna
Peter Fondulas, principal at Hub, stated, “Netflix’s subscriber loss in Q1 of 2022, and its anticipated losses in the following quarters, represent a tiny proportion of its global subscriber base. And in fact, at some point, a service as widely penetrated as Netflix has only so much room left to grow. In our view, it would be a grave mistake to take the Netflix experience as a sign that streaming TV services are on the verge of decline, as some analysts have suggested. The lure of buzzworthy exclusive content, and the sheer convenience of on-demand viewing, are two powerful forces that should keep these services growing at least for the near term.”
In Q1 2022, Netflix reported a loss of 200,000 subscribers, making its first subscriber loss in more than ten years. The decline brought Netflix’s subscriber base to 221.6 million, down from 221.8 million in the previous quarter. The losses will only continue, according to Netflix forecasts, and the streamer is expected to lose 2 million in the second quarter.
Since Netflix raised prices on all its plan tiers domestically in January 2022, there has been a major jump in subscription cancellations. The Netflix U.S. active monthly churn rate was a little over 2% in January 2019, after it raised subscription prices.
Further, Antenna data shows that Netflix’s active monthly churn rate increased +0.95pts month-over-month in January 2022, where a price jump led to an active monthly churn rate of 3%. By the end of March, Netflix’s active monthly churn rate was 3.3%. This suggests that Netflix’s upcoming cheaper ad-supported tier is the company’s plan to minimize churn.
All this data goes to show how volatile the streaming market is. It’s hard to predict which service will be on top next, but established streamers like Netflix need to be on their toes and come up with new strategies to attract new subscribers.
The thrifty creator, whose real name is Matt Granite, has signed with WME. The Beverly Hills-based talent agency will represent the live shopping personality in all areas.
Granite is best known for his work on two platforms. On Amazon, The Deal Guy hosts daily live broadcasts in which he shares sales and savings with his audience. On YouTube, his on-demand videos reach nearly two million subscribers. He teaches his viewers how to navigate big-box stores like Costco, advises them on strategies they can use to get the most out of their fast food orders, and even shares the secrets of faster wifi. What can his subscribers do once they have more bandwidth? Well, they can watch more Deal Guy videos, of course.
No matter what platform he’s on, Granite is driven by his devotion to scrimping and saving. “I’ve made it my lifelong mission to live a five-star life on a one-star budget,” he told Tubefilter back in March 2021. “I live and breathe bargains, and my Deal Guy YouTube channel is built to help fellow consumers go beyond a store’s fine print. You can live your entire life paying less than half price on almost any purchase. I help people find their inner frugality.”
In a statement, Granite noted that shoppable content is “a high priority for media companies in 2022.” YouTube has been enthusiastic in its support of live shopping, and it made that area a primary focus of its Brandcast presentation this year.
Now that he is aligned with WME, Granite will have more opportunities to “take the ‘The Deal Guy’ brand to the next level.” The agency plans to support its new signee by finding him brand partnerships while also helping him expand into fields like books and unscripted television.
In addition to WME, Granite will continue to work with longtime business partner Matthew Fawcus.
TikTok will be the presenting sponsor of two major Southern California events this June.
Ten days before it places itself front-and-center at the 2022 edition of VidCon, the short-form video app will attach its name to another well-known celebration. It will be the presenting sponsor of the 2022 L.A. Pride Parade, which will march through Hollywood on June 12.
Though the literal parade will occur on the 12th, L.A. Pride festivities will begin a day earlier, and TikTok will have a presence for the entire weekend. A “Pride in the Park” concert will take place on June 11, and the popular app will be there to provide backstage coverage. This will be the second straight year that TikTok goes live to amplify the music that surrounds L.A.’s LGBTQ+ festival. In 2021, it offered up a stream of ‘Thrive With Pride,’ which was hosted by creator Benito Skinner (aka Benny Drama).
Pride in the Park will be a warm-up for the main event, which will feature a new parade route. In previous years, the official Pride celebration wound through West Hollywood, but it’s moving to Hollywood proper in 2022. One of the floats that will join the caravan will be sponsored by TikTok and will feature some of the creators who were included among the platform’s inaugural group of “pride trailblazers.”
That list, which debuted this past February, included TikTok stars who exist across the spectra of sexuality and identity. Its 15 trailblazers include trans comedian @brownnskinbarbi and lesbian historian @elliemedhurst.
“TikTok has a thriving LGBTQIA+ community, made up of inspiring voices who drive culture, influence and impact on and off the platform,” said Brett Peters, TikTok’s head of education and philanthropy partnerships, in a statement. “We’re honored to be partnering with LA Pride once again to bring the magic and joy of Pride to life with our TikTok community, alongside our allies and trailblazing creators.”
Performers at Pride in the Park will include Christina Aguilera, Anitta, Michaela Jaé, and Rebecca Black. TikTok hasn’t yet revealed any specific queer trailblazers who will ride along on its parade float.
Welcome to YouTube Millionaires, where we profile channels that have recently crossed the one million subscriber mark. There are channels crossing this threshold every week, and each creator has a story to tell about YouTube success. Read previous installments here.
This installment of YouTube Millionaires is brought to you by creator fintech company Karat Financial.
It was 2017, and LizzyCapri loved her new job at LinkedIn.
The role was something she’d worked toward her whole life. When she snagged it, she hoped it would be the start of a long, long career in tech.
And it probably would have…if YouTube hadn’t happened.
During her first year on the job, Capri, on the side, had started making videos with her boyfriend Carter Sharer. He also had a prestigious tech job, and after becoming interested in the ins and outs of YouTube’s recommendation algorithms, had decided to put his programming skills to work by taking crack at making videos designed to be “rare and ridiculous”–but also viral.
A few months in, Sharer got an AdSense check for $22,000. Not long after, his channel crossed 100,000 subscribers. For him, that was the sign: it was time to duck out of Silicon Valley and go full-time as a content creator. Capri, who by that time had her own channel, was more hesitant. A hundred thousand people was nothing to sneeze at, but she’d need more convincing before quitting her dream job.
More convincing was exactly what she got. Both her and Sharer’s accounts hit one million subscribers and kept growing. In late 2017, Capri left LinkedIn and joined Shareer as a full-time creator.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Tubefilter: For someone who’s reading this and may not know anything about you or about Team Rare and Ridiculous, tell us who you are and how you became a creator.
Lizzy Capri: My name is Lizzy Capri, I’m a YouTuber, and I started about…oh my gosh, five years ago? It doesn’t feel that long, but I guess I started about five years ago.
I got into YouTube basically with my boyfriend Carter, and we just started posting videos and they started to gain traction. At some point we decided to quit our jobs and just commit to YouTube full-time. It was definitely kind of a dream career that we never thought would be feasible for us, so to be where I’m at today is absolutely amazing and surreal.
But yeah! I just post fun blogs, challenges, viral ideas. Team RAR is well-known for doing things that are rare and ridiculous, or maybe even just ridiculous. We’re kind of like a group of creators where we film all together. There’s five creators on the team and we all film our own type of content, but also come together to film videos. So yeah, we just try to take things above and beyond and make sure to adapt to the changes and continue to grow.
Tubefilter: We actually talked to Carter not too long ago about how he ended up founding Team RAR, so we know the two of you were both in your dream careers before you ended up deciding to do YouTube full-time. How did you make the decision that yes, YouTube was worth quitting your jobs for?
LC: So initially YouTube was really exciting because we didn’t really have much to lose. We still had our full-time jobs. But at a certain point of growth, we were like, “Okay, we need to continue on this path. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and if we don’t commit to it now, we’re probably gonna lose this kind of opportunity forever.”
So once we hit…I know for Carter, it was over a hundred thousand subscribers, he was like, “Okay, I’m gonna quit my job and really commit to this.” And for me, since I was all the way across the country—he was filming videos in Virginia and I was in California working at LinkedIn—I was like, “I don’t know, I worked all my life to get to this job.”
And so for me, the point was a million subscribers. Yeah. For me to be like, “Okay, this is legit and we can really take this to a different level,” was a million.
