The thrifty creator, whose real name is Matt Granite, has signed with WME. The Beverly Hills-based talent agency will represent the live shopping personality in all areas.
Granite is best known for his work on two platforms. On Amazon, The Deal Guy hosts daily live broadcasts in which he shares sales and savings with his audience. On YouTube, his on-demand videos reach nearly two million subscribers. He teaches his viewers how to navigate big-box stores like Costco, advises them on strategies they can use to get the most out of their fast food orders, and even shares the secrets of faster wifi. What can his subscribers do once they have more bandwidth? Well, they can watch more Deal Guy videos, of course.
No matter what platform he’s on, Granite is driven by his devotion to scrimping and saving. “I’ve made it my lifelong mission to live a five-star life on a one-star budget,” he told Tubefilter back in March 2021. “I live and breathe bargains, and my Deal Guy YouTube channel is built to help fellow consumers go beyond a store’s fine print. You can live your entire life paying less than half price on almost any purchase. I help people find their inner frugality.”
In a statement, Granite noted that shoppable content is “a high priority for media companies in 2022.” YouTube has been enthusiastic in its support of live shopping, and it made that area a primary focus of its Brandcast presentation this year.
Now that he is aligned with WME, Granite will have more opportunities to “take the ‘The Deal Guy’ brand to the next level.” The agency plans to support its new signee by finding him brand partnerships while also helping him expand into fields like books and unscripted television.
In addition to WME, Granite will continue to work with longtime business partner Matthew Fawcus.
TikTok will be the presenting sponsor of two major Southern California events this June.
Ten days before it places itself front-and-center at the 2022 edition of VidCon, the short-form video app will attach its name to another well-known celebration. It will be the presenting sponsor of the 2022 L.A. Pride Parade, which will march through Hollywood on June 12.
Though the literal parade will occur on the 12th, L.A. Pride festivities will begin a day earlier, and TikTok will have a presence for the entire weekend. A “Pride in the Park” concert will take place on June 11, and the popular app will be there to provide backstage coverage. This will be the second straight year that TikTok goes live to amplify the music that surrounds L.A.’s LGBTQ+ festival. In 2021, it offered up a stream of ‘Thrive With Pride,’ which was hosted by creator Benito Skinner (aka Benny Drama).
Pride in the Park will be a warm-up for the main event, which will feature a new parade route. In previous years, the official Pride celebration wound through West Hollywood, but it’s moving to Hollywood proper in 2022. One of the floats that will join the caravan will be sponsored by TikTok and will feature some of the creators who were included among the platform’s inaugural group of “pride trailblazers.”
That list, which debuted this past February, included TikTok stars who exist across the spectra of sexuality and identity. Its 15 trailblazers include trans comedian @brownnskinbarbi and lesbian historian @elliemedhurst.
“TikTok has a thriving LGBTQIA+ community, made up of inspiring voices who drive culture, influence and impact on and off the platform,” said Brett Peters, TikTok’s head of education and philanthropy partnerships, in a statement. “We’re honored to be partnering with LA Pride once again to bring the magic and joy of Pride to life with our TikTok community, alongside our allies and trailblazing creators.”
Performers at Pride in the Park will include Christina Aguilera, Anitta, Michaela Jaé, and Rebecca Black. TikTok hasn’t yet revealed any specific queer trailblazers who will ride along on its parade float.
Welcome to YouTube Millionaires, where we profile channels that have recently crossed the one million subscriber mark. There are channels crossing this threshold every week, and each creator has a story to tell about YouTube success. Read previous installments here.
This installment of YouTube Millionaires is brought to you by creator fintech company Karat Financial.
It was 2017, and LizzyCapri loved her new job at LinkedIn.
The role was something she’d worked toward her whole life. When she snagged it, she hoped it would be the start of a long, long career in tech.
And it probably would have…if YouTube hadn’t happened.
During her first year on the job, Capri, on the side, had started making videos with her boyfriend Carter Sharer. He also had a prestigious tech job, and after becoming interested in the ins and outs of YouTube’s recommendation algorithms, had decided to put his programming skills to work by taking crack at making videos designed to be “rare and ridiculous”–but also viral.
A few months in, Sharer got an AdSense check for $22,000. Not long after, his channel crossed 100,000 subscribers. For him, that was the sign: it was time to duck out of Silicon Valley and go full-time as a content creator. Capri, who by that time had her own channel, was more hesitant. A hundred thousand people was nothing to sneeze at, but she’d need more convincing before quitting her dream job.
More convincing was exactly what she got. Both her and Sharer’s accounts hit one million subscribers and kept growing. In late 2017, Capri left LinkedIn and joined Shareer as a full-time creator.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Tubefilter: For someone who’s reading this and may not know anything about you or about Team Rare and Ridiculous, tell us who you are and how you became a creator.
Lizzy Capri: My name is Lizzy Capri, I’m a YouTuber, and I started about…oh my gosh, five years ago? It doesn’t feel that long, but I guess I started about five years ago.
I got into YouTube basically with my boyfriend Carter, and we just started posting videos and they started to gain traction. At some point we decided to quit our jobs and just commit to YouTube full-time. It was definitely kind of a dream career that we never thought would be feasible for us, so to be where I’m at today is absolutely amazing and surreal.
But yeah! I just post fun blogs, challenges, viral ideas. Team RAR is well-known for doing things that are rare and ridiculous, or maybe even just ridiculous. We’re kind of like a group of creators where we film all together. There’s five creators on the team and we all film our own type of content, but also come together to film videos. So yeah, we just try to take things above and beyond and make sure to adapt to the changes and continue to grow.
Tubefilter: We actually talked to Carter not too long ago about how he ended up founding Team RAR, so we know the two of you were both in your dream careers before you ended up deciding to do YouTube full-time. How did you make the decision that yes, YouTube was worth quitting your jobs for?
LC: So initially YouTube was really exciting because we didn’t really have much to lose. We still had our full-time jobs. But at a certain point of growth, we were like, “Okay, we need to continue on this path. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and if we don’t commit to it now, we’re probably gonna lose this kind of opportunity forever.”
So once we hit…I know for Carter, it was over a hundred thousand subscribers, he was like, “Okay, I’m gonna quit my job and really commit to this.” And for me, since I was all the way across the country—he was filming videos in Virginia and I was in California working at LinkedIn—I was like, “I don’t know, I worked all my life to get to this job.”
And so for me, the point was a million subscribers. Yeah. For me to be like, “Okay, this is legit and we can really take this to a different level,” was a million.
And at that point I honestly wasn’t really scared because, well, I had a million subscribers. I feel like you kind of have more confidence in “this is going to work” with a million. So yeah, I kind of was like, “I’m not even gonna look back for a second.” And I just quit my job and here we are today.
Tubefilter: That’s a great tie-in because obviously now you’ve hit a million on Carter’s channel, your main channel, and now your Shorts channel, which is the one we’re here to talk about. When did you start filming Shorts and what appeals to you about that vertical?
LC: I think I started filming Shorts basically when they rolled out. Obviously it’s very similar to TikTok and Instagram Reels, and short-form has really been taking over the internet. I feel like YouTube was one of the first revolutionary ways to go viral and then Vine came out and then TikTok came out, and it’s interesting because it’s such a quick way to grow, but at the same time, it also has its caveats.
Like on YouTube, if you can get your audience engaged in the long-form content, it’s just so much more impactful on the viewer because they’re watching for a longer duration. So they really start to get to know you, your personality, the things you like, and connect with you on a deeper level. Whereas for Shorts, it’s these little snippets of us, and they’re so quick that you don’t really capture that feeling of, “Oh, I know them, I’m friends with them.” That kind of feeling.
So in that way, it’s very different, but I think what’s most appealing to me is how quickly you can grow and go viral. Like, some of the videos I have on my Shorts channel are just so silly, but have over 150 million views.
Tubefilter: Do you feel like you’ve seen any audience crossover at all? Has your Shorts channel been bringing more people to your main channel?
LC: It’s very difficult to say. I definitely think it supplements really well, because in this weird space of social media, you just have to be on top of every platform, whether you enjoy it or not. I feel like with Carter and I both, our biggest strengths lie in creating these long-form videos—which is great because everyone you meet who does Shorts will say, “Oh my gosh, I want to transition into longer-form content.” Whereas, you know, for us, we have that down pat and we’re just trying to diversify and stay relevant on all the other lengths of content.
I do think it definitely supplements my channel, my longer-form content, but I’m not really sure what the conversion rate is because there’s not really any metrics that YouTube gives that are cross-platform from Shorts to long-form content.
Tubefilter: So what does the average day look like for you in terms of balancing making multiple lengths of content across multiple platforms?
LC: So generally we focus on long-form content throughout the week. Mondays are usually planning days. And then through the week, like Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, we film. The more we film, the better, just because that’s what we’re good at. Where we thrive is that is in front of the camera.
In terms of filming for short-form content, it’s kind of random. We try to supplement, like if we’re filming a video and and the middle we’re like, “Oh, let’s film this quick Short,” or “Let’s film this quick TikTok,” or something. It’s just kind of random, we don’t really plan out for that—although we’re trying to build out a system that can plan for that.
For now, we just kind of film them running gun style, as we go. They’re not really planned out. And if they are, then it’s like a super quick set-up time, super quick film time. It takes way less time to edit than long-form content.
So yeah, our day-to-day is mostly, we focus on our long-form content. And from that we either get snippets from our long-form content and turn them into short-form, or during the filming of it, we get an idea and we’re like, “Oh, let’s film this real quick.”
Tubefilter: Is it nice to have that ability to be spontaneous in a way that you can’t with long-form content?
LC: It is, it’s really satisfying because it’s so immediate, it’s so quick, you know? Whereas long-form content, it takes a week or two for post-production before you can post, before you can see the feedback from your viewers. In that sense, it’s really satisfying, where you’re like, “Oh, okay, it already has this many views.” That’s awesome. And you’re able to post it almost immediately! It has a different level of satisfaction than long-form content does.
Tubefilter: Are you trying to focus more on short-form? Do you like the balance of short-form and long-form you have now?
LC: From the backend side, I’m trying to build out my business so I have a running structure of being able to film long-form content—a system where we can turn out videos in a more efficient, organized way. That way I’ll have more bandwidth to focus on short-form content or any other areas in social media I want to pursue.
I think short-form’s really interesting, especially YouTube Shorts, because I do think there are going to be creators who emerge out of Shorts. Shorts specifically, um, because every platform—Instagram, TikTok, all those platforms—they always need their A-list creators, and I think YouTube is spending a lot of their resources trying to push Shorts and get creators on their Shorts platform.
So I see that being kind of a big area of opportunity. Right now it’s just tough because I don’t have a lot of bandwidth with already posting so much content on my long-form side, so I’m really just trying to build out the business on the backend so I will have more time for these things.
Tubefilter: Does that mean hiring more people, or…?
LC: Yeah, usually hiring more people, and creating like infrastructure, a standard of procedures for my long-form content, because now that we have a strategy and a method of how we film them and get them done, it’ll be easier to onboard people and get everyone involved.
Tubefilter: Do you feel like YouTube has an edge over other platforms in the short-form arena?
LC: I do think YouTube is super powerful in that. I mean, they’ve just been established for so long and so many people, especially now in this age are viewers of YouTube over traditional cable television. That being said, I also think YouTube provides the best monetization for creators, where it actually allows creators to be able to go full-time as an influencer, versus TikTok.
It’s tough, because you might make a couple thousand here and there. Maybe if you’re in the top 1% you’ll make enough to quit your job. But with the instability and the competition, it’s super saturated, and I do think it gets more and more difficult for other platforms to really provide enough monetization for creators to actually quit their jobs.
Tubefilter: Aside from building out your infrastructure, do you have any plans for the rest of the year?
LC: Yeah! So we just moved to North Carolina, which is wild because we were in L.A. Since we moved, we had so many resources at the old Team RAR house, so we’re kind of accumulating all those resources again, and we already have so many things in the pipeline. Bigger videos and bigger projects.
As we grow, we’re scaling to our level of success, and we’re trying to one-up our other videos. So we just have a lot of really big videos coming, which I’m really excited about, just because now Carter and I both have hired our own production teams, so we’re able to put more into our videos. Each video we’re able to do more entertaining, more fun. So yeah, we’re just excited to be out here and grow our team and make our videos even more epic.
Tubefilter: What would you say is your number one piece of advice for creators who may be up and coming, on Shorts or on any other platform?
LC: Work smarter, not harder. There’s only so much time in a day and there’s so much competition out there that you really have to think through what you’re trying to do and what your goals are so you can execute them in an efficient and successful way. That’s what’s going to set real creators apart from one-hit wonders.
Tubefilter: One last thing—we know you recently made your acting debut with a guest role as a teacher in Brat TV’s Crown Lake. How did that come about?
LC: I’ve known about Brat TV for a while now. There are so many cool series they do, and I feel like a lot of influencers have their debut on a platform like that, which is really cool, so you don’t feel so alone. As an influencer going into acting, it was really cool to experience being on a full production set, and just showing up and being talent.
Then the acting in and of itself was really interesting because I had never acted before, but given my improv experience from my YouTube videos, I think that gave me enough experience to be able to pull it off, I guess. Yeah, it was a really fun experience. I learned a lot through that process and it was really cool to see the behind-the-scenes of how everything operated.
Tubefilter: How long were you on set?
LC: I was there for one full day of shooting where I was like, on call, every 30 minutes, and then another day I was there for just a couple hours, one or two scenes. I just played a small part, so I can only imagine what it’s like to be a main character in a show. That would be insane.
Tubefilter: Is that something you’re interested in doing more?
LC: I think I would definitely be interested in acting more. I just have to take acting classes and get better at it. But after watching myself, I can critique on how to be better!
Karat Financial is building better financial products for creators. Karat’s first launch is a business black card that provides better limits & rewards based on social stats- used by creators like Alexandra Botez, 3LAU, and Graham Stephan. Karat is backed by cofounders of Twitter, Twitch, and YouTube. DM @trykarat on Instagram and mention YouTube Millionaires for priority access.
Each year, YouTube and analytics firm Kantar put together a judging panel to select the winners of the YouTube Works Awards, which honor excellence in advertising on the world’s top video platform. This year’s honorees have been selected, and an examination of their award-winning campaigns reveals a few hot trends in the online video ad biz.
One of the prevalent trends is as old as influencer marketing itself: Brands are finding organic ways to position creators as spokespeople. In particular, the YouTube Works Awards highlighted campaigns that gave creators the space to discuss their personal identities. Hallease (pictured, left) teamed up with Target to interview black female CEOs whose products are available in the retailer’s stores. YouTube and Kantar awarded that initiative with the top prize in the “Brands as Creators” category.
Tinder, unsurprisingly, connected with creators and their fans on the spectrum of sexual orientation. The swipe-happy app enlisted bisexual creators Anna Akana and MilesChronicles to speak about the ways their identities had impacted their romantic lives. The “Once Upon A Bi” campaign provided visibility to an underrepresented segment of the dating pool — and it increased Tinder’s view-through rate by 55%.
But not all the trends highlighted by the YouTube Works Awards rely on tried-and-true approaches. In particular, brands have figured out how to utilize ASMR several years after it first became a lucrative category for creators. In Blendtec‘s case, that meant turning the usually-loud genre of blender videos into something more soothing. And pet food brand Sheba appealed to cat owners who are roused in the middle of the night by loud meowing. Its whispery ‘4 AM Stories’ is designed for people who need help falling asleep, and that campaign took home the top prize at the YouTube Works Awards.
“[Blendtec] recognized that oddly satisfying content and autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is incredibly popular on YouTube,” reads a Works Awards writeup from YouTube. “Their strategy was to surprise and delight potential customers with an entertaining video that merged the two YouTube trends into a single creative concept while promoting the BlendJet 2 Portable Blender.”
For the full list of YouTube Works Awards winners, as well as detailed writeups about each one, head over to Adweek.
Jojo Siwa has spent the majority of her teenage years on social media. Her hard work has allowed her to amass a huge following, including 12.2 million subscribers on YouTube, but it has also caused her to miss out on a lot of youthful indiscretion. After all, when you’re leading your kid-friendly content empire to 3.7 billion YouTube views, it’s hard to find the space to just be a teen.
That is, until now. Siwa will star in Jojo Goes, a Facebook Watch docuseries that will send the 19-year-old Dancing with the Stars contestant on a series of organized escapades.
So far, details about Jojo Goes are still scant, but we do know that the series is slated to premiere during the summer. In each episode, Siwa will be joined by “celebrity friends” on “crazy-fun adventures” that will make up for all the personal time she’s lost due to her busy schedule. “I’m so excited to partner with Facebook Watch for JoJo Goes,” Siwa said in a statement. “I can’t wait for my fans to see what new things I try out with some of my best friends.”
Siwa’s on-screen leisure time will be coordinated by B17 Entertainment, which has plenty of experience working with digital creators. Among its many projects, the production company has worked ASAPScience on their YouTube Original series Shut It Off ASAP, and it teamed up with Mythical to bring Rhett & Link to the Food Network with Inside Eats. It also produced TikTok’s New Year’s Eve celebration two years ago.
“JoJo Siwa’s boundless positivity and message of self-love have made her an inspiration to millions who have watched her grow up on stage, TV, and online,” said B17 SVP of Current Programming and Executive Producer Aliyah Silverstein in a statement. “This series takes fans along for the ride as…19-year-old JoJo explores all the off-stage passions and quirky paths that haven’t fit into her daily life as a super celebrity. It’s an entirely new side of JoJo that we are excited to share.”
Siwa’s star power will allow her to fit right into the Facebook Watch lineup, which also includes several other celebrity-driven programs. Big names who have launched their own Facebook originals include Justin Bieber and Cardi B. A press release notes that Jojo Goes will also be designed as a co-watchable experience. Friends can tune in together via Messenger and Instagram video calls.
Jojo Goes was announced on May 18, one day before Siwa’s 19th birthday. I would love for someone to give me a birthday present as good as this one — though my teenage self didn’t deserve that gift nearly as much as Siwa does.
As TikTok courts the film industry, it is also dipping its toes into the waters of mobile gaming. According to a report in Reuters, the Bytedance-owned platform wants to bring games to users in Asia.
Citing “four people familiar with the matter,” Reuters claimed that TikTok is running tests in Vietnam to figure out how to best incorporate games onto its platform. The short-form video app disputed that account, telling TechCrunch that “Vietnam game testing is not something it’s currently doing.”
Even if TikTok is not yet actively testing its gaming product, it has signaled its ambition to expand into that sector of the entertainment biz. In the U.S., it has partnered with prolific publisher Zynga to launch exclusive casual games for the app’s user base. The first such title was Disco Loco 3D, which combined the “endless runner” genre with one of TikTok’s favorite activities: dancing. It launched last November.
TikTok is well-positioned to push into gaming thanks to the activity of its parent company. Bytedance has become a major player in the world of play and has hired about 3,000 people to staff its gaming division. Reuters noted that the Chinese version of TikTok, Douyin, has had access to games since 2019. Should TikTok gain that functionality as well, it is likely to draw from Bytedance’s casual gaming library. “We’re always looking at ways to enrich our platform and regularly test new features and integrations that bring value to our community,” a TikTok representative told Reuters.
In the case of TikTok’s gaming push, the biggest question left concerns timing. Two of the sources cited by Reuters said that TikTok could announce a wider gaming rollout in Southeast Asia “as early as the third quarter.”
Since last year, Emma Chamberlain has been on hiatus from her YouTube channel, but brands are still finding ways to work with the 20-year-old star on the platform where she first broke out. Fast-casual restaurant brand Cava tapped Chamberlain for two limited-time menu items. Thanks to a partnership with cooking star Claire Saffitz, Cava and Chamberlain were able to hype up Emma’s Fire Bowl via YouTube, even though they didn’t reach the influencer’s 11.4 million subscribers directly.
Chamberlain has worked with many different brands, but Cava’s partnership with her has an unusual origin story. It began on TikTok, where Chamberlain used the Mediterranean chain’s spicy hummus in one of her videos, a brand representative hit her up in the comments, and the two became fast friends from there. Ultimately, their partnership would yield Emma’s Fire Bowl and Emma’s Spicy Snack, both of which incorporated the creator’s beloved hot hummus.
Before that happened, Cava was hit with a curveball: As it was thinking about ways it could work with its favorite hummus-loving influencer, she went on hiatus. Was there still a way to advertise the planned partnership on YouTube?
Enter Saffitz. The former Bon Appetit star now reaches nearly one million subscribers on her new YouTube channel, and Cava arranged a collab. Chamberlain showed up on Saffitz’s channel with several tubs of hummus, and the experienced baker taught her young sous chef how to make breadsticks. Since the video’s launch in April, it has been viewed more than 1.6 million times.
Chamberlain, who stepped away from YouTube for the sake of her mental health, also promoted her menu items on her podcast. She told Adweek that Cava “was very understanding and worked with me as they developed the strategy for our collaboration. They respected the boundaries I set for my mental health.”
The video and the podcast plug did their jobs. Cava told Adweek that the influencer marketing campaign increased its web traffic by 37% month-over-month while also boosting downloads of its app by 50%. Cava said that Emma’s Fire Bowl was the chain’s best-selling vegetarian bowl during its run, which began on April 4 and ended on April 26.
So even though Emma Chamberlain isn’t uploading to YouTube herself, her presence on the platform still peddles plenty of influence. If you’ve been keeping up with the teens, you shouldn’t be surprised by that: A 2022 study revealed Chamberlain as the top influencer among Gen Z respondents.
When it arrived at the Cannes Film Festival this year, TikTok had a plan. The micro-video platform planned to introduce its short-form superstars to the film industry. In exchange, it would help the famously stuffy festival appeal to a younger generation of movie buffs. This partnership was to center on #TikTokShortFilm, a juried competition judged by a panel of influencers and auteurs.
But the TikTok x Cannes collaboration has not gone off without a major hitch. Rithy Panh, the Cambodian documentarian who was set to serve as the #TikTokShortFilm jury president, has resigned from that post, citing “a persistent disagreement over the independence and sovereignty of the jury.”
Panh, who is a dual citizen of Cambodia and France, is known for films that depict the horrors of the Khmer Rouge and the struggles Cambodian people have faced in the aftermath of that brutal regime. He was selected to lead a five-person jury that also included filmmakers Camille Ducellier, Basma Khalifa, and Angele Diabang, as well as the Senegal-born, Italy-based TikTok megastar Khaby Lame.
The panel’s job was to sort through short films that originated on TikTok and pick three winners to be honored at an award ceremony. The submissions ranged from 30 seconds in length up to three minutes.
Instead, it would seem that Panh butted heads with TikTok brass over the platform’s involvement in the jury process. The Hollywood Reporter could not confirm whether #TikTokShortFilm will go on as planned, though the outlet did note that Cannes director Thierry Frémaux was supposed to attend the competition’s culminating ceremony. TikTok has not yet responded to Tubefilter‘s request for comment.
For TikTok, which wants to help its homegrown creators break into the movie business, the controversy surrounding the short film contest is a significant setback. It’s a reminder that the ethics of the film industry are not the same as the ones that govern online video. Cannes is a locus for artistic expression and progressive filmmaking, and meddling with that process is dangerous.
To find a platform with a safer approach to Cannes, we only need to look as far as Meta. Facebook and Instagram are hyping their native short-form format by sending a 120-person “Reels Squad” to the French Riviera. Those creators will bring the 75-year-old film festival to social media as they hang out at a “creator villa” that will host up to 300 people in all.
If #TikTokShortFilm doesn’t go forward, TikTok will be relying on its own squad of creators to deliver positive Cannes content. About 20 TikTokers from around the globe have been invited to attend and shoot the festival.
Welcome to Creators on the Rise, where—in partnership with global creator company Jellysmack—we find and profile breakout creators who are in the midst of extraordinary growth.
It’s no secret: the internet loves dogs.
But Chris Equale never set out to make the world wide web fall in love with his corgis.
Equale, who’s based in Las Vegas and jokingly refers to himself as a “recovering tech executive,” used to have a harried work schedule. Every Monday, he flew to California for work. On Fridays, he flew back home for a weekend with Sarah, his fiancee, and their Pembroke Welsh corgis Hammy and Olivia.
Then, in 2020, COVID brought air travel to a halt. And, like several of our other Creators on the Rise featurees, Equale found himself stuck in quarantine. For him, it was an even more unique situation. Not only was he not used to being trapped at home, but he wasn’t used to having all this one-on-one time with the dynamic duo.
So, to occupy himself, he pulled out his phone and started filming.
He’d never considered content creation before. Even when he posted that first video, where he calls Hammy out for having a big ol’ crush on a cat–complete with himself voicing both Hammy and Olivia in time with their barks–he didn’t think it’d be A Thing. He figured he’d send it to family and friends, they’d get a few laughs, and everyone would move on.
Then the video started getting views.
Like, a lot of views.
To date, it’s got over 2 million–which is a drop in the bucket compared to how other Hammy and Olivia videos have performed. After realizing people dug his content, Equale started making more in that exact format, with wild storylines (in one, for example, Hammy skips school to go out on the town, and Olivia has to signal him to make a cinematic journey home when the principal tattles to Equale) and, crucially, Hammy and Olivia “talking” in exaggerated, boisterous voices.
Weekly view and subscriber counts from Gospel Stats.
These days, Equale’s top-performing videos scrape 50 million views. And thanks to that viewership–the Hammy and Olivia fandom, as he calls it–he’s now a full-time content creator making a video on YouTube Shorts every single day.
That level of consistent content production has helped push Equale’s channel to nearly 100 million views and over 100,000 new subscribers each month. Those are career numbers, but Equale says making videos is more than a job. He and Sarah consider it a “social responsibility,” he says, because of the amount of messages they’ve received from people whose lives have been brightened by Hammy and Olivia.
“This is the time in life, right now, where there’s so much uncertainty and so many hardships happening with everybody during the pandemic, that people need a daily smile,” he says.
We’ll let him tell you more below.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Tubefilter: For somebody who’s reading this and has never seen one of your videos, tell me about you and how the channel got started.
Chris Equale: So Hammy and Olivia are two quote-unquote “talking corgis,” and we put together daily family friendly skits. Myself, Chris, I’m engaged to my fiance, Sarah, and we don’t have children of our own. So we like to think that Hammy and Olivia are both our kids in this respective household, and we like to factor them into our decision-making process. We’ve really humanized them in that regard.
So Olivia is a seven-year-old Pembroke Welsh corgi, and she emulates the modern-day Cher Horowitz to a large degree. And then Hammy is our five-year-old Pembroke Welsh corgi. And he is moreso that lovable loser that is probably the last kid picked in kickball, but you always want to root for.
Tubefilter: Where are you from and when did you meet your fiancee?
CE: I live in Las Vegas, Nevada. I met Sarah about eight years ago, here.
Tubefilter: How did the channel get started?
CE: I used to travel to California for work every week. So for eight years I would get on a plane on a Monday, head to California, fly back on a Friday, and spend my weekend here in Vegas.
And then COVID was the first instance where I was fully grounded. I didn’t get on a plane. The following Monday, everybody went into quarantine. March 16th, 2020, was my 387th flight back home. And I haven’t been on an airplane since.
So being alone in my house with my dogs on a Monday was very unfamiliar territory for me, and I needed a creative outlet. I saw an opportunity to shoot a video of Olivia talking to a vacuum cleaner, and little did I know that posting it would create such a fandom.
When it took off, I looked at Sarah and I said, you know, “This is the time in life, right now, where there’s so much uncertainty and so many hardships happening with everybody during the pandemic, that people need a daily smile.” And that’s what we set out to really do with Hammy and Olivia.
Tubefilter: Had it ever occurred to you to try doing videos before that or was it just sort of out of nowhere?
CE: It had never occurred to me to do content creation at all. I took it upon myself just to do it moreso as something fun to share with my friends and family during the pandemic, ’cause we couldn’t get out, we couldn’t see each other. It was just sort of my way of communicating and sharing laughs with them. I had no idea the reach that a piece of content could take.
And, you know, when your phone starts vibrating endlessly, and you start to realize the amount of views that a single video can get, you start to understand that you can really touch so many lives with just a 15-second video. And that’s where we took it upon ourselves to invest in taking the time to really make this a fun adventure for everyone every single day.
We got so many direct messages from people who told us, “I rely on this.” “I love your two dogs.” “I battle depression and they give me a sense of joy throughout my day, and they help dissipate my anxiety and lower my stress levels and they do so much for me on a serotonin level, so thank you for sharing them with me.”
We’ve now taken this as a social responsibility that people need silliness in their lives. So we’re just really happy to be able to introduce it to them through these two corgis.
Tubefilter: Wait, what was your day job before all this?
CE: Prior to this, I was the EVP of sales for one of the largest cannabis cultivators in southern California—licensed. And prior to that, I was a tech executive. I joke often that I’m a recovering tech executive who just talks to my dogs all day every day.
Tubefilter: You said that first video kind of took off. When did it become a thing where it was like, “Okay, this is gonna be my full-time pursuit”?
CE: I think everybody comes to their own conclusion on when to make that transition. I think for us, it was a unique position, because COVID was really the catalyst that started all of this. When offices started to open back up and when people were starting to have to get their normal work legs back under them and things along those lines, I just made the conscious effort of deciding I didn’t want to go back to that.
Whereas I feel like a lot of creators, they’re actively in their job and they make the decision whether or not to quit that day. I didn’t really have that pressure. And I think…you know, I was in the same pair of sweatpants every single day. I would change out my T-shirt maybe a few times a week. I was just really enjoying the comfortability of being in my home, because I hadn’t experienced something like this, a normalcy like this, for almost eight years. I was on a professional grind, traveling so much, so I just decided at that point that I wanted to give up that life and just stick with this. And then I think the financial security around content creation sort of came after that decision. It wasn’t the financial security making the decision easy, if that makes sense.
Tubefilter: Yeah, it does. What I hear from a lot of people is that like, one month they got a $20,000 or $30,000 check from AdSense and they went in and quit their job.
CE: Totally, yeah. We’re good friends with Graham Stephan over here in Vegas and he’s a fan of the double down. He’s like, “Just quit your job and double down!” I was like, “Okay.” [laughs]
Tubefilter: I mean, people take a flyer and it does work out sometimes. But I feel like we also don’t hear about when it doesn’t work out.
CE: Right, right, right. You tend to lean on the success stories. I get it. And we’re not rolling in dough by any stretch. We still live a very unassuming lifestyle. We get by just fine and we just enjoy putting our daily smile out into the world.
Tubefilter: How did you end up with the two of them? Did you always want corgis, or…?
CE: It’s funny you ask that. My entire life before Olivia, I was an English bulldog owner. I had eight different English bulldogs and their names all started with the letter B.
What’s so funny is anyone who has an English bulldog will know they’re like koala bears, they sleep like 20 out of 24 hours a day. They’re big lumps. You don’t take them far on walks because they don’t go very far, they’re very low-maintenance dogs.
Anyway, Sarah always wanted to have a corgi, and I went to her friend who’d just bred a litter of corgi puppies. I probably should have been wise enough to know at that point that there was no chance I wouldn’t come home without one that day.
So we came home with Olivia and I learned very quickly that this is a different way of life, having a corgi. It’s constant energy and she’s very vocal and her personality is so loud and so boisterous and funny and you have to be on your toes.
And the only thing that could make that more hectic is getting a second one! Which we did, and it was great. I mean, introducing Hammy into this home just brought a whole other layer of fun, and his personality shines through in a completely different way than Olivia’s and they complement each other so well. And I think when people watch our videos…sure, they “talk,” and yes, that’s a little bit unrealistic. We get it. But the personalities are still what resonates the most. And I think that’s what people really connect with, and they really feel like they know our dogs almost as well as we do.
Tubefilter: I have three cats and a dog and I certainly assign them little voices and little personalities, and it’s nice to see that from someone else willing to put it out there on the internet.
CE: I think anyone will look at me like I’m crazy except a pet owner. I think we all wonder, at one point, what it might sound like to talk with our pet. So I’m glad you get it.
Tubefilter: So as you mentioned, you do daily videos. That’s huge. That’s a lot of production time and a lot of effort. What does the average day look like for you in terms of producing a video every single day?
CE: That’s a great question. At this point now, two years later, we’ve done upwards of 700 videos, which is really wild to think about.
I think there’s always such barriers to entry when you think about being a content creator. YouTube can be intimidating! It can be a very intimidating platform. Like, why would someone be interested in me for eight or 15 or 20 minutes at a time?
What we’ve really enjoyed about short-form content creation is that it takes 15 seconds to be able to introduce an idea, add some humor to it, and tie it all together, and that’s not a giant creative commitment.
Now, there’s a difference to that. There’s an asterisk. And that is: I work with dogs. Those present their own challenges. The old entertainment cliche is “Don’t work with kids or animals,” and I learn every single day why that’s so true. But at the same time, they’ve become so much more efficient in this, just because thye’re so conditioned to doing this now that the day is a lot quicker than it used to be.
So typically—they’re still my dogs, you know, they’re still my animals. So it still takes care, even outside of the content creation side of things. My whole day revolves around them.
They wake me up at 6:30 for breakfast. They know their breakfast time. Then I get into the morning routine of feeding them, walking them, they go down for their nap, and then once they’re back up at 11 a.m., we go straight into our third bedroom, which we’ve converted now into a closet for the dogs. We pick out outfits, I put together a script. They have a green room when they’re not working.
CE: Oh yeah. I can only work with one of them at a time, unless it’s a shot that needs both of them. So I’ll put the other dog in the green room and let them kind of hang out and nap in a nice bed, have some treats.
To do a 15-second completed video that our followers see, it takes about four hours of work. That’s script, shoot, edit, and score. And if it was just me—if someone was showing up for the six-foot redhead, which I know no one is, ’cause I understand the exchange here, they want the dog—if it was just me making a 15-second video, it would probably take 20 or 30 minutes. It’s a whole different world when you introduce pets to the space.
Tubefilter: In terms of making a video, is it always scripted or do you do any kind of candid catching them in the moment, doing something funny? What’s the mix there?
CE: There’s a theme to all this: I’m only willing to do whatever the dogs are willing to give. It speaks, really, to each aspect of this. I could have an idea in my ehad, I could have a really funny scripted situation. But then Ham doesn’t feel like being super vocal today or barking a lot, and I have to adjust. Or maybe Hammy gets really excited and does a rollover for a treat, and we weren’t expecting that, but we caught it on camera. So can we integrate that somehow?
I always show up with a plan because I feel like a plan is going to be the most efficient for everyone’s time. But they have funny ways of taking that off the tracks, and sometimes we just have to go for it. And at the end of the day, I think when subscribers or followers can key in on those moments and see sort of the organic nature of the dogs being themselves, I almost feel like it’s obviously the most authentic and sometimes the most captivating content.
Tubefilter: I’ve had animals all my life and I think it’s pretty clear when they do or don’t want to be on film, so it’s interesting in your videos that they’re always so obviously gung-ho.
CE: Yeah, they’re such sweethearts and they totally have just bought into this now at this point. They walk into the green room and they wanna start acting. They know it’s treat time. It’s almost like paid actors. I get asked all the time, “Do they like wearing outfits? My dogs don’t like wearing outfits.”
They love wearing outfits because they associate it with, “I’m gonna get treats, I just have to put this on.”
Tubefilter: And they’re the center of attention.
CE: And they’re the center of attention! And then we’re just oohing and ahhing at them with a camera in their face, they bark for about 10 minutes, and that’s their day.
It is funny—people tend to this this is an all-day thing. And for me, yes, there’s a lot of aspects for it outside of just the production of videos that take up a lot of my time. But just in terms of them and their bandwidth and what’s needed from them on a day-in, day-out basis, it’s really no more than like an hour and a half, and they love it. It’s time we get to spend together, it’s enrichment we get to experience together, and it’s just being able to really enjoy our bond.
Tubefilter: Do you have anybody working with you behind the scenes, like a manager or editor? Anyone else on the business/production side?
CE: My fiancee is obviously a giant help. Sarah’s been so amazing in terms of like, to do what we do and to get some of the shots we shoot, you cannot do it without a second set of hands, and she’s absolutely paramount in making the magic happen on camera.
Outside of that, we’re blessed to be the first pets to sign with ICM, our agency in L.A., and our management team is with Whalar, they’re fantastic. Outside of that, it’s me. I always joke, I’m just a redhead with a cell phone. I’m the one that just shoots the videos, I edit it all on my cell phone, and I pull all the magic from an iPhone 13, and that’s it.
Tubefilter: You walked right into my next question. Earlier you mentioned short-form content making things more accessible. What are your thoughts about that in terms of just being able to use your phone instead of having to have expensive equipment?
CE: I think it’s amazing. I mean, you don’t have to have the most expensive equipment or the most expensive microphone or the most expensive software. I think what’s been fantastic for us as content creators is just how far technology has come in such a short amount of time.
The beauty is that everyone has a camera now in their pocket and that’s how anything can be captured in any moment. I love it because it sounds like it’s always such an intimidating phenomenon, to be a YouTuber. The brilliance of today’s day and age is I can shoot content on my phone. I can edit it on my phone. I can post it directly from my phone. And this one little medium that resides in my pocket for millions of eyeballs is pretty wild.
Tubefilter: Have you guys gotten any brand deals or sponsorships or other partnerships?
CE: Oh yeah, we have to. When you’re full-time, that’s a big piece of the earnings.
I’m a big believer in, we put on a show. And when you put on a show and you entertain, you are able to really have that stage and command the audience. A big piece of it too is frequency. I think if you post as often as we do, you earn the right to have the floor for a commercial break. This is the lifeblood of a full-time content creator, being able to have forecastable earnings so we can continue to allocate most of our time to producing more content—which I think, at the end of the day, everybody really wants.
So I think a lot of creators struggle with the moral dilemma of it and the ethics around it, but at it’s just a necessary piece in order to go into content creation full-time.
I love it because a lot of the brand deals we currently have our arms wrapped around are all dog-centric and they’re all fixtures in Hammy and Olivia’s ecosystem, which is fantastic. We have a great partnership with our food provider. We have a great partnership with our dog supplement provider. We have a great relationship with the platform that we use for a dogsitter if we need to.
So I think all of these are natural tie-ins and, you know, we also have a way of turning branded content on its head where it’s not super formal. We like to inject it into our skits in a humorous way so we’re still putting on a show—and I think our following appreciates that.
Tubefilter: In terms of growth of your channel, it’s grown pretty steadily. Do you know if there’s a specific video that took off and got your channel a lot of attention early, or is it cumulative traffic pouring in?
CE: I think it always starts with one leaking out that really gets the attention of viewers. And then when that shooting star moment happens, it’s always great to see all of the other content lift with it. That’s always sort of how this works. And, you know, we get that at any moment you can be the flavor of the week. You could be the flavor of the month. Interest might wane. But it always tends to come back around if you’re consistent and you’re producing high-quality content.
We’ve seen recently with this new emergence of Shorts and short-form content, really being able to put a spotlight on creators like us who weren’t otherwise willing to do five- to 10-minute pieces of content, nor had the bandwidth to be able to do that. It gives us the platform and we’ve really been able to excel our channel through that, which has been a total blessing. We’re just so happy that YouTube has now given us that medium.
Tubefilter: Are there any specific videos you can think of that really took off and prompted that “shooting star”?
CE: Yeah: Corgi loses his legs! part 2. That has been unequivocally our best-performing piece of content to date. I think it has over 50 million views at this point on Shorts, and it tends to be sort of the catalyst for any new set of eyeballs to watch and then say, “I gotta see what this channel’s all about.” And then they continue to really go down the rabbit hole on our other videos.
Tubefilter: Do you have any plans for the rest of this year? You don’t have to give me spoilers, but any plans or things you’re hoping to accomplish for the rest of this year?
CE: Huge plans, actually. My end goal for this…Well, look. We’ve done 700 videos. It’s not sustainable to have your dogs do this into their eight, nine, 10, 11 years on, it just doesn’t work. I’m a big believer in wanting future generations to be able to enjoy Hammy and Olivia like our viewers have, so I’ve been racing to try to get into animation.
We’re blessed to now be partnered with a very prominent animation studio, and we are at the point where we’re putting together a full animated television show concept, and we’re looking to take that to market here shortly. We’re so excited.
Tubefilter: How did you arrive at animation? That’s very ambitious.
CE: I’m not an animator, but I think if you watch our videos, you understand that we’re all about the chaos and the over-the-top nature of things that can happen and unfold. There’s so much of a limit to what live-action can offer you in that world. My dogs do a fantastic job, and I think I do a good job of making our videos chaotic and explosive and hilarious and just wild without having to put them in dangerous situations. I will not cross that line at the end of the day. They’re still my pets and I want people to know that.
But I think the animated world can offer so much. Like, could Hammy and Olivia go scuba diving? Could they go to the moon? You never know. And with animation, I think that shackling nature that you feel as a content creator immediately gets lifted. Plus I’m a fan of Rugrats and Doug and Rocko’s Modern Life and all those old cartoons that probably date me. But at the same time, I have this dream that kids one day will be able to wake up on a Saturday morning and watch Hammy and Olivia and laugh alongside them.
That’s my dream: to immortalize these dogs so they can continue to make people laugh for many, many years to come.
Jellysmack is the global creator company that powers multi-platform social media growth for video creators, media companies, brands, celebrities, and its own online communities (Beauty Studio, Oh My Goal, Gamology, House of Bounce and more). The company’s proprietary technology optimizes, distributes, and promotes video content, resulting in meaningful audience growth and increased revenue in record time. Jellysmack is currently partnered with hundreds of talented creators including MrBeast, PewDiePie, Like Nastya, and Bailey Sarian. Looking to Go Bigger on social? Visit jellysmack.com.
On TikTok, recent University of Michigan grad Ari Elkinshas amassed an audience of 1.8 million followers by serving as your personal guide to pop music. Need a song for that playlist of indie jams? Ari’s has covered. Want to listen to something that sounds like your favorite Harry Styles number? