TikTok Spotlights Most Influential Creators Of 2021 In First Annual ‘Discover List’

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With a commemorative glance back at 2021, TikTok has turned a spotlight on 50 of its most influential creators, with its first annual Discover List.

The list recognizes 10 TikTok stars in each of five categories: ‘Icons’, ‘Innovators’, ‘Foodies’, ‘Changemakers’, and ‘Originators’. The Discover List also places an emphasis on recognizing the original creators of viral trends and showcase diverse voices, TikTok said.

To compile the list, TikTok told The Hollywood Reporter that its community team, helmed by Kudzi Chikumbu, nominated various creators and then ranked honorees according to engagement, views, video creations, account growth, likes, interactions with followers, and off-app social cache.

Icons are “known up and down ‘For You’ feeds and outside of TikTok,” according to the company, whereas Innovators “put a new twist on what it means to be a content creator” and Changemakers are enacting social change. Foodies, of course, are putting their own unique spin on cooking content, while Originators create hashtags, viral dances, sounds, and aesthetics.

You can check out the honorees on TikTok’s inaugural Discover List right here:


Bella Poarch, @bellapoarch
Boman Martinez-Reid, @Bomanizer
Brittany Broski, @Brittany_Broski
Challan Trishann, @challxn
Christopher Olsen & Ian Paget, @chris & @Ianpaget_
Jay, @flossybaby
Leo Gonzalez, @LeoGonzall
Mark Gaetano, @snarkymarky
Tabitha Brown, @iamtabithabrown
Christina Najjar, @tinx


Billy Yue, @8illy
Devon Rodriguez, @devonrodriguezart
Jasmine Chiswell, @jasminechiswell
Science Akbar, @king.science
Maddi Winter, @maddiwinter
Mikayla Nogueira, @mikaylanogueira
Kyne Santos, @onlinekyne
Parker Locke, @parkerlocke
Piff Marti, @PiffMarti
Wisdom Kaye, @Wisdm8


Jonathan Kung, @Chefjonkung
Gabrielle Williams, @gabby.jaye
Hajar Larbah, @moribyan
Newton Nguyen, @newt
Ana Regalado, @saltycocina
Jessica Woo, @sulheejessica
Ahmad Alzahabi, @Thegoldenbalance
Joanne Molinaro, @thekoreanvegan
Robert Lucas, @thesweetimpact
Violet Witchel, @Violet.cooks


Alexis Nelson, @alexisnikole
Shirley Raines, @Beauty2thestreetz
Joel Bervell, @joelbervell
Jesús Morales, @juixxe
James Jones, @notoriouscree
Remi Bader, @remibader
Scarlet May, @Scarlet_may.1
Taylor Jones, @taylorcassidyj
Ebony & Denise Nunez, @Team2Moms
Zachary & Patrick Valentine, @valentinebrothers


Antoni Bumba, @antonibumba
Antonio Neville, @HeyTonyTV
Jalaiah Harmon, @jalaiahharmon
Katherine Florence, @katieflorence
Keara Wilson, @keke.janajah
Makayla Did, @makayladid
Wayne Mears, @natures_food
Ronald Michel, @Rony_boyy
Vano 3000, @supvano
Tracy Joseph, @Tracy.oj

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YouTube To Host Weeklong Holiday Shopping Event With The Merrell Twins, Walmart, More

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YouTube shared some social commerce news during its keynote presentation today during Advertising Week, featuring Tara Walpert Levy, Walmart CMO William White, and resident creator Liza Koshy.

Beginning Nov. 15, YouTube will kick off a seven-day live shopping event, The YouTube Holiday Stream and Shop. It will he hosted by the Merrell Twins and feature other top creators, who will showcase products from Walmart (which worked with TikTok on an hourlong shopping stream last holiday season), Samsung, and Verizon.

During the streams, fans will be able to unlock limited offers, participate in live Q&As and polls, and purchase featured products with a single click. Walpert Levy teased that YouTube has more live shopping events in the pipeline. On June 24, the platform hosted several shopping streams in honor of its first-ever Small Biz Day. (Instagram, for its part, recently rolled out a similar 10-day event for Fashion Month).

Back in February, YouTube said it was testing new ecommerce tools, which it referred to as an “integrated shopping experience that allows viewers to tap into the credibility and knowledge of trusted creators.” Initially available for on-demand videos, the program is now rolling out for live streams, YouTube said, amid a boon in social commerce precipitated by the pandemic.

The experience enables creators, retailers, and brands to select products that appear in a pop-up overlay on their standard videos or live stream. On VOD, viewers can click to explore product pages, related videos, or purchase options. On live, viewers can click to check out directly on YouTube without interrupting the viewing experience.

These features have been used by Simply Nailogical and Hyram for the launch of their nail polish and skin care lines, respectively. On the retailer front, Sephora, Target, and Walmart have also hosted shoppable streams.

YouTube’s other ecommerce tools include three-year-old, Spring-powered Merch Shelves, which enable creators to sell merch under videos, as well as a similar shopping shelf through its BrandConnect influencer marketing platform. Shopping shelves enable users to shop for products featured in sponsored videos directly from the creator watch page.

You can check out YouTube’s Ad Week keynote in full below:

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Top 50 Most Viewed YouTube Channels Worldwide • Week Of 10/18/2021

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[Editor’s Note: Tubefilter Charts is a weekly rankings column from Tubefilter with data provided by GospelStats. It’s exactly what it sounds like; a top number ranking of YouTube channels based on statistics collected within a given time frame. Check out all of our Tubefilter Charts with new installments every week right here.]

Scroll down for this week’s Tubefilter Chart.

For the second straight week, a channel that appeals to two of YouTube’s top audiences — young children and short-form viewers — has reached the top of our global top 50.

YouTube Shorts is bringing a wide diversity of content into our weekly charts, but this week, the order at the top of our global ranking was mostly unchanged, with a Japanese channel continuing to lead the way.

Chart Toppers

Funny Family has earned the top spot in our global top 50 for the second week in a row. The YouTube Shorts channel, which offers up various challenges and games that families can play at home, added 786.5 million weekly views during our most recent measurement period. That impressive total was built with the help of YouTube’s youngest demographic, which frequently tunes into “family” videos.

The second and third channels in the global top 50 are also unchanged from last week. SET India remained our global runner-up thanks to 576.6 million weekly views, and the Indian record label T-Series stayed hot on its tail with 559.4 million weekly views. Both channels slightly increased their viewership over the previous week, but those gains were not strong enough to catch Funny Family. In fact, all of the channels in this week’s global top five saw an uptick in viewership since our last chart period.

The one newcomer in this week’s global top five is AngLova. The U.S.-based channel is yet another TikTok transplant, and it increased its viewership more than three times over during the last seven days. Thanks to that massive influx of fresh hits, AngLova finished the week as our global #4, racking up 469.3 million weekly views.

Sony SAB rounded out our global top five. The Indian channel, which shares an owner with SET India, registered 457.1 million weekly views during the second full week of October.

Top Gainers

From Fred to The Annoying Orange, there’s a long tradition of high-pitched content on YouTube. Now, Rudolfio is here to carry on that shrill torch.

Rudolfio is a TikTok creator who has screamed into our global top 50 thanks to his emerging popularity on YouTube Shorts. In many of his videos, Rudolfio wears a bright red wig and yellow headband. In others, he dons a Mario costume, complete with red cap, big ears, and fake mustache. No matter what his getup looks like, the one constant in Rudolfio’s videos is his screechy voice, which he sometimes uses to parody popular songs.

Some may find videos like these to be a fine example of “cringe,” but whatever opinions you may have of Rudolfio, the success of the creator’s YouTube Shorts operation cannot be denied. In our latest count, Rudolfio picked up 166.6 million weekly views, which was good enough for him to reach 24th place in our global top 50. He also increased his viewership by 84% week-over-week.

Next week, he could soar even higher, or fall off the chart entirely. Such is the volatile nature of YouTube Shorts.

Channel Distribution

Here’s a breakdown of the Top 50 Most Viewed channels this week in terms of their countries of origin:

  • United States: 17 channels in the Top 50.
  • India: 9 channels in the Top 50.
  • Russia: 5 channels in the Top 50.
  • Japan: 3 channels in the Top 50.
  • Canada, Indonesia, and United Arab Emirates: 2 channels in the Top 50.
  • Argentina, Belarus, Brazil, The Netherlands, Pakistan, South Korea, Turkey, and United Kingdom: 1 channel each in the Top 50.

As always, keep up to speed with the latest Tubefilter Charts and all of our news at Tubefilter by following us on Twitter, becoming a fan on Facebook, and watching our videos on YouTube.

Gospel Stats provides transparent social media stats you can trust. For more information visit GospelStats.com.

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Animal Rights Nonprofit Sues YouTube For Failing To Remove Abuse Videos

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Animal rights media nonprofit Lady Freethinker is suing YouTube for breach of contract, alleging that the platform has not enforced its ban on videos containing animal abuse.

Many of the violative videos, per The New York Times, tend to follow a trend in which giant snakes are seen moving towards helpless animals, such as puppies, as melodramatic music plays, until the prey is rescued at the last moment by human intervention. Some of the violative videos are still live and have been on the site for years, per the Times, and some carry ads.

The lawsuit, filed yesterday in California Superior Court, alleges that YouTube failed to take action after Lady Freethinker repeatedly flagged videos of animal abuse. The Times reports that Lady Freethinker says it urged action for 18 months, and provided YouTube with 146 violative channels and more than 2,000 violative videos that had been viewed 1.2 billion times as examples — with 70% remaining live as of last month.

YouTube spokeswoman Ivy Choi told the Times that YouTube had expanded its animal abuse policies in March — to prohibit staged rescues that put animals in dangerous situations, as described above. Choi said that since March, YouTube has removed hundreds of thousands of videos and terminated thousands of channels for violations, but noted that enforcement takes time.

“We agree that content depicting violence or abuse toward animals has no place on YouTube,” she said.

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Instagram Is Finally Letting Users Post Content From Desktop

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Today kicks off Instagram’s first Product Week, a multi-day (though not actually week-long) series of new feature announcements and drops across the platform’s various components, including its core content feed, TikTok competitor Reels, and Stories.

First among the new features is Collabs, which will enable users to co-create Reels. Users can invite one another to coauthor by going to a Reel’s tagging page, and if the invited user accepts, “both accounts will appear in the post or Reels header, and it will be shared to both sets of followers,” Instagram says.

Engagement generated by both creators’ audiences will be combined: Collabs-made Reels will have one view count, one like count, and a single comment section, just like any other Reel.

Collabs are currently being tested, per Instagram. The company did not specify how many creators have access to them.

The next feature Instagram’s announcing–with more information coming Oct. 20–is a somewhat smaller tweak. It’s adding the ability to create fundraisers for approved nonprofits (something users can already do) as a one-touch option in its “creation button,” the plus sign in the top right corner of its app where users tap to create new content.

Like Collabs, Fundraiser Prompts are currently being tested for implementation across the platform.

And for Product Week’s “grand finale,” Instagram says, it’s fully rolling out three features: two effects generators for Reels; and, at long, long, long last, the ability for users to post content from their desktops, not just from Instagram’s app.

With desktop posting, users will be able to upload photos and videos under one minute in length from any desktop browser. This capability is pushing out to all users globally Oct. 21, and has “long been requested by our IG community,” Instagram says.

As for the Reels effects, one of them, Superbeat, weaves in special visual effects to the tune of videos’ background songs. The other, Dynamic/3D Lyric, displays onscreen lyrics in time with background songs. The goal of both these features is to help creators make their Reels more engaging, and to “spend less time editing and more time creating and sharing,” Instagram says.

Superbeat and Dynamic/3D Lyric are also launching globally Oct. 21.

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Netflix Thinks ‘Squid Game’ Will Generate Nearly $1 Billion In “Impact Value”

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Netflix believes South Korean superhit Squid Game will generate nearly $1 billion in value for it.

The survival/social commentary drama written and directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk was produced by Siren Pictures Inc. for $21.4 million, or around $2.6 million per episode, according to figures from internal documents leaked to Bloomberg. It’s one of a number of South Korean Netflix originals, and the streamer’s biggest to date (more on that below).

Squid Game released four weeks ago, and based on the buzz surrounding it, Netflix estimates it will create a whopping $891 million in “impact value.” Impact value, Bloomberg reports, is an internal “metric the company uses to assess the performance from individual shows.”

Netflix doesn’t publicly discuss “impact value” (and in fact told Bloomberg that disclosing Squid Game’s figures would be inappropriate), so we don’t know what the actual makeup of that $891 million is–whether it’s all cash money (doubtful), whether Netflix is banking on more subscribers signing up just to see the show, etcetera.

The data given to Bloomberg also included some viewership stats. Netflix revealed last week that Squid Game was “our biggest series launch ever,” with 111 million people watching at least two minutes of the show within its first four weeks on the platform.

Within the leaked documents was more recent and granular information: 132 million people have now watched at least two minutes of Squid Game, and Netflix estimates that 89% of people who started it went on to watch at least 75 minutes (all of the first episode and around 15 minutes of the second). It further estimates that 66% of viewers (~87 million people) went on to watch all nine episodes.

Squid Game has collectively amassed more than 1.4 billion hours of watch time so far, according to Netflix’s data.

As Bloomberg points out, at least some of the projected $891 million might come from the stock market; since Squid Game released on Sept. 17, Netflix’s stock has risen almost 7%, giving it a market cap of $278.1 billion.

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YouTube’s iOS App Has Clocked $3 Billion In In-App Purchases (Report)

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Since its launch in 2012, YouTube‘s iOS app has clocked $3 billion in in-app purchases, according to a new report from analytics firm App Annie.

App Annie reports that YouTube is currently the No. 3 app in terms of global lifetime consumer spend — in the non-gaming category — after Tinder and Netflix. YouTube is also the No. 1 livestreaming app by spend, taking into account both iOS and Android users, as well as the seventh most-downloaded non-gaming app ever.

App Annie explains the $3 billion milestone — which YouTube officially crossed over the weekend — by noting that content consumption has accelerated during the pandemic. YouTube’s biggest markets for in-app spending are the U.S., Japan, U.K., Australia, and Canada.

The $3 billion in-app revenues was driven by paid channel memberships as well as subscriptions to YouTube Music Premium and YouTube Premium, App Annie said. We’ve reached out to the firm for a breakdown of which services accounted for total revenues, and will update this post with any additional information.

You can check out the top 10 iOS apps by lifetime consumer spend, per App Annie, right here:

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Steam Bans All Video Games Selling Cryptocurrencies And NFTs

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Video game distributor Steam is officially done with NFTs.

Word of its doneness comes from the developers of Age of Rust, a forthcoming mecha sci-fi game that revolves around players buying out-of-game NFTs to unlock missions where they will collect in-game NFTs.

“A few minutes ago, we were notified that @Steam will be kicking *all blockchain games* off the platform, including Age of Rust, because NFTs have value,” the Age of Rust team tweeted this afternoon. “Behind the scenes, we’ve had good communication and have been upfront with Steam.”

According to the devs, “Steam’s point of view is that items have value and they don’t allow items that can have real-world value on their platform.”

Fair enough, but it’s also worth noting that whether or not NFTs actually have legitimate real-world value (and will hold on to that nebulous value down the road) is a hot topic of debate.

Attached to Age of Rust’s tweet was a screenshot of Steam’s newly updated terms and conditions, which now explicitly ban “Applications built on blockchain technology that issue or allow exchange of cryptocurrencies or NFTs.”

As The Verge points out, the new ban is not currently reflected across Steam’s swathe of legal notices and documents; though it’s on the distributor’s Rules and Guidelines page under “What you shouldn’t publish on Steam,” it’s not yet on the page that lists requirements for developers who want to sell their games on Steam.

Tubefilter has reached out to Valve, the video game developer/publisher that operates Steam, for comment on its decision. We’ll update this story with any new information.

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With A Year Of Shorts Under Its Belt, YouTube Is Still Figuring Out Creator Monetization

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One year ago, YouTube debuted the first public version of its TikTok copycat, Shorts. Between then and now, the platform expanded Shorts to all YouTube users around the globe, launched a $100 million fund to pay some of the users making content for it, and saw the average number of daily first-time creators uploading videos to Shorts more than double.

So, what has it learned?

In a “one year of Shorts” wrap-up posted today, YouTube said the past twelve months has taught it to focus on three key aspects of development: “building a creation experience that empowers anyone to create and find an audience; refining our viewer experience to make sure we’re helping people find Shorts that they’ll love and discover new creators; and determining more ways we can reward creators for the Shorts they make that delight the YouTube community.”

“Reward,” of course, refers to monetization–understandably a topic of concern for creators, especially those who’ve been raking in hundreds of millions or even billions of views a months with their Shorts content, all without compensation.

Kevin Ferguson, YouTube’s director of global operations and partnerships for Shorts, told Variety that the $100 million Shorts Fund “is the first-stop solution” for monetizing Shorts content.

“We are working on a long-term business model,” he said. “We are lightly testing ad formats right now.”

In its wrap-up post, YouTube said it plans to “[bring] together past, present, and emerging paths to monetization.” It also said that since launching the Shorts Fund, it has “invited thousands of creators to receive a payment.”

YouTube has not disclosed exactly how much it pays creators, but it has said they can earn between $100 and $10,000 monthly. The amount is based on the engagement their Shorts generate. (And Shorts are getting a lot of engagement: Collectively, Shorts videos generate more than 15 billion views per day, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said during Alphabet‘s latest quarterly report.)

It’s worth noting that YouTube treats monetization eligibility for Shorts completely differently than monetization for long-form content.

With long-form content, creators have to be part of the YouTube Partner Program to earn revenue from the ads run on their videos. Shorts creators, however, can get a slice of the fund without being in YPP–and without partaking in all the strings and/or benefits that come with the program, including having more direct contact with YouTube staff for help with any issues.

That might change in the future, though.

“We are dealing with the next generation of mobile creators,” Ferguson told Variety. “We are figuring out how we partner-manage these folks.”

YouTube highlighted a handful of fast-growing creators in its one-year look-back, including DankScole and Katie Feeney, two of the folks we here at Tubefilter have featured in our Creators on the Rise series.

The wrap-up also ran down a list of more things that could change for Shorts in the future, including more separation between Shorts content and long-form content; updates to Shorts’ audio picker so creators will be able to search music genres or bookmark sounds they like; a “new, more precise text timeline editor”; and allowing users to pluck more sounds from long-form YouTube videos that they can then remix and include in their Shorts.

You can read the full wrap-up here.

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TikTok Activist Amelie Zilber Dropping Brat-Produced Facebook Show

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TikTok model and activist Amelie Zilber has landed a new roundtable talk show at Facebook, following a growing line of TikTokers launching longer-form ventures on the social network in collaboration with digital studio Brat.

Don’t @ Me, bowing on Oct. 21, will see Zilber sit down with a panel of Gen Z activists — including Vanessa Pena, Zahra, and Taylor Cassidy — to discuss the biggest issues facing today’s youth. Each of the 11 episodes will touch on a different topic — from voter registration to racial discrimination to climate change. Panelists will also delve into their personal experiences and answer questions via DM.

Don’t @ Me, directed by Fay Robles, will air across Facebook’s family of apps, including Instagram and Messenger‘s Watch Together tool.

Nineteen-year-old Zilber has more than 10 million followers across social media — including 7 million on TikTok alone. Zilber also writes an eight-year-old weekly newsletter titled Two Minute Times, has collaborated with myriad voting nonprofits, worked with the Biden-Harris campaign, and serves as a youth ambassador for UNICEF.

Brat, the Gen Z-focused digital studio behind Chicken Girls, has raised over $45 million in venture funding and says it is on track to clock $35 million in revenues this year. Brat operates a pact with Facebook to produce a dozen creator-driven series, including Random Acts Of Magic with SeanDoesMagic and The Shluv Family.

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TikTok Activist Amelie Zilber Dropping Brat-Produced Facebook Watch Show

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TikTok model and activist Amelie Zilber has landed a new roundtable talk show at Facebook Watch, following a growing line of TikTokers launching longer-form ventures on the social network in collaboration with digital studio Brat.

Don’t @ Me, bowing on Oct. 21, will see Zilber sit down with a panel of Gen Z activists — including Vanessa Pena, Zahra, and Taylor Cassidy — to discuss the biggest issues facing today’s youth. Each of the 11 episodes will touch on a different topic — from voter registration to racial discrimination to climate change. Panelists will also delve into their personal experiences and answer questions via DM.

Don’t @ Me, directed by Fay Robles, will air across Facebook’s family of apps, including Instagram and Messenger‘s Watch Together tool.

Nineteen-year-old Zilber has more than 10 million followers across social media — including 7 million on TikTok alone. Zilber also writes an eight-year-old weekly newsletter titled Two Minute Times, has collaborated with myriad voting nonprofits, worked with the Biden-Harris campaign, and serves as a youth ambassador for UNICEF.

Brat, the Gen Z-focused digital studio behind Chicken Girls, has raised over $45 million in venture funding and says it is on track to clock $35 million in revenues this year. Brat operates a pact with Facebook Watch to produce a dozen creator-driven series, including Random Acts Of Magic with SeanDoesMagic and The Shluv Family.

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TikTok Is Bringing In The Beatles

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The Beatles are back.

On TikTok, that is.

“Nearly 60 years after scoring their first-ever number one hit, The Beatles hold a special place in the hearts of music listeners across the globe,” the platform wrote in a company blog post. “This #Rocktober, we are thrilled to announce that the Fab Four have officially joined TikTok, bringing dozens of their most-beloved songs with them.”

Thanks to a deal with record labels Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe, TikTok has added 36 of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr’s songs to its sound library, which means creators will be able to use them in videos.

Also part of the deal is a Beatles TikTok account (@TheBeatles) that will have behind-the-scenes footage from the recording sessions of Let It Be, the foursome’s final studio album, along with “deep dives into the creation of individual songs, featuring interviews with Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr,” per TikTok.

Among the songs now available to TikTokers include “Get Back,” “Across the Universe,” “I’ve Got a Feeling,” “I Me Mine,” “The Long and Winding Road,” “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” “Eleanor Rigby,” and the iconic “Hey Jude.”

@thebeatlesThe Beatles. Now on TikTok. ##TheBeatles ##LetItBe♬ Get Back – 2021 Mix – The Beatles

The Beatles’ arrival on TikTok kicks off the aforementioned #Rocktober, the platform’s monthlong celebration of contemporary rock artists sharing their music on TikTok, “and the towering figures that paved the way for them,” TikTok says.

While this is the first time the Beatles’ music has come (officially) to TikTok, the band’s members have had individual presences on the platform. TikTok brought in Lennon’s solo catalog in October 2020, McCartney’s in December 2020, Starr’s in July 2021, and Harrison’s in August 2021.

And Lennon and Harrison aren’t the only late stars to have places on TikTok courtesy of deals with their record labels or estates. Frank Sinatra, Prince, Whitney Houston, and George Michael all have accounts that share footage from their lives and the music they made.

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YouTube Gives Rare Glimpse Into Massive ‘Creator Partnerships’ Team, Which Counsels 12,000 Resident Stars

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YouTube has provided a rare window into its in-house creator partnerships team, which works one-on-one with thousands of top creators to offer production advice as well as guidance in maximizing ads, brand deals, and other monetization prospects.

The team has been in the works for a decade, reports The Wall Street Journal, which turned a spotlight on the relationship between veteran creator Adande ‘Swoozie’ Thorne (7.6 million subscribers) and his manager, Audrey Eatherly. All told, YouTube has 1,000 creator partnerships managers across 45 countries who counsel resident stars, and it’s looking to hire more. (YouTube has roughly 10,000 employees in total). Each manager has a portfolio of about 10 to 20 creators, enabling the team to advise about 12,000 creators, according to the Journal.

“We’re texting with them at all days, all hours,” Jamie Byrne, YouTube’s senior director of creator partnerships, told the outlet. “We have a close connection.”

Thorne, for his part, was first given a partnerships manager in 2011, after he’d reached roughly 100,000 subscribers. At the time, he was concurrently offered a $3,500 gift card to purchase a new camera.

He began working with Eatherly, who handles top creator partnerships, in 2016, after he’d amassed 4 million subscribers. She subsequently helped land Thorne a six-figure deal that saw him host the YouTube Original design competition show Lace Up, and then hooked him up with a $100,000 grant to improve his channel operations. He used these funds to hire animators — including a Disney vet. When Thorne hit 7 million subscribers, Eatherly sent him his favorite meal, Fettuccine Alfredo from The Olive Garden — a testament to their bespoke connection.

Thorne told the Journal that his relationship with Eatherly was so productive that it led him to part ways with his talent agency, CAA. (While talent agencies typically take a cut of the deals that they help broker, the Journal notes, YouTube does not).

The Journal notes that while other platforms have similar teams dedicated to creators, they pale in comparison to the scale of YouTube’s. TikTok has dozens of strategists, for instance, while Instagram similarly has roughly 40 staffers dedicated to emerging talent.

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Addison Rae Quips It’s “Time To Get A Job” After Her TikTok Gets Temporarily Banned

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Addison ‘Rae’ Easterling joked late last night that it was “time to get a job” after her account was permanently banned due to “multiple violations” of TikTok’s Community Guidelines, per a screenshot shared to Twitter.

However, as of this morning, Easterling’s account was back up and running as normal. We’ve reached out to TikTok to see what happened, and will update this post with any additional information.

Notwithstanding the temporary blip, Easterling has done a stellar job of finding work outside of her flagship TikTok hub, which counts 85 million followers.

In addition to signing a multi-picture deal with Netflix following the success of her first film, the gender-swapped He’s All That reboot, Rae also forayed into music with the release of her debut single, “Obsessed,” in March. She also hosts a Spotify-exclusive podcast titled That Was Fun?, and is the proprietor of a cosmetics brand called Item Beauty.

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YouTube Millionaires: BENOFTHEWEEK On The Art Of “Thrifting For Ideas”

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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.

“Something old, something new” might be a weddingtime adage, but for Ben De Almeida, it’s working out just fine as a content strategy.

De Almeida, aka BENOFTHEWEEK, is 22–and, like most of Gen Z, he grew up watching YouTube. He was ten years old when he started uploading his own content, and 13 when he launched the channel that’s still his today. All that video-watching had “marinaded” him in the YouTube trends of the early 2010s, he says, so by the time he was ready to commit to being a content creator himself, he had a well of ideas ready to go.

That being said, it’s probably not surprising that a lot of De Almeida’s content-making happens on Omegle. For those who haven’t had the…experience, shall we say, of using it, Omegle is an anonymous text and video chat platform that randomly matches total strangers for conversations about anything and everything. It was founded in 2009 and has since been used for great and terrible things. (All joking aside, though, it has struggled with child safety issues.)

For De Almeida, Omegle is a double hit of nostalgia + the rest of his brand, which largely consists of prank calls, “hacking” Zoom meetings, and surprising people in general with high-octane antics. In the last year or so, De Almeida has taken to Omegle to terrorize people with his dog, terrorize people with jumpscares, (maybe?) meet a BTS member, and ask strangers for sausages.

Blending these attention-grabbing content concepts with oldies like Omegle (and teasing the videos on his TikTok account) has helped De Almeida’s channel grow from around 890,000 subscribers at the start of 2021 to, now, nearly 1.8 million.

Check out our chat with him below.

Tubefilter: How does it feel to hit one million subscribers? What do you have to say to your fans?

Ben De Almeida: It’s a crazy feeling. I’d always see my favorite YouTubers get to this point and wonder what would be going through their head. It’s super surreal, but a sort of validation for all the things that got me here. And by that, I mean anyone who’s ever supported me in any shape or form. They are 100% the people that I owe everything to.

Tubefilter: Tell us about you! Where are you from? What did you get up to before you started making digital content?

BDA: I’m from all over, but I started making videos when I was 10 and living in this little town in Canada. I genuinely didn’t have any other friends or hobbies (other than a LOT of Minecraft) so I just poured all my time into it.

Tubefilter: You launched your YouTube channel waaay way back in 2013, and have been uploading content pretty regularly for the past two years. But we see you’ve had some massive growth in views and subscribers in 2021. What happened that made your channel take off?

BDA: I actually had a less refined channel from 2010-2013 too! The content on there was about what you can expect from a 10-year-old. with unsupervised internet access. Starting TikTok in 2018 gave my channel a little bump in audience numbers, but it was 2020 where I learned to convert my TikTok audience to YouTube by giving little bites of videos on TikTok so people would check out the full YouTube video.

Tubefilter: How do you come up with ideas for videos? Do you keep an eye on what’s trending on YouTube? Do you ever take suggestions from viewers?

BDA: I feel like my brain has marinaded in a decade of YouTube trends, so I’ve learned that trends and challenges that were big in the early 2010s can be re-appropriated to make for an entertaining video in today’s age! It’s like thrifting for ideas.

Tubefilter: You balance making content for TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram. How often do you film/edit/etcetera for each platform? How do you manage your time? Walk us through the average day.

BDA: I can’t pretend like it’s easy or I’ve struck any type of balance. At least once a month, I’ll realize I’ve found myself a bit in over my head with the amount of content I have planned for the week. I do everything end to end from planning to filming to editing (minus my podcast, which I get help editing for). It’s a lot, but I’m constantly trying ways to finally strike a good time balance between everything.

Tubefilter: Do you have any strategies for growing your audience? Have you noticed any particular kind of content getting more traction than others? Do you adjust what you film depending on how your viewers react?

BDA: I find it super important to know who you are and what you bring to the table in terms of your content. The first eight years of me posting on YouTube I would just make whatever clickbait possible, thinking that’s what would bring people in. But I promise you that method gets you nowhere. Listening to what types of videos my subscribers want to see is crucial.

@benoftheweekI AM INNOCENT ‼‼‼‼‼‼‼‼ Stream the new series ##OneOfUsIsLying on @peacocktv ##partner♬ original sound – ben de almeida

Tubefilter: How do you make your videos stand out amidst all the noise on YouTube?

BDA: I really try and think, what do people genuinely want to see? What are things that people would laugh at that no one has really tried out?

Tubefilter: What’s your favorite part of making content?

BDA: Knowing that there’s at least someone out there who watches my video and has their day made from it. There’s been lots of creators throughout the years that have been that person for me, so knowing that my videos can have that effect is amazing.

Tubefilter: What’s next for you and your channel? Any plans looking to the future?

BDA: I have a lot of big ideas that I’ve been held back from executing due to the pandemic, but I am gearing up to bring them to life. A few other things for me, too, but I’m not sure if I can talk about them just yet!

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YouTube’s Election Conspiracies Ban Slashed Spread Of Misinformation On Twitter And Facebook, Too (Study)

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YouTube’s crackdown on misinformation about the 2020 U.S. presidential election had positive ripple effects on Twitter and Facebook, according to new research.

In November 2020, after early election results indicated Joe Biden would beat then-incumbent Donald Trump, accusations of vote tampering swarmed social media. Conspiracists spread claims that Democrat poll workers and mail-in voting handlers had dumped or changed Republican votes, or simply added fake Biden ballots, particularly in key states.

When Biden’s win was more firmly predicted by major news organizations, the accusations redoubled, and proponents resorted to claiming that Trump had won the election no matter what the vote counts said.

All of these claims at first spread largely unchecked on YouTube. The platform had touted its election misinformation policies, holding them up as efforts to “better support” democracy. But in the days following the election, it said its policies focused on suppressing content that misleads people about the mechanics of voting–things like polling dates and locations, and voter registration info. Lies about vote tampering weren’t covered, and neither were claims that one candidate had won when they really hadn’t.

Less than a month later, YouTube backpedaled, deciding that hey, those things maybe were serious election misinformation and deserved to be similarly banned.

That’s when things started to change on other platforms.

The amount of misinformation spread on Twitter and Facebook dwindled with each new YouTube policy

A study by the Center for Social Media and Politics at New York University found that on Dec. 8, the day YouTube finally banned election conspiracies, the amount of YouTube content used to spread conspiracies on Twitter “dropped sharply,” as The New York Times reports.

Before that date, around 30% of all election-related videos shared on Twitter were clips about election fraud that came straight from YouTube. Among the top-shared channels were Project Veritas, Right Side Broadcasting Network, and One America News Network.

By Dec. 21, less than 20% of election fraud claims on Twitter involved YouTube videos. And by Jan. 20–after YouTube’s Jan. 7 pronouncement that it would give a Community Guidelines strike to any channels that endorsed election misinformation–less than 5% was from YouTube.

That decrease didn’t only happen on Twitter. NYU’s study also showed that before YouTube cracked down on misinformation, 18% of all videos shared on Facebook contained election fraud. By Jan. 7, that figure was down to 4%.

As the Times lays out, NYU conducted this study by collecting a random sample of 10% of all tweets and Facebook posts each day. From that 10%, they isolated tweets/posts that contained YouTube links, and looked into whether the videos shared contained election misinformation.

Megan Brown, an NYU research scientist who worked on the study, told the Times that it’s possible YouTube’s crackdown simply eliminated many videos that would’ve been used to spread conspiracies on other platforms; however, it’s also important to note that interest in election misinformation might have dropped in December and January as Biden’s win became more and more concrete.

Overall, the study indicates “these platforms are deeply interconnected,” Brown said, and YouTube is “a huge part of the information ecosystem, so when YouTube’s platform becomes healthier, others do as well.”

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UTA Signs Fashion Influencer And Entrepreneur Marcel Floruss

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UTA has signed fashion influencer Marcel Floruss, whose mission is to help men tap into their sense of style, according to the talent agency.

Floruss is a blogger and vlogger, who counts 920,000 YouTube subscribers and 500,000 followers on Instagram. He will work with UTA globally in every facet of his career, including endorsements and other digital ventures.

Floruss launched his One Dapper Street blog and Instagram account in 2013, and subsequently launched his very own footwear brand, Ankari Floruss, in 2016. In 2017, he made the leap over to YouTube. Floruss was named to Forbes’ ’30 Under 30′ list last year, and has also strutted his stuff as on the runways of Milan Fashion Week.

Prior to launching his career as an influencer, Floruss was a model signed to New York Model Management. He graduated from FIT with a degree in fashion merchandising management.

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Computer Giant HP Names Bella Poarch Brand Ambassador For Gaming Gear

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HyperX, the gaming gear division of computer giant HP, has onboarded Bella Poarch as brand ambassador.

Poarch, who is the fourth most-followed TikTok creator with 84 million followers and a burgeoning music career, will star in ads debuting later this fall for the Quadcast S microphone. The ads will touch on Poarch’s love for gaming, music, and streaming. As part of the partnership, the 24-year-old will also be receiving free gaming headsets, keyboards, mice, mousepads, and microphones — and exclusively use this gear in any ensuing content.

“I’m loving the opportunity to bring my style and passion for life and music to the HyperX family,” Poarch said in a statement. “I bring my love for people to be happy and healthy in everything they do and look forward to sharing this with HyperX fans, family, and community.”

Starring alongside Poarch in the forthcoming microphone campaign are streamer YouTube streamer and esports commentator HungryBox, FaZe Clan founder FaZe Temperrr and member FaZe Faxuty, and basketballer Semi Ojeleya.

Other HyperX brand ambassadors include footballer JuJu Smith-Schuster, basketball players Gordon Hayward and Ariel Powers, tennis player Daniil Medvedev, ice hockey star Filip Forsberg, soccer pro Dele Alli, professional race car driver Sage Karam, and skateboarder Minna Stess.

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TikTok Removed 82 Million Videos, 9.6 Billion Fake Likes Between April And June

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In TikTok’s latest Community Guidelines Enforcement Report, the platform said that it removed nearly 82 million videos between April and June 2021 for violating its guidelines and/or terms of service.

That is less than 1% of the total videos uploaded to TikTok within those three months, Eric Han, TikTok’s head of U.S. safety, said in a company writeup of the report.

“Of those videos, we identified and removed 93.0% within 24 hours of being posted and 94.1% before a user reported them. 87.5% of removed content had zero views, which is an improvement since our last report (81.8%),” Han added.

More than 40% of the 81,518,334 videos TikTok removed were taken down due to violations of its very broad “minor safety” policy, which umbrellas everything from “harmful activities by minors” (aka underage drinking, smoking, or illegal drug-doing, plus dangerous pranks and stunts) to “grooming behavior” committed by adult users to nudity and sex.

Another 20.9% of videos were removed for “illegal activities and regulated goods,” 14% were removed for adult nudity and sex, 7.7% were removed for violent and graphic content, and 6.8% were removed for harassment and bullying.

In the report, TikTok noted that it’s rolling out automatic moderating tech that detects and removes “some categories of violative content.” Out of the 81,518,334 videos TikTok took down between April and June, 16,957,950 of them were removed by this tech.

Also worth mentioning are the 8,542,037 videos TikTok removed for fake activity and/or being posted by spam accounts. The platform’s report specifically mentions that it is working to “evolve and adapt our safeguards by investing in automated defenses to detect, block, and remove inauthentic accounts and engagement.”

As a result, the aforementioned videos were taken down, and TikTok additionally: stopped 148,759,987 fake accounts from being created; prevented 632,416,873 follow requests from fake accounts; terminated 71,935,583 fake accounts that successfully followed other users; prevented a whopping 9,612,942,242 likes from spam accounts; and “corrected” a further 91,812,066 fake likes that’d already been left on videos.

On top of removing violative user-generated content, TikTok rejected 1,829,219 advertisements for violating policies and guidelines, it said.

TikTok’s now letting livestream creators mute individual commenters

Han’s writeup revealed that TikTok is introducing an expanded anti-harassment featuring today. With this update, livestreamers (or their approved moderators) will be able to select individual commenters to mute for a few seconds, a few minutes, or the entire duration of the live stream.

Han also pointed out that TikTok says it’s continuing to crack down on antisemitism.

“As participants to the Malmö International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism, today we’re proud to reaffirm our commitment to combat antisemitic content on TikTok by continuing to strengthen our policies and enforcement actions,” he said. “We also want to keep expanding our work with NGOs and civil society groups so they can harness the power of TikTok to share their knowledge with new audiences, and direct our community to educational resources so they can learn about the Holocaust and modern-day antisemitism.”

You can read TikTok’s full report here.

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OG YouTube Comedy Brand Smosh Hires First Outside CEO

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Nineteen-year-old digital comedy brand Smosh, co-founded by YouTube OGs Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla (who left the company in 2017), has hired its first chief executive.

In a bid to grow its reach into traditional media, Smosh has tapped Daniel Tibbets, who most recently served as GM of the famed director Robert Rodriguez’s El Rey streaming platform, Deadline reports. Under Tibbets’ tutelage, Smosh will explore TV, live events, audio, publishing, and physical and digital games. Smosh is also moving into a new production studio space in Burbank in coming weeks.

Tibbets will report directly to Mythical co-founders Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal, per Deadline. Mythical, the parent company of the hit YouTube series Good Mythical Morning, acquired Smosh in Feb. 2019 for a reported $10 million. Prior to that, Smosh had been in something of a state of limbo, following the abrupt — and scandal-ridden — shutdown of parent company Defy Media in November 2018.

“Sixteen years of work in internet content, leading Smosh through so many changes in the digital business, has taught me a lot about what it takes to be a lasting brand on the internet,” Hecox said in a statement. “Daniel is just the person we need to take us into the future, and I can’t wait to see what we can do together, in digital and beyond.”

Prior to El Rey, Tibbets served as chief content officer for (now-defunct) gaming network Machinima, SVP of digital media for Bunim-Murray, and VP of production at 20th Television.

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Instagram Is Giving Creators A ‘Practice Mode’ For Their Live Streams

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Instagram has unveiled two new livestreaming tools for creators — a scheduling capability that enables Instagrammers to promote their broadcasts ahead of time, and a ‘Practice Mode’ that aims to help creators avoid any mishaps before going live.

Instagram Lives can now be scheduled up to 90 days in advance, Techcrunch reports — a feature that has long already existed on YouTube, TikTok, and Facebook. Available to all creators globally, creators can promote future live streams via Stories and Feed posts, with a call-to-action for followers to set reminders.

Next, Practice Mode allows creators to join guests ahead of a scheduled event to test their connections and lighting, as well as manage any other pre-show prep that may be necessary. Instagram told Techcrunch that this feature has been highly requested by creators.

Live scheduling is available now, while Practice Mode will roll out “soon,” Instagram said.

The Live tools arrive amid other changes to video at Instagram. Earlier this month, the company announced that it was doing away with the IGTV brand by combining IGTV videos and feed videos into a single format that will henceforth be known as Instagram Video.

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MrBeast Burger’s Latest Creator Collab Is A Limited-Time MoistCr1TiKaL Melt

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MrBeast Burger is serving up its second creator collaboration.

The delivery-only fast food concept, which launched in December 2020 and is now served out of more than 1,000 restaurants across the U.S. and Canada, has partnered with variety YouTuber MoistCr1TiKaL (9.19 million subscribers) to offer its first melt, Moist Cheese.

Jokingly billed by MoistCr1TiKaL as “the only sandwich that’s guaranteed to make you more attractive,” Moist Cheese comes with chopped, seasoned ground beef, caramelized onions, American cheese, sliced tomato, iceberg lettuce, mayonnaise, and hot sauce on a toasted roll.

The melt joins a myriad of other MrBeast Burger menu items, most designed by and named after prominent members of MrBeast’s YouTube crew. There are Beast Style, Chandler Style, and Chris Style burgers, as well as Karl’s Grilled Cheese and Beast Style fries (topped with caramelized onions, American cheese, pickles, mayo, ketchup, and mustard).

Night Media, the Dallas- and Los Angeles-based talent management company that represents MrBeast, tells Tubefilter that Moist Cheese is a limited-time item available at all MrBeast Burger locations starting today.

This collaboration follows MrBeast Burger’s April partnership with Minecraft YouTuber Dream (26.6 million). That team-up brought out the limited-edition Dream Burger, a double cheeseburger with lettuce, mayonnaise, double pickles, and extra bacon, plus smashed avocado.

MrBeast Burger delivers via Uber Eats, SkipTheDishes, and DoorDash–and it’s just one of many virtual eateries and ghost kitchens that have sprung up during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you want to know more about what’s up with creator-founded food brands, you can check out Tubefilter’s report on them below:

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100 Thieves’ First Acquisition Is Boutique Keyboard Startup Higround

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100 Thieves has made its first acquisition.

The creator-founded esports, streaming, and apparel organization announced today that it has acquired Higround, a startup that produces luxe, often limited-edition keyboards and keycaps.

For those unfamiliar with 100 Thieves, it was founded by former Call of Duty pro Matthew Haag in 2017. To date, the org has raised more than $60 million from investors like Scooter Braun, Jeffrey Katzenberg’s WndrCo, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, and Drake. It operates out of a 15,000-square-foot Culver City headquarters, which opened earlier this year thanks to 100 Thieves’ deal with title sponsor Cash App.

Higround, meanwhile, was cofounded by gaming hardware collectors Rustin Sotoodeh and Kha Lu in 2020. The company is reminiscent of buzzy, drop-based brands like MSCHF and Supreme: it puts out new, graphics-heavy products every month, often in collaboration with big names like Beats by Dre and Complex.

In a press release, 100 Thieves said it plans to “serve as an accelerator” for Higround.

Haag told The Verge that 100 Thieves plans to have Higround continue operating as a fully independent company.

“What we want to help Higround do is just accelerate their growth,” he said. “We don’t want to take over their identity, we don’t want to go too far deep into 100 Thieves injecting its DNA into Higround.”

Sotoodeh added that with 100 Thieves’ support, Higround hopes to expand beyond limited-quantity drops to producing more items that’ll always be available in the company’s digital storefront. (Higround appears to currently have one non-drop item on offer, its Sandstone/Skystone keyboard, but that’s sold out at press time. The other two keyboards in its shop are from its collab with Complex. All three retail for $135 each.)

Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.

The companies did, however, reveal that to mark their new partnership, they will release a “special product capsule” comprising a hoodie and custom keyboard. That capsule will go on sale in Higround’s shop on Oct. 15 at 3 p.m. Eastern.

Asked if 100 Thieves is eyeing any more acquisitions, Haag told The Verge, “Right now, Higround is the main focus, and we’re excited to invest all of our resources and all of our time into helping them succeed. And then we’ll see what comes down the road in the future.”

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Top 50 Most Viewed U.S. YouTube Channels • Week Of 10/11/2021

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[Editor’s Note: Tubefilter Charts is a weekly rankings column from Tubefilter with data provided by GospelStats. It’s exactly what it sounds like; a top number ranking of YouTube channels based on statistics collected within a given time frame. Check out all of our Tubefilter Charts with new installments every week right here.]

Scroll down for this week’s Tubefilter Chart.

This week’s ranking of the top 50 most-viewed U.S.-based channels on YouTube was a little tighter than usual, but at the end of the day, the channels are able to consistently generate hundreds of millions of weekly views wound up in the chart’s highest positions.

A popular gaming hub and a YouTube Shorts standout paced the field, with many other similar channels following right behind them.

Chart Toppers

LankyBox is #1 again. The home of creators Justin and Adam continued its dominance of our U.S. top 50 by utilizing its typical varied blend of formats, categories, and videos. Between its gaming Let’s Plays, its YouTube Shorts clips, and its comedic sketches, LankyBox accumulated 315.8 million weekly views. That’s a 27% lower total than the one LankyBox posted seven days ago, but it’s still high enough to claim the top spot in our U.S. ranking.

SMOL, last week’s U.S. #1, dropped back to #2. The YouTube Shorts content producer, which is benefiting from YouTube’s promotion of its TikTok competitor, snagged 302.9 million weekly views in our latest count. It also surpassed two million subscribers — not a bad total for a channel whose videos rarely run longer than a few seconds.

With 256.7 million weekly views, the Ukrainian-American channel Kids Diana Show picked up third place in our U.S. top 50. The channel’s young stars, Diana and her brother Roma, continue to star in popular vlogs that are appropriate for young children. Those videos have now collected more than 63 billion views to date.

SportsNation is this week’s U.S. #4. Like the top two channels in the chart, this one focuses its efforts on YouTube Shorts, where its athletic clips are quite popular. Bolstered, perhaps, by a busy time in the sporting calendar — there are MLB playoff games, NFL Sundays, and international soccer matches happening at the same time — SportsNation picked 195.6 million weekly views to reach its current chart position.

Vlad and Niki rounded out this week’s U.S. top five. The family vlog, which has Russian roots, added 181.3 million weekly views to its lifetime total and moved up two spots from the position it occupied last week.

Top Gainers

Bobby Parrish is a professional chef who has written a cookbook that promotes the keto diet. On YouTube, his FlavCity channel is a great resource for any chef who needs tips on cooking a chicken breast. These days, how ever, the principal star of FlavCity isn’t Parrish — it’s his two-year-old daughter.

FlavCity offers both short-form and long-form videos, but the channel’s recent success has been driven by the former clips. Over our most-recent seven-day measurement period, Parrish’s channel picked up 78.9 million weekly views, which allowed it to reach 33rd place in our U.S. top 50. FlavCity’s latest seven-day viewership represents a 7% week-over-week uptick, and it is helping Parrish grow his channel, as he’s closing in on two million subscribers.

When you examine FlavCity’s success, the role of Parrish’s two-year-old becomes evident. The channel’s seven most-watched videos are all native to YouTube Shorts and all feature her. One clip, in which she drives an adorable toddler-sized cart around a supermarket, has picked up more than 53 million views.

Yes, there are a few things that will always be true: Adorable two-year-olds will always do well on YouTube, and everyone’s gotta eat. Parrish has combined those two truths splendidly, and FlavCity is thriving as a result.

Gospel Stats provides transparent social media stats you can trust. For more information visit GospelStats.com.

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Creators On The Rise: Ellen & Brian’s K-Pop Dance Covers Are Turning Their Channel Into A Chart-Topper

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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. 

Here’s something you probably know: K-pop is everywhere.

If you’ve been on the internet, turned on any music awards show, or pulled through a McDonald‘s at any point in the last year, you’ve come face to face with the BTS boys, who at this point are among the best-selling music artists in the world (their latest album, Be, almost instantly went platinum). And if you’ve been tapped into what’s happening on YouTube, you’ll have seen the latest tracks and music videos from BTS and fellow Korean groups like Blackpink absolutely dominating viewership records, beating out past holders like Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande.

But official videos aren’t the only traction K-pop’s getting on YouTube. Fan videos drive significant view counts, too–especially when they’re made by talented artists.

Enter Ellen and Brian, a recently married creator couple who went from co-captaining their high school dance squad to scooping up tens of millions of views for their K-pop dance covers.

Ellen and Brian are both Chinese American, and technically met way back in 2006, while attending an international middle school in Shanghai. It wasn’t until they joined their high school dance squad, however, that they actually started to notice one another. By their senior year, they were co-captaining the troupe, and though they separated for four long years at different colleges (Ellen at UCLA and Brian at the University of Richmond), they came right back together once their degrees were in hand.

That was when they joined YouTube.

At the time, Ellen was already a K-pop fan. Brian was slower to come around, but eventually he too came to dig the “music, eye-catching performances, dance choreography, trendy fashion, and group dynamics within each K-pop artist group,” the couple says. Expressing that enthusiasm with dance was a natural continuation of their co-captaining–and a way for them to destress, since they both had full-time jobs. Taking their dance covers to YouTube also felt natural: the platform seemed like the place “where all the high-quality and timeless content belongs,” they say.

Ellen and Brian’s view and subscriber counts soared in September. Monthly data from Gospel Stats.

Since 2017, Ellen and Brian have uploaded nearly 300 videos, the vast majority of which are dance covers of chart-topping K-pop hits (and the vast majority of which are not monetizable; we go into monetization and the challenges cover artists face in depth here). By May 2021, their channel had accumulated 2.6 million subscribers and their videos had tallied more than 244 million views collectively.

Those figures are impressive, but they aren’t what put Ellen and Brian on our own charts at Gospel Stats. Instead, a single video boosted their monthly viewership by more than 1,150%. The 44-second clip, like the rest of the couple’s content, featured K-pop. But it wasn’t a dance video–it was about Brian styling his hair.

To date, that upload (posted Aug. 25) has brought in more than 74 million views. It helped boost their channel from 5.6 million views and 20,000 new subscribers in August to 70 million views and 150,000 new subscribers in September. In the first week of October alone, Ellen and Brian gained an additional 20,000 subscribers and 12 million more views.

So, has their sudden rise in engagement changed things for them? Do they have any new career goals? What do they think their future holds?

To find out, check out our chat with them below.

Tubefilter: Tell us a little about the two of you! Where are you from? How did you meet?

Ellen and Brian: We are Ellen Min and Brian Li, a married Chinese American couple living in Los Angeles. Ellen was born in Philadelphia, while Brian was born in Reno, Nevada, and grew up in California. During our childhood, we both moved to Shanghai, China, with our respective families and attended an international American school there, which is where we met each other.

Tubefilter: Your channel bio mentions that you started dancing together in 2010. What’s the story there? Were you part of the same dance troupe?

E&B: We actually met each other in 2006, since we were in the same classes in middle school. However, we barely talked to each other. We then joined the same high school varsity dance team in 2010 and started dancing with each other. Two years later, we were both co-captains and running the dance team together, which is how we got really close to each other.

Tubefilter: What made you decide to start a YouTube channel together? Why did you choose YouTube over other platforms? What made it seem like the “right” place to share your stuff?

E&B: We always had a passion for dancing and creating content since we were young. After we graduated college (Ellen went to UCLA and Brian went to University of Richmond) and started living together in L.A. in 2017, we were eager to put out dance/lifestyle/K-pop-related content on YouTube and wanted to grow the channel together.

The reason why we chose YouTube is because we felt like that’s where all the high-quality and timeless content belongs (no matter the language or the length of the content) and where it could reach the most people globally. We also love the fact that all the content on YouTube can be easily searched up at any time (as opposed to a running feed where older content may be difficult to find). We always watch YouTube during our free time, so it was a no-brainer for us that we would start building our channel there.

Tubefilter: Your biggest videos all have to do with K-pop. What turned you two into K-pop fans and made you decide to start doing K-pop dance covers?

E&B: Ellen became a K-pop fan in 2009 after falling in love with Girls’ Generation’s “Gee” and “Genie.” When we started dating, Brian wasn’t a K-pop fan yet. Ellen would always show Brian all the latest K-pop songs/dances/trends, and Brian eventually hopped on the K-pop train as well due to Ellen’s influence. We both love K-pop for its music, eye-catching performances, dance choreography, trendy fashion, and group dynamics within each K-pop artist group.

Because of her interest in both dance and K-pop, Ellen initially started doing K-pop dance covers by herself in high school; then she attended UCLA and founded UCLA’s first K-pop dance team. After Ellen graduated, we thought it was the best time for both of us to do K-pop dance covers together, since we were finally done with four years of long-distance and both had a common interest in this. We both had full-time jobs at the time (not related to dance/K-pop), so starting a YouTube channel together and filming K-pop dance covers was our hobby and our way to destress.

Tubefilter: Sometimes we have to ask creators which video sent their channel’s view count skyrocketing, but with yours, it’s pretty clear. What inspired Brian’s clip about styling his hair like a K-pop idol? Did you expect it to take off the way it did?

E&B: Since our content emphasizes K-pop fashion a lot, we often get questions from fans about hairstyling/makeup/outfits. Brian was always into hair styling, and COVID-19 has taught him how to cut his own hair at home. We thought it would be nice to showcase a little bit of that via a Short, and we have also always wanted to do more lifestyle-related content. We were totally not expecting the video to do that well. It was extremely mind-boggling how the views just skyrocketed like that.

Tubefilter: That clip isn’t the only Short you’ve made. You’ve recently started uploading short-form videos in addition to longer-form content. What effect has Shorts had on your channel? Do you think you’ll continue to make Shorts content? Are you still more focused on long-form?

E&B: Being able to do more Shorts on our channel has allowed us to do a wider range of content that we previously wouldn’t have thought of doing. This includes doing more short dance videos, incorporating more lifestyle content, being creative/trying new things, and just doing anything that we wouldn’t really post if it were to be a long-form video. We think it is the perfect way to integrate more content as a supplement to our long-form content. It also shows our subscribers and viewers different sides of us. While our long-form content will still be our main focus, we will definitely continue to do more Shorts, since they help our channel grow and help ourselves explore more and be more creative as creators.

Tubefilter: Can you talk a little bit about your production process? How long does it take you to create the average video, from conception to upload?

E&B: Typically, our usual dance cover videos take four to ten days to produce. It takes about one to two days to learn a whole dance to a song that we want to cover and another few days to practice and fine-tune the details on every move while also putting together multiple outfits for each video. The filming day is the most exhausting day because our filming (from doing makeup and hair, getting dressed, filming and dancing each section multiple times, to finishing the last cut) usually goes from around 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. the next morning. Ellen works full-time, so we always film at night, and that also keeps the lighting consistent throughout filming (for editing purposes). The day after filming, Brian usually spends about three to 12 hours editing the video.

Tubefilter: How do you two split channel responsibilities? Do each of you handle specific things–like editing, uploading, answering business inquiries, and so on–or do you split tasks?

E&B: Since Ellen works full-time (unrelated to our content/YouTube channel), Brian does majority of the work for our YouTube channel. We have completely different work styles and we are good at different things, so we split the work pretty nicely. Ellen does all the planning, scheduling, pre-production work (choosing what songs/dances to do, what kind of outfits to wear, how to plan the transitions within each video, etc). Brian does all the actual production work, including setting up the cameras and lighting, as well as editing everything. Brian also handles all the business inquiries and brand deals, and we usually talk through everything so we are both on the same page.

Tubefilter: Has your recent engagement uptick changed anything for you professionally? Do you have any new plans or goals for your content career?

E&B: The recent growth in our channel didn’t change much for us professionally. Ellen still works full-time in academia, and Brian quit his job last year to pursue YouTube/dancing/content creation as a full-time job. However, due to music copyright issues, all of our dance videos (covers and tutorials) are copyrighted and not monetizable, which makes it hard to be a full-time dance creator. We plan to continue to make more dance content while exploring more lifestyle content in the future to be able to capture a bigger audience as we grow our channel.

Tubefilter: What’s your favorite part of making content as a whole?

E&B: Our favorite part of making content is the ability to create something unique, something that we’re proud of, and something that we can share with others around the world. We love the process of working on the content together as a couple and also enjoy seeing everyone’s reactions, love, and support when each video goes live.

Tubefilter: What’s next in the immediate future for you and your channel? Where do you see yourself in five years?

E&B: We are always trying to improve our content in various aspects, including having better production, better dancing, better styling, etcetera. We have been focusing on quality over quantity, so we hope to continue this focus in the near future while also making sure we have a good work-life balance. In five years, we hope to still do dance and K-pop-related content on our channel while also putting out more lifestyle content, as we probably will have children by that time! 🙂

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Source: TubeFilter.com