And at that point I honestly wasn’t really scared because, well, I had a million subscribers. I feel like you kind of have more confidence in “this is going to work” with a million. So yeah, I kind of was like, “I’m not even gonna look back for a second.” And I just quit my job and here we are today.
Tubefilter: That’s a great tie-in because obviously now you’ve hit a million on Carter’s channel, your main channel, and now your Shorts channel, which is the one we’re here to talk about. When did you start filming Shorts and what appeals to you about that vertical?
LC: I think I started filming Shorts basically when they rolled out. Obviously it’s very similar to TikTok and Instagram Reels, and short-form has really been taking over the internet. I feel like YouTube was one of the first revolutionary ways to go viral and then Vine came out and then TikTok came out, and it’s interesting because it’s such a quick way to grow, but at the same time, it also has its caveats.
Like on YouTube, if you can get your audience engaged in the long-form content, it’s just so much more impactful on the viewer because they’re watching for a longer duration. So they really start to get to know you, your personality, the things you like, and connect with you on a deeper level. Whereas for Shorts, it’s these little snippets of us, and they’re so quick that you don’t really capture that feeling of, “Oh, I know them, I’m friends with them.” That kind of feeling.
So in that way, it’s very different, but I think what’s most appealing to me is how quickly you can grow and go viral. Like, some of the videos I have on my Shorts channel are just so silly, but have over 150 million views.
Tubefilter: Do you feel like you’ve seen any audience crossover at all? Has your Shorts channel been bringing more people to your main channel?
LC: It’s very difficult to say. I definitely think it supplements really well, because in this weird space of social media, you just have to be on top of every platform, whether you enjoy it or not. I feel like with Carter and I both, our biggest strengths lie in creating these long-form videos—which is great because everyone you meet who does Shorts will say, “Oh my gosh, I want to transition into longer-form content.” Whereas, you know, for us, we have that down pat and we’re just trying to diversify and stay relevant on all the other lengths of content.
I do think it definitely supplements my channel, my longer-form content, but I’m not really sure what the conversion rate is because there’s not really any metrics that YouTube gives that are cross-platform from Shorts to long-form content.
Tubefilter: So what does the average day look like for you in terms of balancing making multiple lengths of content across multiple platforms?
LC: So generally we focus on long-form content throughout the week. Mondays are usually planning days. And then through the week, like Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, we film. The more we film, the better, just because that’s what we’re good at. Where we thrive is that is in front of the camera.
In terms of filming for short-form content, it’s kind of random. We try to supplement, like if we’re filming a video and and the middle we’re like, “Oh, let’s film this quick Short,” or “Let’s film this quick TikTok,” or something. It’s just kind of random, we don’t really plan out for that—although we’re trying to build out a system that can plan for that.
For now, we just kind of film them running gun style, as we go. They’re not really planned out. And if they are, then it’s like a super quick set-up time, super quick film time. It takes way less time to edit than long-form content.
So yeah, our day-to-day is mostly, we focus on our long-form content. And from that we either get snippets from our long-form content and turn them into short-form, or during the filming of it, we get an idea and we’re like, “Oh, let’s film this real quick.”
Tubefilter: Is it nice to have that ability to be spontaneous in a way that you can’t with long-form content?
LC: It is, it’s really satisfying because it’s so immediate, it’s so quick, you know? Whereas long-form content, it takes a week or two for post-production before you can post, before you can see the feedback from your viewers. In that sense, it’s really satisfying, where you’re like, “Oh, okay, it already has this many views.” That’s awesome. And you’re able to post it almost immediately! It has a different level of satisfaction than long-form content does.
Tubefilter: Are you trying to focus more on short-form? Do you like the balance of short-form and long-form you have now?
LC: From the backend side, I’m trying to build out my business so I have a running structure of being able to film long-form content—a system where we can turn out videos in a more efficient, organized way. That way I’ll have more bandwidth to focus on short-form content or any other areas in social media I want to pursue.
I think short-form’s really interesting, especially YouTube Shorts, because I do think there are going to be creators who emerge out of Shorts. Shorts specifically, um, because every platform—Instagram, TikTok, all those platforms—they always need their A-list creators, and I think YouTube is spending a lot of their resources trying to push Shorts and get creators on their Shorts platform.
So I see that being kind of a big area of opportunity. Right now it’s just tough because I don’t have a lot of bandwidth with already posting so much content on my long-form side, so I’m really just trying to build out the business on the backend so I will have more time for these things.
Tubefilter: Does that mean hiring more people, or…?
LC: Yeah, usually hiring more people, and creating like infrastructure, a standard of procedures for my long-form content, because now that we have a strategy and a method of how we film them and get them done, it’ll be easier to onboard people and get everyone involved.
Tubefilter: Do you feel like YouTube has an edge over other platforms in the short-form arena?
LC: I do think YouTube is super powerful in that. I mean, they’ve just been established for so long and so many people, especially now in this age are viewers of YouTube over traditional cable television. That being said, I also think YouTube provides the best monetization for creators, where it actually allows creators to be able to go full-time as an influencer, versus TikTok.
It’s tough, because you might make a couple thousand here and there. Maybe if you’re in the top 1% you’ll make enough to quit your job. But with the instability and the competition, it’s super saturated, and I do think it gets more and more difficult for other platforms to really provide enough monetization for creators to actually quit their jobs.
Tubefilter: Aside from building out your infrastructure, do you have any plans for the rest of the year?
LC: Yeah! So we just moved to North Carolina, which is wild because we were in L.A. Since we moved, we had so many resources at the old Team RAR house, so we’re kind of accumulating all those resources again, and we already have so many things in the pipeline. Bigger videos and bigger projects.
As we grow, we’re scaling to our level of success, and we’re trying to one-up our other videos. So we just have a lot of really big videos coming, which I’m really excited about, just because now Carter and I both have hired our own production teams, so we’re able to put more into our videos. Each video we’re able to do more entertaining, more fun. So yeah, we’re just excited to be out here and grow our team and make our videos even more epic.
Tubefilter: What would you say is your number one piece of advice for creators who may be up and coming, on Shorts or on any other platform?
LC: Work smarter, not harder. There’s only so much time in a day and there’s so much competition out there that you really have to think through what you’re trying to do and what your goals are so you can execute them in an efficient and successful way. That’s what’s going to set real creators apart from one-hit wonders.
Tubefilter: One last thing—we know you recently made your acting debut with a guest role as a teacher in Brat TV’s Crown Lake. How did that come about?
LC: I’ve known about Brat TV for a while now. There are so many cool series they do, and I feel like a lot of influencers have their debut on a platform like that, which is really cool, so you don’t feel so alone. As an influencer going into acting, it was really cool to experience being on a full production set, and just showing up and being talent.
Then the acting in and of itself was really interesting because I had never acted before, but given my improv experience from my YouTube videos, I think that gave me enough experience to be able to pull it off, I guess. Yeah, it was a really fun experience. I learned a lot through that process and it was really cool to see the behind-the-scenes of how everything operated.
Tubefilter: How long were you on set?
LC: I was there for one full day of shooting where I was like, on call, every 30 minutes, and then another day I was there for just a couple hours, one or two scenes. I just played a small part, so I can only imagine what it’s like to be a main character in a show. That would be insane.
Tubefilter: Is that something you’re interested in doing more?
LC: I think I would definitely be interested in acting more. I just have to take acting classes and get better at it. But after watching myself, I can critique on how to be better!
Karat Financial is building better financial products for creators. Karat’s first launch is a business black card that provides better limits & rewards based on social stats- used by creators like Alexandra Botez, 3LAU, and Graham Stephan. Karat is backed by cofounders of Twitter, Twitch, and YouTube. DM @trykarat on Instagram and mention YouTube Millionaires for priority access.
Each year, YouTube and analytics firm Kantar put together a judging panel to select the winners of the YouTube Works Awards, which honor excellence in advertising on the world’s top video platform. This year’s honorees have been selected, and an examination of their award-winning campaigns reveals a few hot trends in the online video ad biz.
One of the prevalent trends is as old as influencer marketing itself: Brands are finding organic ways to position creators as spokespeople. In particular, the YouTube Works Awards highlighted campaigns that gave creators the space to discuss their personal identities. Hallease (pictured, left) teamed up with Target to interview black female CEOs whose products are available in the retailer’s stores. YouTube and Kantar awarded that initiative with the top prize in the “Brands as Creators” category.
Tinder, unsurprisingly, connected with creators and their fans on the spectrum of sexual orientation. The swipe-happy app enlisted bisexual creators Anna Akana and MilesChronicles to speak about the ways their identities had impacted their romantic lives. The “Once Upon A Bi” campaign provided visibility to an underrepresented segment of the dating pool — and it increased Tinder’s view-through rate by 55%.
But not all the trends highlighted by the YouTube Works Awards rely on tried-and-true approaches. In particular, brands have figured out how to utilize ASMR several years after it first became a lucrative category for creators. In Blendtec‘s case, that meant turning the usually-loud genre of blender videos into something more soothing. And pet food brand Sheba appealed to cat owners who are roused in the middle of the night by loud meowing. Its whispery ‘4 AM Stories’ is designed for people who need help falling asleep, and that campaign took home the top prize at the YouTube Works Awards.
“[Blendtec] recognized that oddly satisfying content and autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is incredibly popular on YouTube,” reads a Works Awards writeup from YouTube. “Their strategy was to surprise and delight potential customers with an entertaining video that merged the two YouTube trends into a single creative concept while promoting the BlendJet 2 Portable Blender.”
For the full list of YouTube Works Awards winners, as well as detailed writeups about each one, head over to Adweek.
Stranger Things has been off the air since the summer of 2019, and the wait for new episodes stops on Friday, May 27.
As previously reported, the season will be split in two, with the second part set for July 1.
Netflix on Friday dropped some shocking news, revealing that the first volume of Stranger Things Season 4 will consist of seven episodes, meaning two remain for the second volume.
Fans can expect much longer episodes this time, with Stranger Things Season 4 Episode 7 set to clock in at 98 minutes.
As for Stranger Things Season 4 Episode 9, that will be the longest episode of the series, coming in at around two and a half hours long.
Matt Duffer recently explained to The Wrap that episodes “seven and nine, in particular, are movies. And nine is a long movie.”
Regarding the aforementioned season finale, Ross Duffer said, “We’re still refining it but we will say that it is over two hours. It’s a big one.”
The rest of the episodes will come in at around 75 minutes, which means we’re getting a lot of Stranger Things content.
After such a grueling hiatus, we deserve it!
“It’s been six months since the Battle of Starcourt, which brought terror and destruction to Hawkins,” reads the synopsis for the new season.
“Struggling with the aftermath, our group of friends are separated for the first time – and navigating the complexities of high school hasn’t made things any easier.”
“In this most vulnerable time, a new and horrifying supernatural threat surfaces, presenting a gruesome mystery that, if solved, might finally put an end to the horrors of the Upside Down.”
The cast includes Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers), David Harbour (Jim Hopper), Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin Henderson), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair), and Noah Schnapp (Will Byers).
Also starring is Sadie Sink (Max Mayfield), Natalia Dyer (Nancy Wheeler), Charlie Heaton (Jonathan Byers), Joe Keery (Steve Harrington), Maya Hawke (Robin Buckley), Priah Ferguson (Erica Sinclair), Brett Gelman (Murray), Cara Buono (Karen Wheeler) with Matthew Modine (Dr. Brenner),and Paul Reiser (Dr. Owens).
Netflix also dropped a first-look at the season premiere, which you can watch below.
Actress Diany Rodriguez can be seen in two wildly different roles this month.
Rodriguez is best known as Weecha, the new, no-nonsense bodyguard for Raymond “Red” Reddington on NBC’s The Blacklist.
She also appears in the Netflix rom-com The Valet, where she portrays Natalie, a bike-shop owner and community activist fighting gentrification. This role, Rodriguez says, is closest to herself of any that she has played.
Rodriguez took time out recently to talk in an exclusive interview with TV Fanatic about those two roles, as well as her transition from theater to film and her community activism.
Her transformation to Weecha was a quick one, as she earned the role within four days of her audition.
Weecha and her healer sister, Mierce, nursed Red to health during the two years he was missing following Elizabeth Keen’s murder in The Blacklist Season 8.
An assassin who is ex-military, Weecha marks a significant change from Dembe, Red’s former bodyguard and confidant who became an FBI agent when Red disappeared and is now part of the Blacklist Task Force.
“Weecha only speaks when she needs to speak, which means, for the most part, when she speaks, people listen,” Rodriguez explained.
“She is a best friend, a confidant, a sister, and many other things to Red Reddington. She became his world in the two years since the end of Season 8, and she takes that role very seriously.”
Like Dembe before her, Rodriguez agreed that too much of Weecha’s job is protecting Reddington from his destructive impulses.
“Percentage-wise, [her job] is probably 80 percent protecting Red from himself,” she said.
Going in, Rodriguez didn’t realize that she primarily would be working with James Spader, who plays Red.
“So I was only going to work with one of the most well-known actors of our generation,” she said.
“And there was this other group of people who got to work with each other, and James. The way I described it to family and friends was that it was the loneliest and scariest but almost most exciting and thrilling time of my life thus far.”
Since Weecha has little interaction with the Task Force, Rodriguez explained she hadn’t formed an opinion on them.
“She also understands that to love Red or to work with Red, is very complicated,” she continued.
“She’s curious about Aram. She knows Red cares about Dembe. The rest of them? As long as you don’t try to murder Red, we’re fine. I don’t have an opinion about you as a person. As long as you serve some purpose in Red’s life, I will let you live.”
Rodriguez has been gratified at the reaction she has received from such a veteran cast.
“Being a person who is full of anxiety on a day-to-day basis, it was scary for me because the shortest tenure of any other castmate was three years,” she recalled. “So everyone had pretty well-established relationships with each other.
“But also, it was a very lovely surprise that everybody was, across the board, just nice and welcoming in a way I hadn’t expected.”
“I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone,” Rodriguez said. “It’s a horrible TV answer, but you’ll just have to wait and see.”
Rodriguez’s journey to her role in The Valet was equally streamlined. Within two weeks of auditioning for three different roles, she had the part of Natalie.
“That was the role I wanted to get because Natalie is an activist and a firebrand, as I am,” she said. “I’m too woke to be happy.”
The Valet stars Eugenio Derbez as the titular character Antonio. He is recruited to pose as the boyfriend of movie star Olivia Allen (portrayed by Samara Weaving), who is secretly dating married developer Vincent Royce (played by Max Greenfield).
Antonio develops an attraction toward Natalie, who leads the campaign against Royce’s development plans for their neighborhood.
Again, Rodriguez’s scenes were with the film’s star, Derbez. But she recalled one night when he came to find her and brought her to the set to meet the rest of the cast.
“They wanted to reach out to me and make me feel welcome,” she said. “It very much made me feel like I was filming with a little family.”
Another plus was that The Valet was filmed about five minutes away from her apartment in Atlanta, in an area she frequented.
“On a set, it’s usually me and a bunch of famous people,” she explained. “This time, I had the upper hand because they were on my turf.”
The theater is Rodriguez’s first love.
“I love theater in that it has given me a bit more confidence,” she said. “I’m an introvert by nature, so having a job where I get to pretend is very helpful because I don’t have to be me and worry about people looking at me, Diany.”
That theater background helped Rodriguez when she moved into film.
“Theater has helped me create a little arsenal of different characters and different parts of my personality that, though I don’t exhibit daily, I can pull on to convince myself that I belong here,” she said.
Rodriguez prefers movies over TV.
“In TV, unless you’re there from the beginning, you’re very much going into a family that’s already established,” she explained. “You’ll always feel like you’re invading other people’s space and hoping they will invite you in.
“In a movie, your scene can establish a very specific thing for one character, establish a world unto its own,” she continued. “Even if you don’t have a huge role in a movie, you can still establish your own community in a way that you don’t get to on a TV show.”
Currently, Rodriguez is between projects.
“Right now, I’m just living my life and being a good cat mom,” she concluded.
The Blacklist airs at 8/7c Friday on NBC. The Valet debuts on May 20 on Netflix.
Netflix has launched a new ‘Mystery Box’ feature to provide a fun and safe space for kids to discover their next favourite series and films or reconnect with a familiar face.
What’s in the Mystery Box? One day, it might be those scary dinosaurs from Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous. The next it could be a comedy series in a beloved franchise like Boss Baby: Back In The Crib, an animated adventure film featuring a whole new cast of lovable characters like Back to the Outback, or a few feline friends from Gabby’s Dollhouse.
To use the Mystery Box, parents, kids and caregivers simply need to follow three simple steps:
1. Login to a kids profile. 2. Find the kids ‘Favorites Row’ at the top of the homepage. This row is character-driven to more easily and vividly connect them with the characters, shows and films they love as soon as they turn on Netflix. 3. Hover over the sparkly ‘Mystery Box’ to discover a title that is ‘new for you’! And voila, it’s showtime.
Jojo Siwa has spent the majority of her teenage years on social media. Her hard work has allowed her to amass a huge following, including 12.2 million subscribers on YouTube, but it has also caused her to miss out on a lot of youthful indiscretion. After all, when you’re leading your kid-friendly content empire to 3.7 billion YouTube views, it’s hard to find the space to just be a teen.
That is, until now. Siwa will star in Jojo Goes, a Facebook Watch docuseries that will send the 19-year-old Dancing with the Stars contestant on a series of organized escapades.
So far, details about Jojo Goes are still scant, but we do know that the series is slated to premiere during the summer. In each episode, Siwa will be joined by “celebrity friends” on “crazy-fun adventures” that will make up for all the personal time she’s lost due to her busy schedule. “I’m so excited to partner with Facebook Watch for JoJo Goes,” Siwa said in a statement. “I can’t wait for my fans to see what new things I try out with some of my best friends.”
Siwa’s on-screen leisure time will be coordinated by B17 Entertainment, which has plenty of experience working with digital creators. Among its many projects, the production company has worked ASAPScience on their YouTube Original series Shut It Off ASAP, and it teamed up with Mythical to bring Rhett & Link to the Food Network with Inside Eats. It also produced TikTok’s New Year’s Eve celebration two years ago.
“JoJo Siwa’s boundless positivity and message of self-love have made her an inspiration to millions who have watched her grow up on stage, TV, and online,” said B17 SVP of Current Programming and Executive Producer Aliyah Silverstein in a statement. “This series takes fans along for the ride as…19-year-old JoJo explores all the off-stage passions and quirky paths that haven’t fit into her daily life as a super celebrity. It’s an entirely new side of JoJo that we are excited to share.”
Siwa’s star power will allow her to fit right into the Facebook Watch lineup, which also includes several other celebrity-driven programs. Big names who have launched their own Facebook originals include Justin Bieber and Cardi B. A press release notes that Jojo Goes will also be designed as a co-watchable experience. Friends can tune in together via Messenger and Instagram video calls.
Jojo Goes was announced on May 18, one day before Siwa’s 19th birthday. I would love for someone to give me a birthday present as good as this one — though my teenage self didn’t deserve that gift nearly as much as Siwa does.
As TikTok courts the film industry, it is also dipping its toes into the waters of mobile gaming. According to a report in Reuters, the Bytedance-owned platform wants to bring games to users in Asia.
Citing “four people familiar with the matter,” Reuters claimed that TikTok is running tests in Vietnam to figure out how to best incorporate games onto its platform. The short-form video app disputed that account, telling TechCrunch that “Vietnam game testing is not something it’s currently doing.”
Even if TikTok is not yet actively testing its gaming product, it has signaled its ambition to expand into that sector of the entertainment biz. In the U.S., it has partnered with prolific publisher Zynga to launch exclusive casual games for the app’s user base. The first such title was Disco Loco 3D, which combined the “endless runner” genre with one of TikTok’s favorite activities: dancing. It launched last November.
TikTok is well-positioned to push into gaming thanks to the activity of its parent company. Bytedance has become a major player in the world of play and has hired about 3,000 people to staff its gaming division. Reuters noted that the Chinese version of TikTok, Douyin, has had access to games since 2019. Should TikTok gain that functionality as well, it is likely to draw from Bytedance’s casual gaming library. “We’re always looking at ways to enrich our platform and regularly test new features and integrations that bring value to our community,” a TikTok representative told Reuters.
In the case of TikTok’s gaming push, the biggest question left concerns timing. Two of the sources cited by Reuters said that TikTok could announce a wider gaming rollout in Southeast Asia “as early as the third quarter.”
Since last year, Emma Chamberlain has been on hiatus from her YouTube channel, but brands are still finding ways to work with the 20-year-old star on the platform where she first broke out. Fast-casual restaurant brand Cava tapped Chamberlain for two limited-time menu items. Thanks to a partnership with cooking star Claire Saffitz, Cava and Chamberlain were able to hype up Emma’s Fire Bowl via YouTube, even though they didn’t reach the influencer’s 11.4 million subscribers directly.
Chamberlain has worked with many different brands, but Cava’s partnership with her has an unusual origin story. It began on TikTok, where Chamberlain used the Mediterranean chain’s spicy hummus in one of her videos, a brand representative hit her up in the comments, and the two became fast friends from there. Ultimately, their partnership would yield Emma’s Fire Bowl and Emma’s Spicy Snack, both of which incorporated the creator’s beloved hot hummus.
Before that happened, Cava was hit with a curveball: As it was thinking about ways it could work with its favorite hummus-loving influencer, she went on hiatus. Was there still a way to advertise the planned partnership on YouTube?
Enter Saffitz. The former Bon Appetit star now reaches nearly one million subscribers on her new YouTube channel, and Cava arranged a collab. Chamberlain showed up on Saffitz’s channel with several tubs of hummus, and the experienced baker taught her young sous chef how to make breadsticks. Since the video’s launch in April, it has been viewed more than 1.6 million times.
Chamberlain, who stepped away from YouTube for the sake of her mental health, also promoted her menu items on her podcast. She told Adweek that Cava “was very understanding and worked with me as they developed the strategy for our collaboration. They respected the boundaries I set for my mental health.”
The video and the podcast plug did their jobs. Cava told Adweek that the influencer marketing campaign increased its web traffic by 37% month-over-month while also boosting downloads of its app by 50%. Cava said that Emma’s Fire Bowl was the chain’s best-selling vegetarian bowl during its run, which began on April 4 and ended on April 26.
So even though Emma Chamberlain isn’t uploading to YouTube herself, her presence on the platform still peddles plenty of influence. If you’ve been keeping up with the teens, you shouldn’t be surprised by that: A 2022 study revealed Chamberlain as the top influencer among Gen Z respondents.
Riverdale will end with its upcoming 7th Season, concluding in 2023.
The show was renewed for Season 7 in March but its fate was sealed at The CW’s 2022 fall schedule, overnight
Riverdale offered a heightened take on the Archie Comics world, with its characters dealing with things like murder, drugs, sex, and much more.
The cast includes New Zealander KJ Apa as Archie, Lili Reinhart as Betty, Camila Mendes as Veronica, Cole Sprouse as Jughead, Madelaine Petsch as Cheryl, Mädchen Amick as Alice, Charles Melton as Reggie, and Vanessa Morgan as Toni. Luke Perry starred in the series as Archie’s father until his death in 2019.
When it arrived at the Cannes Film Festival this year, TikTok had a plan. The micro-video platform planned to introduce its short-form superstars to the film industry. In exchange, it would help the famously stuffy festival appeal to a younger generation of movie buffs. This partnership was to center on #TikTokShortFilm, a juried competition judged by a panel of influencers and auteurs.
But the TikTok x Cannes collaboration has not gone off without a major hitch. Rithy Panh, the Cambodian documentarian who was set to serve as the #TikTokShortFilm jury president, has resigned from that post, citing “a persistent disagreement over the independence and sovereignty of the jury.”
Panh, who is a dual citizen of Cambodia and France, is known for films that depict the horrors of the Khmer Rouge and the struggles Cambodian people have faced in the aftermath of that brutal regime. He was selected to lead a five-person jury that also included filmmakers Camille Ducellier, Basma Khalifa, and Angele Diabang, as well as the Senegal-born, Italy-based TikTok megastar Khaby Lame.
The panel’s job was to sort through short films that originated on TikTok and pick three winners to be honored at an award ceremony. The submissions ranged from 30 seconds in length up to three minutes.
Instead, it would seem that Panh butted heads with TikTok brass over the platform’s involvement in the jury process. The Hollywood Reporter could not confirm whether #TikTokShortFilm will go on as planned, though the outlet did note that Cannes director Thierry Frémaux was supposed to attend the competition’s culminating ceremony. TikTok has not yet responded to Tubefilter‘s request for comment.
For TikTok, which wants to help its homegrown creators break into the movie business, the controversy surrounding the short film contest is a significant setback. It’s a reminder that the ethics of the film industry are not the same as the ones that govern online video. Cannes is a locus for artistic expression and progressive filmmaking, and meddling with that process is dangerous.
To find a platform with a safer approach to Cannes, we only need to look as far as Meta. Facebook and Instagram are hyping their native short-form format by sending a 120-person “Reels Squad” to the French Riviera. Those creators will bring the 75-year-old film festival to social media as they hang out at a “creator villa” that will host up to 300 people in all.
If #TikTokShortFilm doesn’t go forward, TikTok will be relying on its own squad of creators to deliver positive Cannes content. About 20 TikTokers from around the globe have been invited to attend and shoot the festival.
We are just weeks away from the debut of The Umbrella Academy Season 3.
Netflix celebrated the fact that we’re inching closer to the premiere date with a full-length trailer for the new season.
“After putting a stop to 1963’s doomsday, the Umbrella Academy return home to the present, convinced they prevented the initial apocalypse and fixed this godforsaken timeline once and for all,” reads the Season 3 synopsis.
“But after a brief moment of celebration, they realize things aren’t exactly (okay, not at all) how they left them. Enter the Sparrow Academy. Smart, stylish, and about as warm as a sea of icebergs, the Sparrows immediately clash with the Umbrellas in a violent face-off that turns out to be the least of everyone’s concerns.”
“Navigating challenges, losses, and surprises of their own – and dealing with an unidentified destructive entity wreaking havoc in the Universe (something they may have caused) — now all they need to do is convince Dad’s new and possibly better family to help them put right what their arrival made wrong.”
The logline concludes with the following questions:
Will they find a way back to their pre-apocalyptic lives? Or is this new world about to reveal more than just a hiccup in the timeline?
The new trailer certainly shows the magnitude of the mission ahead as the Hargreeveses wonder what they can do next, and let’s just say they all have differing opinions.
The returning stars include Tom Hopper as Luther, David Castañeda as Diego, Emmy Raver-Lampman as Allison, Robert Sheehan as Klaus, Aidan Gallagher as Five, and Elliot Page as Viktor.
The students of the Sparrow Academy are played by Justin Cornwell (Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey), Britne Oldford (Hunters), Jake Epstein (Suits), Genesis Rodriguez (Big Hero 6), and Cazzie David.
The Season 3 cast also includes Euphoria’s Javon Walton.
Check out the full trailer below.
Don’t forget to watch the series when it returns June 22.
Hit the comments with your thoughts on the first look.
New Chris Hemsworth thriller Spiderhead will screen on Netflix in June.
The film also features Miles Teller, Jurnee Smollett, Mark Paguio and Tess Haubrich.
Principal photography took place in Australia, during the pandemic.
In a state-of-the-art penitentiary run by brilliant visionary Steve Abnesti (Chris Hemsworth), inmates wear a surgically attached device that administers dosages of mind-altering drugs in exchange for commuted sentences. There are no bars, no cells, or orange jumpsuits. In Spiderhead, incarcerated volunteers are free to be themselves. Until they’re not. At times, they’re a better version. Need to lighten up? There’s a drug for that. At a loss for words? There’s a drug for that, too. But when two subjects, Jeff (Miles Teller) and Lizzy (Jurnee Smollett), form a connection, their path to redemption take a twistier turn, as Abnesti’s experiments start to push the limits of free will altogether. Based on The New Yorker short story by George Saunders, Spiderhead is a genre-bending and darkly funny psychological thriller directed by Joseph Kosinski (TRON: Legacy, Top Gun: Maverick) and written by Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick (Deadpool, Zombieland).
Director | Joseph Kosinski
Writers | Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick
Producers | Eric Newman, p.g.a; Chris Hemsworth; Rhett Reese; Paul Wernick; Agnes Chu; Geneva Wasserman; Tommy Harper, p.g.a.; Jeremy Steckler
Welcome to Creators on the Rise, where—in partnership with global creator company Jellysmack—we find and profile breakout creators who are in the midst of extraordinary growth.
It’s no secret: the internet loves dogs.
But Chris Equale never set out to make the world wide web fall in love with his corgis.
Equale, who’s based in Las Vegas and jokingly refers to himself as a “recovering tech executive,” used to have a harried work schedule. Every Monday, he flew to California for work. On Fridays, he flew back home for a weekend with Sarah, his fiancee, and their Pembroke Welsh corgis Hammy and Olivia.
Then, in 2020, COVID brought air travel to a halt. And, like several of our other Creators on the Rise featurees, Equale found himself stuck in quarantine. For him, it was an even more unique situation. Not only was he not used to being trapped at home, but he wasn’t used to having all this one-on-one time with the dynamic duo.
So, to occupy himself, he pulled out his phone and started filming.
He’d never considered content creation before. Even when he posted that first video, where he calls Hammy out for having a big ol’ crush on a cat–complete with himself voicing both Hammy and Olivia in time with their barks–he didn’t think it’d be A Thing. He figured he’d send it to family and friends, they’d get a few laughs, and everyone would move on.
Then the video started getting views.
Like, a lot of views.
To date, it’s got over 2 million–which is a drop in the bucket compared to how other Hammy and Olivia videos have performed. After realizing people dug his content, Equale started making more in that exact format, with wild storylines (in one, for example, Hammy skips school to go out on the town, and Olivia has to signal him to make a cinematic journey home when the principal tattles to Equale) and, crucially, Hammy and Olivia “talking” in exaggerated, boisterous voices.
Weekly view and subscriber counts from Gospel Stats.
These days, Equale’s top-performing videos scrape 50 million views. And thanks to that viewership–the Hammy and Olivia fandom, as he calls it–he’s now a full-time content creator making a video on YouTube Shorts every single day.
That level of consistent content production has helped push Equale’s channel to nearly 100 million views and over 100,000 new subscribers each month. Those are career numbers, but Equale says making videos is more than a job. He and Sarah consider it a “social responsibility,” he says, because of the amount of messages they’ve received from people whose lives have been brightened by Hammy and Olivia.
“This is the time in life, right now, where there’s so much uncertainty and so many hardships happening with everybody during the pandemic, that people need a daily smile,” he says.
We’ll let him tell you more below.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Tubefilter: For somebody who’s reading this and has never seen one of your videos, tell me about you and how the channel got started.
Chris Equale: So Hammy and Olivia are two quote-unquote “talking corgis,” and we put together daily family friendly skits. Myself, Chris, I’m engaged to my fiance, Sarah, and we don’t have children of our own. So we like to think that Hammy and Olivia are both our kids in this respective household, and we like to factor them into our decision-making process. We’ve really humanized them in that regard.
So Olivia is a seven-year-old Pembroke Welsh corgi, and she emulates the modern-day Cher Horowitz to a large degree. And then Hammy is our five-year-old Pembroke Welsh corgi. And he is moreso that lovable loser that is probably the last kid picked in kickball, but you always want to root for.
Tubefilter: Where are you from and when did you meet your fiancee?
CE: I live in Las Vegas, Nevada. I met Sarah about eight years ago, here.
Tubefilter: How did the channel get started?
CE: I used to travel to California for work every week. So for eight years I would get on a plane on a Monday, head to California, fly back on a Friday, and spend my weekend here in Vegas.
And then COVID was the first instance where I was fully grounded. I didn’t get on a plane. The following Monday, everybody went into quarantine. March 16th, 2020, was my 387th flight back home. And I haven’t been on an airplane since.
So being alone in my house with my dogs on a Monday was very unfamiliar territory for me, and I needed a creative outlet. I saw an opportunity to shoot a video of Olivia talking to a vacuum cleaner, and little did I know that posting it would create such a fandom.
When it took off, I looked at Sarah and I said, you know, “This is the time in life, right now, where there’s so much uncertainty and so many hardships happening with everybody during the pandemic, that people need a daily smile.” And that’s what we set out to really do with Hammy and Olivia.
Tubefilter: Had it ever occurred to you to try doing videos before that or was it just sort of out of nowhere?
CE: It had never occurred to me to do content creation at all. I took it upon myself just to do it moreso as something fun to share with my friends and family during the pandemic, ’cause we couldn’t get out, we couldn’t see each other. It was just sort of my way of communicating and sharing laughs with them. I had no idea the reach that a piece of content could take.
And, you know, when your phone starts vibrating endlessly, and you start to realize the amount of views that a single video can get, you start to understand that you can really touch so many lives with just a 15-second video. And that’s where we took it upon ourselves to invest in taking the time to really make this a fun adventure for everyone every single day.
We got so many direct messages from people who told us, “I rely on this.” “I love your two dogs.” “I battle depression and they give me a sense of joy throughout my day, and they help dissipate my anxiety and lower my stress levels and they do so much for me on a serotonin level, so thank you for sharing them with me.”
We’ve now taken this as a social responsibility that people need silliness in their lives. So we’re just really happy to be able to introduce it to them through these two corgis.
Tubefilter: Wait, what was your day job before all this?
CE: Prior to this, I was the EVP of sales for one of the largest cannabis cultivators in southern California—licensed. And prior to that, I was a tech executive. I joke often that I’m a recovering tech executive who just talks to my dogs all day every day.
Tubefilter: You said that first video kind of took off. When did it become a thing where it was like, “Okay, this is gonna be my full-time pursuit”?
CE: I think everybody comes to their own conclusion on when to make that transition. I think for us, it was a unique position, because COVID was really the catalyst that started all of this. When offices started to open back up and when people were starting to have to get their normal work legs back under them and things along those lines, I just made the conscious effort of deciding I didn’t want to go back to that.
Whereas I feel like a lot of creators, they’re actively in their job and they make the decision whether or not to quit that day. I didn’t really have that pressure. And I think…you know, I was in the same pair of sweatpants every single day. I would change out my T-shirt maybe a few times a week. I was just really enjoying the comfortability of being in my home, because I hadn’t experienced something like this, a normalcy like this, for almost eight years. I was on a professional grind, traveling so much, so I just decided at that point that I wanted to give up that life and just stick with this. And then I think the financial security around content creation sort of came after that decision. It wasn’t the financial security making the decision easy, if that makes sense.
Tubefilter: Yeah, it does. What I hear from a lot of people is that like, one month they got a $20,000 or $30,000 check from AdSense and they went in and quit their job.
CE: Totally, yeah. We’re good friends with Graham Stephan over here in Vegas and he’s a fan of the double down. He’s like, “Just quit your job and double down!” I was like, “Okay.” [laughs]
Tubefilter: I mean, people take a flyer and it does work out sometimes. But I feel like we also don’t hear about when it doesn’t work out.
CE: Right, right, right. You tend to lean on the success stories. I get it. And we’re not rolling in dough by any stretch. We still live a very unassuming lifestyle. We get by just fine and we just enjoy putting our daily smile out into the world.
Tubefilter: How did you end up with the two of them? Did you always want corgis, or…?
CE: It’s funny you ask that. My entire life before Olivia, I was an English bulldog owner. I had eight different English bulldogs and their names all started with the letter B.
What’s so funny is anyone who has an English bulldog will know they’re like koala bears, they sleep like 20 out of 24 hours a day. They’re big lumps. You don’t take them far on walks because they don’t go very far, they’re very low-maintenance dogs.
Anyway, Sarah always wanted to have a corgi, and I went to her friend who’d just bred a litter of corgi puppies. I probably should have been wise enough to know at that point that there was no chance I wouldn’t come home without one that day.
So we came home with Olivia and I learned very quickly that this is a different way of life, having a corgi. It’s constant energy and she’s very vocal and her personality is so loud and so boisterous and funny and you have to be on your toes.
And the only thing that could make that more hectic is getting a second one! Which we did, and it was great. I mean, introducing Hammy into this home just brought a whole other layer of fun, and his personality shines through in a completely different way than Olivia’s and they complement each other so well. And I think when people watch our videos…sure, they “talk,” and yes, that’s a little bit unrealistic. We get it. But the personalities are still what resonates the most. And I think that’s what people really connect with, and they really feel like they know our dogs almost as well as we do.
Tubefilter: I have three cats and a dog and I certainly assign them little voices and little personalities, and it’s nice to see that from someone else willing to put it out there on the internet.
CE: I think anyone will look at me like I’m crazy except a pet owner. I think we all wonder, at one point, what it might sound like to talk with our pet. So I’m glad you get it.
Tubefilter: So as you mentioned, you do daily videos. That’s huge. That’s a lot of production time and a lot of effort. What does the average day look like for you in terms of producing a video every single day?
CE: That’s a great question. At this point now, two years later, we’ve done upwards of 700 videos, which is really wild to think about.
I think there’s always such barriers to entry when you think about being a content creator. YouTube can be intimidating! It can be a very intimidating platform. Like, why would someone be interested in me for eight or 15 or 20 minutes at a time?
What we’ve really enjoyed about short-form content creation is that it takes 15 seconds to be able to introduce an idea, add some humor to it, and tie it all together, and that’s not a giant creative commitment.
Now, there’s a difference to that. There’s an asterisk. And that is: I work with dogs. Those present their own challenges. The old entertainment cliche is “Don’t work with kids or animals,” and I learn every single day why that’s so true. But at the same time, they’ve become so much more efficient in this, just because thye’re so conditioned to doing this now that the day is a lot quicker than it used to be.
So typically—they’re still my dogs, you know, they’re still my animals. So it still takes care, even outside of the content creation side of things. My whole day revolves around them.
They wake me up at 6:30 for breakfast. They know their breakfast time. Then I get into the morning routine of feeding them, walking them, they go down for their nap, and then once they’re back up at 11 a.m., we go straight into our third bedroom, which we’ve converted now into a closet for the dogs. We pick out outfits, I put together a script. They have a green room when they’re not working.
CE: Oh yeah. I can only work with one of them at a time, unless it’s a shot that needs both of them. So I’ll put the other dog in the green room and let them kind of hang out and nap in a nice bed, have some treats.
To do a 15-second completed video that our followers see, it takes about four hours of work. That’s script, shoot, edit, and score. And if it was just me—if someone was showing up for the six-foot redhead, which I know no one is, ’cause I understand the exchange here, they want the dog—if it was just me making a 15-second video, it would probably take 20 or 30 minutes. It’s a whole different world when you introduce pets to the space.
Tubefilter: In terms of making a video, is it always scripted or do you do any kind of candid catching them in the moment, doing something funny? What’s the mix there?
CE: There’s a theme to all this: I’m only willing to do whatever the dogs are willing to give. It speaks, really, to each aspect of this. I could have an idea in my ehad, I could have a really funny scripted situation. But then Ham doesn’t feel like being super vocal today or barking a lot, and I have to adjust. Or maybe Hammy gets really excited and does a rollover for a treat, and we weren’t expecting that, but we caught it on camera. So can we integrate that somehow?
I always show up with a plan because I feel like a plan is going to be the most efficient for everyone’s time. But they have funny ways of taking that off the tracks, and sometimes we just have to go for it. And at the end of the day, I think when subscribers or followers can key in on those moments and see sort of the organic nature of the dogs being themselves, I almost feel like it’s obviously the most authentic and sometimes the most captivating content.
Tubefilter: I’ve had animals all my life and I think it’s pretty clear when they do or don’t want to be on film, so it’s interesting in your videos that they’re always so obviously gung-ho.
CE: Yeah, they’re such sweethearts and they totally have just bought into this now at this point. They walk into the green room and they wanna start acting. They know it’s treat time. It’s almost like paid actors. I get asked all the time, “Do they like wearing outfits? My dogs don’t like wearing outfits.”
They love wearing outfits because they associate it with, “I’m gonna get treats, I just have to put this on.”
Tubefilter: And they’re the center of attention.
CE: And they’re the center of attention! And then we’re just oohing and ahhing at them with a camera in their face, they bark for about 10 minutes, and that’s their day.
It is funny—people tend to this this is an all-day thing. And for me, yes, there’s a lot of aspects for it outside of just the production of videos that take up a lot of my time. But just in terms of them and their bandwidth and what’s needed from them on a day-in, day-out basis, it’s really no more than like an hour and a half, and they love it. It’s time we get to spend together, it’s enrichment we get to experience together, and it’s just being able to really enjoy our bond.
Tubefilter: Do you have anybody working with you behind the scenes, like a manager or editor? Anyone else on the business/production side?
CE: My fiancee is obviously a giant help. Sarah’s been so amazing in terms of like, to do what we do and to get some of the shots we shoot, you cannot do it without a second set of hands, and she’s absolutely paramount in making the magic happen on camera.
Outside of that, we’re blessed to be the first pets to sign with ICM, our agency in L.A., and our management team is with Whalar, they’re fantastic. Outside of that, it’s me. I always joke, I’m just a redhead with a cell phone. I’m the one that just shoots the videos, I edit it all on my cell phone, and I pull all the magic from an iPhone 13, and that’s it.
Tubefilter: You walked right into my next question. Earlier you mentioned short-form content making things more accessible. What are your thoughts about that in terms of just being able to use your phone instead of having to have expensive equipment?
CE: I think it’s amazing. I mean, you don’t have to have the most expensive equipment or the most expensive microphone or the most expensive software. I think what’s been fantastic for us as content creators is just how far technology has come in such a short amount of time.
The beauty is that everyone has a camera now in their pocket and that’s how anything can be captured in any moment. I love it because it sounds like it’s always such an intimidating phenomenon, to be a YouTuber. The brilliance of today’s day and age is I can shoot content on my phone. I can edit it on my phone. I can post it directly from my phone. And this one little medium that resides in my pocket for millions of eyeballs is pretty wild.
Tubefilter: Have you guys gotten any brand deals or sponsorships or other partnerships?
CE: Oh yeah, we have to. When you’re full-time, that’s a big piece of the earnings.
I’m a big believer in, we put on a show. And when you put on a show and you entertain, you are able to really have that stage and command the audience. A big piece of it too is frequency. I think if you post as often as we do, you earn the right to have the floor for a commercial break. This is the lifeblood of a full-time content creator, being able to have forecastable earnings so we can continue to allocate most of our time to producing more content—which I think, at the end of the day, everybody really wants.
So I think a lot of creators struggle with the moral dilemma of it and the ethics around it, but at it’s just a necessary piece in order to go into content creation full-time.
I love it because a lot of the brand deals we currently have our arms wrapped around are all dog-centric and they’re all fixtures in Hammy and Olivia’s ecosystem, which is fantastic. We have a great partnership with our food provider. We have a great partnership with our dog supplement provider. We have a great relationship with the platform that we use for a dogsitter if we need to.
So I think all of these are natural tie-ins and, you know, we also have a way of turning branded content on its head where it’s not super formal. We like to inject it into our skits in a humorous way so we’re still putting on a show—and I think our following appreciates that.
Tubefilter: In terms of growth of your channel, it’s grown pretty steadily. Do you know if there’s a specific video that took off and got your channel a lot of attention early, or is it cumulative traffic pouring in?
CE: I think it always starts with one leaking out that really gets the attention of viewers. And then when that shooting star moment happens, it’s always great to see all of the other content lift with it. That’s always sort of how this works. And, you know, we get that at any moment you can be the flavor of the week. You could be the flavor of the month. Interest might wane. But it always tends to come back around if you’re consistent and you’re producing high-quality content.
We’ve seen recently with this new emergence of Shorts and short-form content, really being able to put a spotlight on creators like us who weren’t otherwise willing to do five- to 10-minute pieces of content, nor had the bandwidth to be able to do that. It gives us the platform and we’ve really been able to excel our channel through that, which has been a total blessing. We’re just so happy that YouTube has now given us that medium.
Tubefilter: Are there any specific videos you can think of that really took off and prompted that “shooting star”?
CE: Yeah: Corgi loses his legs! part 2. That has been unequivocally our best-performing piece of content to date. I think it has over 50 million views at this point on Shorts, and it tends to be sort of the catalyst for any new set of eyeballs to watch and then say, “I gotta see what this channel’s all about.” And then they continue to really go down the rabbit hole on our other videos.
Tubefilter: Do you have any plans for the rest of this year? You don’t have to give me spoilers, but any plans or things you’re hoping to accomplish for the rest of this year?
CE: Huge plans, actually. My end goal for this…Well, look. We’ve done 700 videos. It’s not sustainable to have your dogs do this into their eight, nine, 10, 11 years on, it just doesn’t work. I’m a big believer in wanting future generations to be able to enjoy Hammy and Olivia like our viewers have, so I’ve been racing to try to get into animation.
We’re blessed to now be partnered with a very prominent animation studio, and we are at the point where we’re putting together a full animated television show concept, and we’re looking to take that to market here shortly. We’re so excited.
Tubefilter: How did you arrive at animation? That’s very ambitious.
CE: I’m not an animator, but I think if you watch our videos, you understand that we’re all about the chaos and the over-the-top nature of things that can happen and unfold. There’s so much of a limit to what live-action can offer you in that world. My dogs do a fantastic job, and I think I do a good job of making our videos chaotic and explosive and hilarious and just wild without having to put them in dangerous situations. I will not cross that line at the end of the day. They’re still my pets and I want people to know that.
But I think the animated world can offer so much. Like, could Hammy and Olivia go scuba diving? Could they go to the moon? You never know. And with animation, I think that shackling nature that you feel as a content creator immediately gets lifted. Plus I’m a fan of Rugrats and Doug and Rocko’s Modern Life and all those old cartoons that probably date me. But at the same time, I have this dream that kids one day will be able to wake up on a Saturday morning and watch Hammy and Olivia and laugh alongside them.
That’s my dream: to immortalize these dogs so they can continue to make people laugh for many, many years to come.
Jellysmack is the global creator company that powers multi-platform social media growth for video creators, media companies, brands, celebrities, and its own online communities (Beauty Studio, Oh My Goal, Gamology, House of Bounce and more). The company’s proprietary technology optimizes, distributes, and promotes video content, resulting in meaningful audience growth and increased revenue in record time. Jellysmack is currently partnered with hundreds of talented creators including MrBeast, PewDiePie, Like Nastya, and Bailey Sarian. Looking to Go Bigger on social? Visit jellysmack.com.
On TikTok, recent University of Michigan grad Ari Elkinshas amassed an audience of 1.8 million followers by serving as your personal guide to pop music. Need a song for that playlist of indie jams? Ari’s has covered. Want to listen to something that sounds like your favorite Harry Styles number? Ari to the rescue. Interested in feeling old when Elkins calls Nirvana an oldie? He’s got you, fam.
As you can see, Elkins has a knack for recommending music that fits a specific mood — and that personality trait forms the basis of his new podcast. Elkins is the host of Soundtrack Your Day, in which the TikToker and his guests use Spotify Live to build and discuss themed playlists.
Soundtrack Your Day is a hybrid between an on-demand podcast and a live audio program. Every Monday at 8 PM ET, Elkins will host a Spotify Live session in which he will build a playlist alongside his guests and listeners. The musicians who appear on the show will talk about songs they’ve released that fit the week’s theme. For example, the podcast’s premiere centered around morning songs, so it was an opportunity for Quinn XCII andAshe to promote the song ‘Coffee.’
In addition to musicians, TikTok stars will contribute to Soundtrack Your Day. Connor Wood, aka Fibula, showed up in the first episode. The second installment will take on the subject of mental health and will feature appearances from Charly Jordan and Emma Brooks, among others.
The upstart audiophile told Spotify that he came up with his podcast after thinking about another figure with a penchant for playlists. “The idea for Soundtrack Your Day came from President Obama’s annual playlists,” Elkins said. “In my mind, Obama isn’t generally associated with music or being an artist, but so many people were tuning into his playlists, including me. So I thought, everybody’s listening to music. What if we take people from different sectors, get them to share the music they love and are interested in, get them to create a playlist of it, and talk about music that they’re passionate about?”
On Spotify’s side of things, Soundtrack Your Day is both an opportunity to work with an influential young voice and a chance to show the potential of the platform’s live audio service. Other platforms may be pivoting away from their Clubhouse competitors, but Spotify Live is still going strong, and it’s the perfect place to contribute your opinion to Elkins’ music conversations.
TikTok has its eye on Tinseltown. The micro-video platform has unveiled its inaugural Showbiz List, a collection of 35 creators who are “making waves in the entertainment industry.”
Rather than indicating up-and-coming talent in a specific field, the Showbiz List picks out talented artists across a wide variety of disciplines. It includes actors and directors, makeup artists and costume designers, critics, musicians, and consultants. There are two common denominators between all of these talented people: They are active on TikTok, and they are “representing a new generation of creators for Hollywood to watch.”
Why should Hollywood pay attention to these short-form superstars? The Showbiz List provides a multitude of reasons. For starters, the creators included on it are already plugged into pop culture. TikTok noted actor Julian Burzynski‘s Euphoria parodies as evidence of that trend.
Other top TikTokers are “changing the game” by bringing novel approaches to their respective fields. JeremyTheTea is breaking gender boundaries with his costume designs, and Cindy Chenteaches 1.8 million followers how to apply her avant-garde beliefs about makeup and design.
The Showbiz List serves as a reminder about TikTok’s place in youth culture. While other short-form platforms boast big payouts and huge audiences, TikTok is positioning itself as the primary incubator of the next generation of entertainment celebrities. Earlier this month, as part of that plan, the Bytedance-owned platform launched a short film contest at the Cannes Film Festival, with comedic mega-star Khaby Lame serving as one of the judges.
Will today’s TikTokers be tomorrow’s Hollywood icons? We’ll be paying attention to the creators on the Showbiz List to see if their inclusion brings them development deals, leading roles, or high-profile gigs.
94 per cent of Australian households still used television sets to watch children’s shows, but the top 10 most popular “channels” were almost exclusively streaming services.
Swinburne-based research team, Australian Children’s Television Cultures, have completed a nationwide study of parents about how Australian audiences discover, consume and value local children’s content. The report, Parents’ Perspectives on Australian Children’s Television in the Streaming Era, covers parents’ ideas of what makes “good” Australian children’s television, the use of media platforms and the importance they place on diverse representation.
The ABC was a trusted source of children’s television; nine out of 10 parents identified that they use at least one of the ABC’s services, with 65 per cent of parents selecting iView.
Other highly ranked services in this research included Netflix (77 per cent), YouTube (69 per cent), and Disney+ (56 per cent). Streaming services without clear and well-organised kids’ sections – such as Amazon Prime Video (13 per cent) and Apple TV+ (6 per cent) – were not used as often to view children’s content.
Dad-of-one Adam says, “I never actually just watch normal TV. We only ever use the apps and then watch Bluey … I don’t know actually which [channel] it is. I just use the voice thing and just say Bluey, and then it comes up.”
The researchers found that seven out of 10 parents believed that good Australian children’s television is “fun and engaging”, but it is also important because of how it embraces positive messages and “everyday education” for Australian kids.
Australian shows are more likely to cover water and sun safety, Australian history and culture, Australian geography and relevant depictions of preparing for school.
Camilla is a mum-of-two in an Australian-Québécois family living in Queensland. She explains, “Australian stuff was definitely more [relevant], especially Play School: it was outdoor activities, and being sun smart, and those sort of things that were relevant to us, whereas a lot of the French-Canadian stuff was how to slide down snow.”
Parents also valued “relatable” and “authentic” programming, including Australian accents, settings and iconography; recognisable depictions of family dynamics; and content that doesn’t take itself too seriously (a “larrikin” sensibility). These qualities can all be found in kids’ TV phenomenon Bluey, the Emmy-winning animated comedy about a Queensland-based family of Blue Heeler dogs. Parents identified Bluey as the show most watched by their children, as well as the kids’ TV show they are most enthusiastic about watching themselves.
As one survey respondent, a Western Australia mum-of-two, observed, “Round the Twist and Bluey are the best because they show kids being passionate and irreverent and funny and adults handling their lives with patience, respect and humour, as well as being dorks and messing up.”
Parents also reported that older children move away from free-to-air options (and their associated streaming services, such as iView) towards subscription video on demand services (e.g. Netflix) and YouTube. In fact, parents reported eight out of 10 older children (12 and over) watched YouTube compared to only 40 per cent of younger children (four and under). Older children also have a greater variety of “most watched” shows when compared to younger children, which may be reflective of the wider array of content available on streaming.
This research is supported by the Australian Children’s Television Foundation, which is the national children’s media production and policy hub behind much-loved shows like Round the Twist, Dance Academy and Hardball, and is conducted in collaboration with RMIT University. The ACTF recently announced collaborations with streaming services Stan and Netflix.
Swinburne researcher Associate Professor Liam Burke: “In this era of technological transformation, policy changes and transnational screen traffic, research that prioritises the audience is essential to help producers, policymakers and other stakeholders understand the complex role that local children’s television plays in contemporary Australia.”
ACTF CEO Jenny Buckland: “This research is part of a larger four-year study exploring the impact of Australian children’s television from every angle. The findings will inform our strategic thinking and planning.
“This report demonstrates that Australian parents value shows that they can co-view with their children on popular streaming platforms, which encourages us to forge ahead with partnerships with those platforms.”
The Australian Children’s Television Cultures research project is based at Swinburne’s Centre for Transformative Media Technologies. The authors are Swinburne University of Technology’s Associate Professor Liam Burke, Dr Joanna McIntyre and Dr Jessica Balanzategui, and RMIT University’s Dr Djoymi Baker.
A day after sharing advertiser-friendly features during its annual Brandcast, YouTube revealed a slew of updates that will affect its flagship product. The YouTube player has been equipped with the ability to skip straight to a video’s popular moments, and individual clips can now be looped so that they replay over and over.
YouTube will identify big moments by determining the sections of videos that are replayed most often. Those climaxes will be displayed in graphs that will be visible within the video player’s progress bar. Sections that have been watched more frequently will appear as shaded “hills” above the bar. You can see what that visual effect will look like in the above image.
If you don’t want to skip through your videos at all, you can now watch them over and over. The ability to play content on loop is new to the long-form version YouTube, though it was previously enabled as a default option on YouTube Shorts. If viewers become aware of this new option (which can be enabled on desktop by right-clicking on the player), it could spell the end of those ultra-long videos that repeat the same clip over and over. Why watch Shrek play the saxophone for ten hours when you can just loop the shorter version?
The other new update worth noting here synergizes with one of the major themes of YouTube’s Brandcast presentation. During its pitch to advertisers in New York, the video platform boasted about its prowess on connected TVs. Now, viewers on those screens will be able to take advantage of a feature that you’ve probably seen already on another device. Video chapters, which split long uploads into individually-labeled sections, can now be experienced on connected TV.
If these features pique your interest, you might want to pay attention to http://youtube.com/new. On that landing page, viewers who possess Premium subscriptions can serve as testers for upcoming product launches. YouTube said that it developed the “most replayed moments” feature that way, and pretty soon, another test will arrive at that URL. Premium users will soon have the opportunity to try out a tool that will allow them to skip directly to an exact moment in a specific video.