YouTube, TikTok Comedian Caroline Ricke Signs With UTA (Exclusive)

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Content creator and comedian Caroline Ricke has signed with United Talent Agency for representation in all areas.

The 21-year-old YouTuber and TikToker began building a following in 2020, after she went viral for a satirical vlog series about being accepted into–and then dropping out of–Harvard. The videos provided a springboard for the creation of Ricke’s signature alter-ego, “Rich Caroline.”

Her YouTube channel (330K subscribers) and TikTok account (2.7 million) now chronicle the scripted, retro-glitzy adventures of brutally honest, Elle Woods-esque Rich Caroline, from her time as a millionaire in quarantine to flexing her oversized closet to Haute Lunch, a totally professional cooking show “for all you losers who get below-average grades at your below-average schools.”

@richcarolinehaute lunch w @toborowitz♬ original sound – Caroline Ricke

UTA will work with Ricke as she expands her clothing and jewelry line, Spicy Girl, and develops her weekly podcast Don’t Be Ugly.

Since signing with the agency, Ricke has sealed brand deals with Netflix and American Eagle. She’s also partnered with Tinder, Chipotle, Beats by Dre, and Lululemon.

Ricke continues to be managed by Ogo at Thirteenth.

Header photo by SJ Spreng.

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Amid ‘Spotlight’ Rollout, Snap Elevates Ben Schwerin To SVP Of Content And Partnerships

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Snap has reorganized its content team, promoting longtime exec Ben Schwerin to the role of SVP of content and partnerships, where he will oversee all related efforts globally.

As part of the reorg, Snap chief strategy officer Jared Grusd — who joined the company from HuffPost roughly two years ago — is departing in order to serve Snap in an advisory capacity focused on long-term strategies, Variety reports. The new roles were first reported by The Information.

Schwerin has been at Snapchat’s parent company for six years, most recently as VP of partnerships. In his new role, he will also lead Snap’s games, talent, and AR creator partnerships teams. Reporting to Schwerin, per Variety, will be: head of original content Sean Mills; senior director of content, business, and operations David Brinker; director of content strategy Mike DiBenedetto; and managing director of international markets Nana Murugesan.

The restructuring arrives amid the November launch of Spotlight — a new platform within Snapchat that rewards top creators with a total of $1 million — split up between top performers — each day. (Snapchat hasn’t yet disclosed how it chooses to parcel out the daily $1 million, nor how many creators are paid, or what the average payout is). That said, Variety reports that Snap is looking to hire a senior exec to oversee Spotlight, who will also report to Schwerin.

While details remain relatively scant, Spotlight is looking wildly lucrative to some users, having paid out more than $50 million in total to over 1,000 creators to date. In a recent episode of his podcast, Views, the popular creator David Dobrik disclosed that he’d pocketed $103,000 in a week from posting three or four videos to Spotlight. A guest on Views, the 19-year-old TikToker Cam Casey, says he’s made a cool $2.7 million on Spotlight thus far.

“Ben has been a part of our team for six years and he has done a wonderful job building our partnerships around the world across sports, music, media, and creators,” Snap CEO Evan Spiegel told Variety in a statement. “Most recently, we’re really excited with the growth we’ve seen in Snap Kit, games, and AR.”

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Some Creators Are Making Millions Uploading Videos To Snapchat’s Spotlight

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When Snapchat’s new short video platform, Spotlight, launched Nov. 23, it made an intriguing promise: Each day, it would divvy up at least $1 million amongst the makers of its most popular content.

Since then, it’s paid out more than $50 million total to over 1,000 creators–and it plans to continue the million-a-day initiative for the foreseeable future, it tells Tubefilter.

Snapchat says it intends to release metrics about the payouts soon, but for now, it doesn’t disclose much about them. We don’t know how it determines which creators make “top” videos, or what formula is used to parcel out the daily million (are creators paid per view? Per watch time?). We also don’t know how many creators are paid each day, or what the average payout is.

What we do know are specific amounts some creators have made. Longtime digital creator and burgeoning entrepreneur David Dobrik featured Spotlight in his podcast Views this week, and during the episode disclosed that he made $103,000 in a week from posting three or four videos to the platform. His guest for the episode, 19-year-old TikToker Cam Casey, has been uploading to Spotlight since November, and estimates he’s made a cool $2.7 million thus far.

“Bro, isn’t that f-cking insane? That makes no sense,” Dobrik said, after hearing the figure. “No one knows about this.”

Casey elaborated to the The New York Times, explaining that he joined Spotlight as a whim. His first contribution was a classic Coke bottle explosion–a premade video already in his camera roll. A few days after he posted it, Snapchat informed him the video was popular enough that his slice of the daily $1 million would amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Now, Casey floods Spotlight with new videos, sometimes uploading as many as 120 per day.

Other creators who talked to the Times cited diverse figures: two made upward of $1 million, one made around $100,000, and one, 19-year-old Dax Newman, made $30,000. Newman praised Spotlight’s system, saying, “You don’t have to ask to be paid, you don’t have to join any program, you just post a video and if it does well you get paid.”

TikTok, the platform Spotlight was created to challenge, also pays creators to post content. But its $200 million fund requires creators to apply, and they’re only accepted if they have 10,000+ followers, 10,000+ video views in the last 30 days, and “an account that fits with our TikTok Community Guidelines and terms of service.”

Spotlight, however, just requires that creators be over 16 and located in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, or France.

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The Dolan Twins, With 11 Million Subscribers, Resign From YouTube To Pursue Other Ventures

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In the latest episode of their Deeper With The Dolan Twins podcast, Ethan and Grayson Dolan announced that they are moving on from their flagship YouTube channel, which counts 10.7 million subscribers.

The identical twins, 21, launched the venture roughly seven years ago, but are now throwing in the towel, stating that the platform has started to feel somewhat stale and limiting, and that they are no longer interested in appeasing the YouTube algorithm. The guys have announced brief hiatuses in the past due to waning creative inspiration.

“We are not moving on from YouTube because we have a lack of appreciation for you guys. Your support over the past seven years of our lives — I can’t even explain the level of appreciation I have for you,” Grayson said. Nevertheless, while it was the aim of their channel to spread positivity, he notes fans have sensed that they weren’t necessarily feeling positive in recent months, and that their hearts weren’t in their work.

Ethan shared that the guys still plan to produce new podcast episodes every week — which live on a separate YouTube channel (161,000 subscribers) — while they hope to move onto bigger, better, and more challenging forms of digital video production. In the past, for instance, the Dolans have directed music videos (for the Australian band Cub Sport’s song “Hawaiian Party) and a feature-length documentary (Losing A Best Friend, about the loss of their father, Sean, to cancer). They haven’t specified as of yet what the new projects will entail.

In addition to their media ventures, the brothers own a scent brand called Wakeheart, which vends both personal fragrances and candles.

You can check out the twins’ hourlong meditation on why they’ve opted to step away from YouTube below:

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Newly-Formed ‘Group Nine Acquisition Corp.’ Prices $200 Million IPO, Kicking Off Today

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Group Nine Media is launching its initial public offering process today.

The digital media conglomerate last month formed a new entity called Group Nine Acquisition Corp., which is a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, through which it will conduct its IPO.

SPACs are blank-check companies created solely to raise capital through an IPO for the purpose of acquiring another company — in this case, Group Nine Media. At the same time, Variety notes that Group Nine has said it plans to acquire other businesses in the digital media space as part of the process, though it hasn’t specified any targets.

As part of the public offering today, Group Nine Acquisition Corp. (GNAC) is offering 20 million total shares, each priced at $10, for gross proceeds of $200 million. Group Nine will trade on the NASDAQ under the ‘GNACU‘ ticker symbol.

GNAC will continue to be led by Group Nine Media CEO Ben Lerer (pictured above), while Brian Sugar — who serves as president of Group Nine Media — will serve as GNAC’s president and director. Group Nine CFO Sean Macnew will serve in the same role at GNAC. And as part of the deal, Immigration Capital co-founder and partner Richard Parsons and Reddit COO Jen Wong will join GNAC’s board of directors.

Five-year-old Group Nine Media was formed with a $100 million investment from Discovery, and today comprises popular digital brands like Thrillist, NowThis, The Dodo, Seeker, and PopSugar, which it purchased last year in an all-stock deal. The SPAC process is one that is also being used by micro-video platform Triller for its own public offering.

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Netflix’s First Inclusion Report Lays Out Its Diversity Efforts, Shortfalls, Goals

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Netflix’s first company inclusion report revealed women comprise 47% of its global senior leadership, and that 46% of its U.S.-based staffers are from marginalized racial and/or ethnic backgrounds.

“The company added inclusion as a cultural value in 2017, but here’s what we found: we weren’t as great as we thought we were, or aspired to be,” Vernā Myers, Netflix’s VP of inclusion strategy, wrote in the report. The document breaks down Netflix’s diversity efforts, accomplishments, shortfalls, and future goals using data from October 2020, when it had around 8,000 full-time employees.

Myers’ 17-person inclusion team has spent the past two years spearheading initiatives focused on “building a foundation, sowing the seeds for inclusion to take root” within Netflix, she said.

These efforts include creating a training program to help recruiters hire more diversely, designing a tech bootcamp for students at the historically Black Norfolk University, and partnering with organizations like /dev/color, techqueria, Ghetto Film School, and TalentoTotal to help Netflix leadership network with diverse communities and potential future employees.

The team specifically zeroed in on improving Netflix’s hiring of Black, Latinx, LGBTQ+, and Asian-American candidates, Myers said. Possibly as a result, the number of U.S.-based Black employees at Netflix has doubled in the past three years, per its report. Black folks now account for 8% of Netflix’s workforce, and 9% of its leadership. (“Leadership” is defined as director-level and above.)

from Netflix

For folks already working at Netflix, the company has established 15 employee resource groups for transgender, Jewish, disabled, Black, immigrant, veteran, and several other marginalized or struggling communities, Myers said. Netflix describes the groups as a way for staffers to “create space to connect on their shared experiences.”

Myers and her team also brought in experts throughout 2020 to talk to employees about traumatic events like the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. More than 5,600 employees attended speeches from people like Dr. Robin DiAngelo, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Brittney Cooper, and YK Hong, she said.

But, she added, “We have so much more work to do.”

Moving forward, Netflix “could do a much better job at recruiting Hispanic or Latinx and other underrepresented folks into all areas of our company, particularly our leadership,” Myers wrote.

Netflix additionally has committed to improving inclusion outside the U.S.–something it started in September 2020 by hiring former Spotify exec Cassi Mecchi as its first director of inclusion for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. It plans to add inclusion team members in the Asia Pacific and Latin America regions this year.

The company’s last goal is to regularly measure its overall “inclusion health” by checking in more with current employees. “Hiring is important, for sure, but so is retention, promotion, tenure, and compensation among underrepresented colleagues,” Myers said.

You can see the full report here.

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Ellen Digital Ventures Names Online Video Veteran Nathan Brown General Manager

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Ellen Digital Ventures (EDV), the seven-year-old digital arm of Ellen DeGeneres’ multimedia empire that marks a joint venture with Warner Bros., has tapped veteran digital media executive Nathan Brown as its new general manager.

Brown will lead strategic vision and assume financial responsibility for EDV, overseeing owned-and-operated sites like EllenTube as well as DeGeneres’ robust social media presence as well as her mobile games empire. He will also manage on EDV’s podcasting efforts and increase its presence in the ecommerce realm, the company said.

Variety notes that Brown succeeds Michael Riley, who departed EDV last fall to join Netflix as VP and global head of editorial and publishing. Brown will now report to WB Unscripted Television, the EDV board, and work in close collaboration with The Ellen DeGeneres Show‘s executive producers on the television side: Mary Connelly, Andy Lassner, and Derek Westervelt.

“We spent some time looking for the right mix of digital leadership, creativity, people management, and an understanding of his hugely important platform and the Ellen brand,” Mike Darnell, the president of Warner Bros. Unscripted Television, said in a statement. “From the first meeting, Nathan hit all of those marks and blew us away with his sheer passion and excitement.”

Brown counts over 20 years of experience as a digital media executive and entrepreneur, most recently as the co-founder and CEO of the AR and VR startup Tomorrow Never Knows. He also previously served as chief business officer at the mobile and experiential digital studio Tactic, the president of Discovery-owned Seeker, GM and SVP of video for The Huffington Post, and GM of video and TV for Complex Media.

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Indonesian Government Prioritizes Influencers — Alongside Healthcare Workers — In COVID Vaccine Rollout

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In order to combat reluctance surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Indonesia, the government has reportedly made social influencers a priority class in terms of receiving their shots.

Indonesia, which is the world’s fourth most populous country and the hardest hit by coronavirus in Southeast Asia, Reuters reports, tapped the influencer and TV personality Raffi Ahmad to receive his vaccine at the Merdeka Palace (one of six presidential palaces in Jakarta) alongside president Joko Widodo — who is no stranger to social media himself as the proprietor of his very own YouTube channel.

One of the country’s senior health ministers, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, tells Reuters that the government opted to include influencers in the first round of incoluations alongside the country’s 1.5 million healthcare workers as a communications strategy, to convince hesitant citizens to get their shots.

Ahmad, 33, chronicled his vaccination experience on his Instagram account (pictured above with Widodo), where he counts a staggering 49 million followers. Indonesia’s health ministry has not specified how many influencers are involved in the rollout initiative, per Reuters, though others who are slated to receive shots today are Nazril ‘Ariel’ Irham (3 million Instagram followers) of the Indonesian pop/rock band Noah, and singer-songwriter Risa Saraswati (1.8 million followers).

Reuters notes that Indonesia is the largest Muslim-majority nation in the world, and there have been concerns about whether the vaccine is allowed under Islamic law — though the company’s top Islamic council recently ruled that it is halal.

That said, in an incident that illuminates both the power and detriment of working with influencers — who are typically beloved for their relatability, warts and all — photos surfaced of Raffi partying with a group of friends shortly after he received the vaccine. While he has since offered a public apology on IGTV, Reuters reports that police are investigating the incident, and whether he broke the law.

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PewDiePie Signs Exclusive Facebook Distribution Deal With Jellysmack

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PewDiePie has signed an exclusive multiyear deal with creator company Jellysmack to distribute his YouTube content on Facebook.

The longtime creator–IRL name Felix Kjellberg–has 108 million YouTube subscribers, making him the most followed individual on the platform. His meme-and-Minecraft-focused channel brings in around 200 million views per month.

Kjellberg has an exclusive livestreaming deal with YouTube; Jellysmack will distribute crystallized editions of these live streams, as well as his regular uploads, on Facebook, where he has 8.4 million followers. The goal is to “activate and expand” Kjellberg’s Facebook audience by using proprietary tech to put Facebook-optimized versions of his YouTube videos in front of targeted viewers, Jellysmack says.

“In this multiplatform video ecosystem, there are a lot of opportunities for creators to monetize their content,” Michael Philippe, Jellysmack’s cofounder and co-CEO, said in a statement. “We’re honored that PewDiePie has entrusted his massive fanbase to Jellysmack and we’re excited to show him how we can turn Facebook into a true brand asset for him without adding work to his plate.”

Jellysmack works with a roster of more than 100 digital creators, including Reaction Time (15.3 million subscribers), Azzyland (13.3 million), and Brad Mondo (6.63 million). It distributes content on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and Twitter, and says it currently reaches almost 45% of the U.S. population, according to data from Tubular Labs.

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YouTube Adds New Metric Letting Creators Track Video Performance Over 24-Hour Span

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YouTube is launching a new analytics tool within YouTube Studio that will enable creators to track video performance over a 24-hour time span — an option that didn’t previously exist, aside from publicly available viewcounts.

The ‘First 24 Hours’ metric will live in the date picker at the top right-hand corner of the YouTube Studio analytics dashboard. Previously, the earliest window of time that a creator could choose after publishing a video was seven days.

In addition to looking at all of the data that a video has accrued within 24 hours — including views, watch-time, subscriber gains, estimated revenues, and beyond — creators will also be able to chart two videos and compare their performance against one another over a 24-hour period. These charts also provide data about traffic sources, or how a viewer has landed on a particular video — be it browsing features, notifications, channel pages, etc.

In its latest Creator Insider video, YouTube noted that the 24-hour metric will only be accessible to videos that have been posted after 2019, and it won’t be available for live streams.

Despite the addition of this new metric today, YouTube has long emphasized video performance over a 24-hour time span — particularly with respect to music videos, where the site ranks artist clips by how many views they garner on their first day of release.

You can learn more in the latest episode of Creator Insider below:

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100 Thieves Snags AT&T Sponsorship, Will Install Branded ‘Valorant’ Team Training Room

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AT&T is now an organization-wide sponsor for gaming, lifestyle, and entertainment collective 100 Thieves.

It has also signed on as the presenting sponsor for 100 Thieves’ Valorant esports team, which recently won $40,000 for coming in first at the First Strike North American Finals.

The organization-wide portion of their partnership will see AT&T and 100 Thieves co-produce digital content and live events highlighting the telecom giant’s 5G and fiber-optic services. As for the esports portion, AT&T will furnish a dedicated Valorant training room in the Cash App Compound, 100 Thieves’ 15,000-square-foot Los Angeles headquarters. The room will be “equipped with the latest AT&T products and services to provide the ideal training ground for this elite team,” the companies said.

Additionally, 100 Thieves’ Valorant jerseys will feature AT&T branding, and AT&T will have a hand in the team’s future merch drops.

“100 Thieves continues to push the envelope in the gaming industry with an unmatched blend of esports and gaming tastemakers,” Shiz Suzuki, AT&T’s assistant VP of sponsorships and experiential marketing, said in a statement. “We can’t wait to power their efforts as a network while also creating cultural moments together, putting the fans at the center of everything we do.”

100 Thieves’ other corporate partners include Cash App, General Mills, Chipotle, Rocket Mortgage, and JBL.

This is far from AT&T’s first move in the gaming space. Its latest endeavors include running Unlocked Games, a women-only developer competition with a $50,000 prize, and becoming the presenting sponsor for Cloud9’s five-woman Valorant team.

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YouTube Re-Teams With Demi Lovato For ‘Dancing With The Devil’ Docuseries

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YouTube is once again teaming with musician Demi Lovato for an original series chronicling her battle against addiction and her ongoing musical journey as one of the world’s foremost popstars.

Demi Lovato: Dancing With The Devil will see Lovato opening up — for the first time — about her near-fatal overdose in 2018, and the personal awakenings that ensued thereafter. Lovato initially began filming for the project in 2018 during her Tell Me You Love Me world tour, though the series was ultimately placed on hold amid Lovato’s overdose.

The first two episodes of the docuseries — which was directed and executive produced by Michael D. Ratner, and produced by Ratner’s OBB Pictures and Scooter Braun’s SB Projects — will premiere for free on March 23 on Lovato’s YouTube channel, with the second two episodes slated to roll out the following Tuesdays.

“It’s been two years since I came face-to-face with the darkest point in my life, and now I’m ready to share my story with the world,” Lovato said in a statement. “For the first time, you’ll be able to see my chronicle of struggle and ongoing healing from my point of view. I’m grateful that I was able to take this journey to face my past head-on and finally share it with the world.”

In 2017, Lovato headlined a wildly popular YouTube documentary titled Simply Complicated, which also provided an unvarnished window into her struggles with addiction, and which has currently garnered more than 35 million views to date. YouTube has also produced standout original programming in recent months featuring the likes of other celebrities like Justin Bieber and Paris Hilton.

Photo Credit: OBB Media

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TikTok Launches 3-Month Incubation Program For Black Creators

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TikTok is launching a three-month incubation program that will “focus on nurturing and developing 100 talented Black creators and music artists,” it announced today.

“Black creators on TikTok have been a driving force for our community, from starting trends to fostering connection to introducing new ways to entertain and inspire others, and we’re committed to continuing to elevate and amplify their voices,” the platform said in a blog post.

The program is open to Black creators who are over 18, in the U.S., and have a minimum of 10,000 followers on TikTok.

The 100 accepted creators will attend town halls led by Black entrepreneurs and celebrities as well as educational events with TikTok executives. Each of them will also receive an undisclosed amount of money thanks to a grant from MACRO, the digital production company founded by Harvard law alum and longtime William Morris Endeavor talent manager Charles D. King.

Funds from the grant can be used for production costs, educational resources, and “other creative content development tools,” TikTok said.

MACRO is also advising TikTok on selecting speakers, creating content for the program, and organizing professional opportunities for participants.

Applications are open today through Jan. 27. TikTok will reveal finalists in February.

This announcement comes seven months after creators organized a blackout protest over allegations that TikTok was shadowbanning Black users and disproportionately targeting their content for enforcement of community guidelines. In June 2020, TikTok established a creator diversity council to address these and other concerns from marginalized users.

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YouTube Names Dr. Garth Graham Global Head Of Healthcare, In New Bid To Bolster Authoritative Health Content

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Amid the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, YouTube is reimagining its approach to health content, and has charged a new executive with bringing more authoritative and engaging health-focused programming to its platform.

To lead these efforts, YouTube has named Dr. Garth Graham (pictured above) director and global head of healthcare and public health partnerships. Graham previously served as the chief community health officer at CVS Health, and the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Health under both the Obama and Bush administrations.

Graham’s work will revolve around three key pillars, per YouTube: delivering ‘credible information’ with respect to illness symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment; ‘guided practices’, including fitness classes and physical therapy demos; and ’emotional support’, in the form of both testimonials and fostering community.

At the same time, YouTube has announced partnerships with several prominent health care institutions with whom it plans to collaborate on content initiatives. These include: The American Public Health Association, Cleveland Clinic, Harvard School of Public Health, Mayo Clinic, Osmosis, Psych Hub, and the National Academy of Medicine. Additionally, YouTube will offer audience-building support to native healthcare creators such as Dr. Natalie Crawford, Dr. Ali Mattu, and Dr. Cedric ‘Jamie’ Rutland, the company said.

“People around the world are more mobile, consuming video online and increasingly getting their most important health information from the internet — and more specifically, YouTube,” Graham wrote in a blog post outlining the aims of his new position. “For anyone who wants to be at the forefront of change in healthcare education, YouTube is an important part of this digital revolution.”

Graham is part of the larger Google Health clinical team, which provides medical and scientific expertise across Google’s various products and services —  headed by Dr. Karen DeSalvo. That said, Graham’s responsibilities will specifically be focused on YouTube.

YouTube has long served as a hub for the proliferation of medical misinformation, and the platform has previously contended with anti-vaccination content by demonetizing conspiratorial videos and populating fact-checking cards. Its latest efforts in the health sector arrive amid the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine, as it has also sought to clamp down on misinformation, including by implementing fact-checking cards, banning videos containing COVID-19 vaccine conspiracies, and issuing strikes at offending channels.

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YouTube Names Dr. Garth Graham Global Head Of Healthcare, In Bid To Bolster Authoritative Health Content

  • Post category:Other
  • Reading time:2 mins read

Amid the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, YouTube is reimagining its approach to health content, and has charged a new executive with bringing more authoritative and engaging health-focused programming to its platform.

To lead these efforts, YouTube has named Dr. Garth Graham (pictured above) director and global head of healthcare and public health partnerships. Graham previously served as the chief community health officer at CVS Health, and the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Health under both the Obama and Bush administrations.

Graham’s work will revolve around three key pillars, per YouTube: delivering ‘credible information’ with respect to illness symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment; ‘guided practices’, including fitness classes and physical therapy demos; and ’emotional support’, in the form of both testimonials and fostering community.

At the same time, YouTube has announced partnerships with several prominent health care institutions with whom it plans to collaborate on content initiatives. These include: The American Public Health Association, Cleveland Clinic, Harvard School of Public Health, Mayo Clinic, Osmosis, Psych Hub, and the National Academy of Medicine. Additionally, YouTube will offer increased audience-building support to native healthcare creators such as Dr. Natalie Crawford, Dr. Ali Mattu, and Dr. Cedric ‘Jamie’ Rutland, the company said.

“People around the world are more mobile, consuming video online and increasingly getting their most important health information from the internet — and more specifically, YouTube,” Graham wrote in a blog post outlining the aims of his new position. “For anyone who wants to be at the forefront of change in healthcare education, YouTube is an important part of this digital revolution.”

Graham is part of the larger Google Health clinical team, which provides medical and scientific expertise across Google’s various products and services — headed by Dr. Karen DeSalvo. That said, Graham’s responsibilities will specifically be focused on YouTube.

YouTube has long served as a hub for the proliferation of medical misinformation, and the platform has previously contended with anti-vaccination content by demonetizing conspiratorial videos and populating fact-checking cards. Its latest efforts in the health sector arrive amid the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine, as it has also sought to clamp down on misinformation with respect to that process, including by implementing fact-checking cards, banning videos containing COVID-19 vaccine conspiracies, and issuing strikes at offending channels.

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This Week In Social Video: Coverage From The Capitol And More

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Welcome to our weekly social video spotlight, where we use data from Tubular Labs to showcase the video content currently trending on social media.


The obvious major topic in social video this week is how users on various platforms captured the attempted coup at the Capitol Building in real-time–and we’ll get to that.

Beforehand, though, a few other notes during the first full week of 2021:

Ariel Tweto’s Facebook dominance

TV personality and Popping Bubbles president Ariel Tweto has been outpacing all other U.S. video creators on Facebook for the last week. Her 877 million video views in the timeframe are more than three times that of the next most popular account, and she’s also uploaded six of the top 10 videos across the entire platform since Jan. 1, including all of the top five:

  1. How to do fruit carving (117 million)
  2. Hardest slap (94.3 million)
  3. Priceless gifts from the ocean (78.6 million)
  4. This video made my day… funny as hell (62.7 million)
  5. Mother of the year (51.8 million)

Interestingly, three of those five videos revolved around (with watermelons heavily featured in the first two).

Tweto has increased her upload frequency considerably over the last couple weeks, from an average of a few per week to more than 45 uploads per week for the last two.

Justin Bieber’s not just “Anyone”

On YouTube, gaming videos made up over 9.4% of views from U.S. creators to lead all genres for the week. However, it was musicians who appeared to make a big splash on an individual basis. Both Justin Bieber and Harry Styles debuted new music videos on Jan. 1. Bieber’s “Anyone” had the advantage early with 31.3 million views versus 15.1 million for Styles’ “Treat People with Kindness.”

According to Tubular Audience Ratings, Bieber led Styles in terms of unique viewers globally across Facebook and YouTube every month from February through November of 2020, with over 7 million more unique viewers in November. Bieber also led Styles by minutes watched in November, with 142.3 million versus 86.3 million.

Given the events of the week, though, it also shouldn’t surprise that news outlets fared rather well, too. NBC News, CNN, and MSNBC all earned at least 49 million views from Jan. 1 through 7 to make up three of the top five spots for all U.S.-based creators. Fox News found itself just ahead of Justin Bieber, with 31.6 million (on 138 video uploads versus just one for Bieber).

Coup coverage

Twitter videos from journalists on the ground in Washington, D.C., became some of the clearest windows into what was happening during this week’s attempted coup. From Jan. 1 to 7, nine of the top 10 U.S. Twitter videos were about the incident in some way; the exception was part of the Washington Post’s recording of Donald Trump’s “find 11,780 votes” conversation with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

Sprinkled amid the coup coverage videos at the top were various TV promos from ABC–for The Rookie, Celebrity Wheel of Fortune, and The Bachelor, respectively.

Vox’s Aaron Rupar was the top U.S. creator on Twitter for the week. And while most top creators were also either directly or indirectly involved in Wednesday’s incident, sports creators found plenty of views for themselves as well. Of the top 10 U.S. creators on Twitter during the timeframe, four — Bleacher Report, the NBA, SportsCenter, and the NFL — were sports-focused.

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This Week In Social Video: Coverage From The Capitol And More

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Welcome to our weekly social video spotlight, where we use data from Tubular Labs to showcase the video content currently trending on social media.


The obvious major topic in social video this week is how users on various platforms captured the attempted coup at the Capitol Building in real-time–and we’ll get to that.

Beforehand, though, a few other notes during the first full week of 2021:

Ariel Tweto’s Facebook dominance

TV personality and Popping Bubbles president Ariel Tweto has been outpacing all other U.S. video creators on Facebook for the last week. Her 877 million video views in the timeframe are more than three times that of the next most popular account, and she’s also uploaded six of the top 10 videos across the entire platform since Jan. 1, including all of the top five:

  1. How to do fruit carving (117 million)
  2. Hardest slap (94.3 million)
  3. Priceless gifts from the ocean (78.6 million)
  4. This video made my day… funny as hell (62.7 million)
  5. Mother of the year (51.8 million)

Interestingly, three of those five videos revolved around (with watermelons heavily featured in the first two).

Tweto has increased her upload frequency considerably over the last couple weeks, from an average of a few per week to more than 45 uploads per week for the last two.

Justin Bieber’s not just “Anyone”

On YouTube, gaming videos made up over 9.4% of views from U.S. creators to lead all genres for the week. However, it was musicians who appeared to make a big splash on an individual basis. Both Justin Bieber and Harry Styles debuted new music videos on Jan. 1. Bieber’s “Anyone” had the advantage early with 31.3 million views versus 15.1 million for Styles’ “Treat People with Kindness.”

According to Tubular Audience Ratings, Bieber led Styles in terms of unique viewers globally across Facebook and YouTube every month from February through November of 2020, with over 7 million more unique viewers in November. Bieber also led Styles by minutes watched in November, with 142.3 million versus 86.3 million.

Given the events of the week, though, it also shouldn’t surprise that news outlets fared rather well, too. NBC News, CNN, and MSNBC all earned at least 49 million views from Jan. 1 through 7 to make up three of the top five spots for all U.S.-based creators. Fox News found itself just ahead of Justin Bieber, with 31.6 million (on 138 video uploads versus just one for Bieber).

Coup coverage

Twitter videos from journalists on the ground in Washington, D.C., became some of the clearest windows into what was happening during this week’s attempted coup. From Jan. 1 to 7, nine of the top 10 U.S. Twitter videos were about the incident in some way; the exception was part of the Washington Post’s recording of Donald Trump’s “find 11,780 votes” conversation with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

Sprinkled amid the coup coverage videos at the top were various TV promos from ABC–for The Rookie, Celebrity Wheel of Fortune, and The Bachelor, respectively.

Vox’s Aaron Rupar was the top U.S. creator on Twitter for the week. And while most top creators were also either directly or indirectly involved in Wednesday’s incident, sports creators found plenty of views for themselves as well. Of the top 10 U.S. creators on Twitter during the timeframe, four — Bleacher Report, the NBA, SportsCenter, and the NFL — were sports-focused.

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Sway House Investment Spurs Tinder Founder Sean Rad To Seed $1 Million In ‘Versus Game’ App (Exclusive)

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Sway House’s recent investment and interest in Versus Game–an app that pays players who correctly guess the outcomes of things like sports games and plotlines of popular TV shows–has spurred Tinder founder Sean Rad to also invest $1 million in the company.

Michael Gruen, cofounder and VP of talent at Sway House’s manager TalentX, led members Josh Richards (23.9 million followers on TikTok), Bryce Hall (17.9 million), and Griffin Johnson (10M) to invest in the company late last year, and then introduced Rad, Versus tells Tubefilter.

Rad was interested in the app “because of the similarities it has with Tinder’s matchmaking capabilities,” Versus adds. “Players are matched so they play one on one–there’s no odds and no pools of people playing.”

Rad’s investment brings Versus–which was founded in 2018 by John Vitti (pictured above)–to a total raise of $6 million. So far, it has awarded more than $10.5 million in cash prizes to players, and future plans include a game with a $1 million prize, plus “huge initiatives and partnerships” to be announced in the coming weeks, it says.

The app is one of numerous investments that members of the Los Angeles-based Sway House have made over the past six months. They’ve also invested in TikTok competitor Triller, probiotic soda Poppi, technology company Karat, 3-D printer business AON3D, faux fur brand UnHide, home-building tech company Atmos, esports org ReKTGlobal, financial business Lendtable, analytics platform Chalk, and Stir, a startup that makes tools for digital content creators.

Richards and Hall additionally launched their own company, Ani Energy, in July 2020.

While digital creators investing in brands that interest them isn’t a new phenomenon, Sway House is unusual for the sheer number of investments it’s made in a short period of time. The sometimes contentious collective began to see potential in investing after realizing just how many professional connections it had established since launching in early 2020

“After six months, it became clear that all these new people in our lives weren’t just fun new friends; they were executives and moguls that made careers out of making astute, fiscally responsible decisions throughout their lives,” the group tells Tubefilter. “Candidly, we don’t want to just be successful teenagers or rich in our twenties. We want to create long-term sustainable economics for ourselves so we can continue to be successful for the rest of our lives.”

Sway House adds that it wants to “find new and interesting ways to give back,” and says that it has specifically sought out environmentally friendly companies as well as businesses with marginalized founders.

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YouTube Suspends Trump’s Channel For At Least One Week, Disables Comments Indefinitely

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YouTube has issued its first strike against President Trump’s channel, meaning that he will be suspended from posting or livestreaming for at least one week.

The New York Times reports that along with the strike, YouTube removed a video from Trump’s channel for violating its policies about inciting violence. The clip in question featured the President speaking to reporters yesterday, where he claimed that comments he made ahead of the U.S. Capitol riots last week were “totally appropriate,” and that the impeachment proceedings that were developing in the wake of the insurrection were causing “tremendous anger.”

On Twitter, YouTube explained that it had issued the punishment “in light of concerns about the ongoing potential for violence.” As this marks the first strike against Trump’s channel, the Times reports that older videos do not violate YouTube’s policies, and will remain active.

“Given the ongoing concerns about violence,” YouTube added, “we will also be indefinitely disabling comments on President Trump’s channel, as we’ve done to other channels where there are safety concerns found in the comments section.”

YouTube’s strike system mandates that if Trump is punished again within 90 days, he will receive a two-week suspension. A third strike will result in a permanent channel ban.

Trump has now been banned by mostly every major platform other than YouTube — including Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, and Twitch. While other services banned Trump in the wake of the attack, YouTube said it would begin issuing instant strikes to any channels that engaged in election misinformation. That said, its response has been criticized for not going far enough — including from a newly-formed union at parent company Alphabet, which condemned YouTube for not removing Trump’s channel altogether.

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Digital Talent Management Pioneer Dominic Smales Steps Down As CEO Of Gleam Futures

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Dominic Smales, the founder of U.K.-based digital talent management firm Gleam Futures — and a key architect behind the careers of several of YouTube‘s earliest stars, including the Pixiwoo sisters, Zoe Sugg, and Marcus Butler — is stepping down from his post as CEO, effectively immediately.

“Eleven years ago, with Costa Coffee as my office, I founded a talent business,” Smales said in a statement. “Over the years, we have published books, made movies, built brands, traveled the world, opened offices on three continents, made TV shows, broken records, laughed a lot, cried a bit, and everything in between. It’s been a joy and a privilege to be allowed to do all this with people I love spending time with.”

Smales was vague about next steps, adding, “It’s time now for me to spend some more time with my family, give attention to some exciting new projects, and see what the universe throws at me next.”

Gleam was founded by Smales in 2010 and acquired by ad giant Dentsu Aegis in 2017. Last April, the company launched Gleam Entertainment — a 360-degree talent management arm for celebrities who began their careers on mainstream platforms. Prior to that, it had launched an influencer marketing division dubbed Gleam Solutions in May 2019.

Smales’ departure arrives roughly a week after Sam and Nic Champan — the beauty duo known as the Pixiwoo sisters, who marked his first two clients — announced that they were retiring from their careers as creators. In a LinkedIn post, Smales mused about breaking new ground with the sisters and other Gleam clients over the years, including the development of their multimillion dollar beauty brand, Real Techniques, as well as forays into the book business (with Alfie Deyes‘ The Pointless Book) and feature films (Joe And Caspar Hit The Road).

In Smales’ absence, COO Phil Hughes has been appointed Gleam’s chief commercial officer, while global head of talent Lucy Loveridge has been upped to managing partner. Both will lead Gleam going forward, reporting to James Morris, Dentsu International’s CEO of creative for the U.K. and Ireland.

“Despite the complexities of the year, Gleam continues to go from strength to strength, having its most successful year to date in 2020,” Morris said in a statement. “We are extremely optimistic about the prospects for the future of Gleam within Dentsu and look forward to building on this success with Lucy and Phil.”

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Digital Talent Management Pioneer Dominic Smales Steps Down As CEO Of Gleam Futures

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  • Reading time:3 mins read

Dominic Smales, the founder of U.K.-based digital talent management firm Gleam Futures — and a key architect behind the careers of several of YouTube‘s earliest stars, including the Pixiwoo sisters, Zoe Sugg, and Marcus Butler — is stepping down from his post as CEO, effectively immediately.

“Eleven years ago, with Costa Coffee as my office, I founded a talent business,” Smales said in a statement. “Over the years, we have published books, made movies, built brands, traveled the world, opened offices on three continents, made TV shows, broken records, laughed a lot, cried a bit, and everything in between. It’s been a joy and a privilege to be allowed to do all this with people I love spending time with.”

Smales was vague about next steps, adding, “It’s time now for me to spend some more time with my family, give attention to some exciting new projects, and see what the universe throws at me next.”

Gleam was founded by Smales in 2010 and acquired by ad giant Dentsu Aegis in 2017. Last April, the company launched Gleam Entertainment — a 360-degree talent management arm for celebrities who began their careers on mainstream platforms. Prior to that, it had launched an influencer marketing division dubbed Gleam Solutions in May 2019.

Smales’ departure arrives roughly a week after Sam and Nic Champan — the beauty duo known as the Pixiwoo sisters, who marked his first two clients — announced that they were retiring from their careers as creators. In a LinkedIn post, Smales mused about breaking new ground with the sisters and other Gleam clients over the years, including the development of their multimillion dollar beauty brand, Real Techniques, as well as forays into the book business (with Alfie Deyes‘ The Pointless Book) and feature films (Joe And Caspar Hit The Road).

In Smales’ absence, COO Phil Hughes has been appointed Gleam’s chief commercial officer, while global head of talent Lucy Loveridge has been upped to managing partner. Both will lead Gleam going forward, reporting to James Morris, Dentsu International’s CEO of creative for the U.K. and Ireland.

“Despite the complexities of the year, Gleam continues to go from strength to strength, having its most successful year to date in 2020,” Morris said in a statement. “We are extremely optimistic about the prospects for the future of Gleam within Dentsu and look forward to building on this success with Lucy and Phil.”

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YouTube Turns On Post-Roll Ads By Default On All 10-Minute, Monetizing Videos

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YouTube has now turned on post-roll ads — or ads that appear at the conclusion of a clip — by default on all monetized videos that are longer than 10 minutes.

The change was noted by Search Engine Journal and in a recent Creator Insider video (below). Of course, creators who are eligible for monetization can choose to serve any combination of pre-roll, mid-roll, or post-roll ads when a video is longer than 10 minutes. (In July, YouTube actually lowered the video length threshold for mid-roll ad eligibility from 10 minutes to eight minutes). And now, all three formats are turned on by default.

Search Engine Journal notes that post-rolls — which can run from 12 seconds to three minutes in length– can be turned off during the upload flow on future videos, or on existing videos within the monetization tab. Creators can also choose to switch off pre-roll and mid-roll ads by default.

In November, YouTube announced a significant change to the way that ads are served, stating that it would distribute ads on brand-safe channels that aren’t members of the Partner Program (YPP), which endows eligible creators with the ability to collect ad revs from their videos. In order to join the YPP, creators must have at least 1,000 subscribers and have accrued 4,000 hours of watch time within the year prior to their application.

You can check out the episode of Creator Insider, which refers to the post-roll update as a bug fix, right here:

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Night Media Taps Digital Veteran Andrew Pelosi As Head Of Business Development (Exclusive)

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Night Media, the management company that represents top YouTubers like MrBeast (51 million subscribers), ZHC (18.7M), FGTeeV (17.9M), Preston (15.7M), and Azzyland (13.3M), has brought in digital veteran Andrew Pelosi as a talent manager and its new head of business development.

Pelosi got his start in digital at Maker Studios in 2010. He was one of the multichannel network’s first 30 employees, and its first director of sales; he went on to serve as its VP of agency strategy and development through 2017. He’s also held executive roles at branded content company Influential–where he led their partnership with William Morris Endeavor–and esports marketing agency Ader.

In his new position at Night, Pelosi will focus on helping creators grow their businesses and build new entrepreneurial ventures (like, for example, the recently debuted MrBeast Burger, a virtual, delivery-only fast food brand being served out of more than 300 restaurants around the U.S.).

“Night Media and their talent continue to innovate and disrupt the space, putting creators and fans at the forefront of all that they do,” Pelosi said in a statement. “I am pleased to be joining an outstanding group of executives on the cutting edge of talent management and brand incubation, and look forward to working with them to grow the business and help creators tap new market opportunities.”

Night Media founder and CEO Reed Duchscher added, “As we continue to work towards building a next-gen talent management company, it becomes incredibly important to find people who understand what creators need and share in our vision. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Andrew to the team.”

Night Media was founded in 2015, and operates out of offices in Dallas and Los Angeles.

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TikTok Breakout Noah Beck Lands Reality Series At AwesomenessTV

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Viacom-owned digital studio Awesomeness has tapped TikTok breakout Noah Beck (24 million followers) for a new reality series titled Noah Beck Tries Things.

The six-episode venture will follow 19-year-old Beck as he abandons his soccer career and moves to Los Angeles to pursue influencing full-time. Different guests will be on hand to help him learn the ropes — from making diss tracks to DIY crafts.

The series, which Beck co-developed and for which he will serve as an executive producer, guest stars fellow social luminaries Dixie D’Amelio (his girlfriend), fellow Sway House resident Blake Gray, James Charles, Larri ‘Larray’ Merritt, Kelianne Stankus, and Kenzie Ziegler. It will premiere on Jan. 22 on Awesomeness’ digital platforms.

This isn’t Beck’s first Awesomeness series — he previously guest-starred on cooking competition Dish This. All told, Beck counts 35 million followers across all platforms. He also serves as an advisor to TikTok competitor Triller, and launched his own merch brand dubbed Ur Luv’d in September.

Despite his popularity, Beck has recently faced a fair amount of controversy for traveling internationally — for a jaunt to the Bahamas with the D’Amelio family (which has its own reality series in the works at Hulu) and other TikTok stars — as the coronavirus rages onward. “It is what it is,” Beck told Pop Galore, noting that the group flew on a private plane and stayed in a secluded cabana. “I think, especially the business we’re in, it’s, like, you need some time to kind of disconnect for a little. That’s what that was meant for.”

Other Awesomeness Digital Studio productions include Twin My Heart starring the Merrell Twins; My Dream Quinceañera spin-off Quince Bosses; virtual dating series Date Drop; and Gen Z pop-culture segment ATV Daily Report, which airs on Entertainment Tonight.

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‘#YouTubeBlack Voices Grant Program’ Unveils Inaugural Class Of 132 Creator Recipients

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Last year, YouTube doubled down on its its long-running #YouTubeBlack initiative (which was founded back in 2016), by committing $100 million in funding over several years to uplift Black creators and artists globally in the wake of the George Floyd protests.

The #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund, announced last June, also saw YouTube committing to produce and acquire originals focused on racial justice and the Black experience. In October, YouTube unveiled some of the first titles to stem from the Fund, including Resist, a 12-episode docuseries from Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors and virtual homecoming stream HBCU Homecoming 2020: Meet Me On The Yard.

Now, at the individual channel level, the Fund will comprise a just-announced #YouTubeBlack Voices Grant Program, which seeks to support emerging Black creators with dedicated partner support, seed funding, bespoke training, workshops, and networking programs. YouTube says it’s not disclosing how much funding each creator will receive — though it is intended as seed money to be used in whatever ways they see fit.

Today, YouTube also announced its inaugural class of Grant Program recipients for 2021, comprising 132 creators and musicians the world over. Thirty-six recipients hail from the U.S., while the rest represent Kenya, the U.K., Brazil, Australia, South Africa, and Nigeria. They span myriad content verticals, too — from musicians to beauty entrepreneurs to comedians, activists, poets, personal trainers, teachers, parent vloggers, photographers, and more.

The #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund will be in effect through 2023 — at least, YouTube says — during which time the Grant Program will directly invest in over 500 creators globally to help them grow their channels. You can check out an introduction to the #YouTubeBlack Voices Grant Program, courtesy of YouTube’s VP of responsibility, Malik Ducard, right here.

And you can check out an introductory video — featuring grant recipients like Ari Fitz, Soldier Knows Best, Shalom Blac, Amber’s Closet, Nyma Tang, and Dormtainment — below, as well as the full U.S. class in this YouTube blog post.

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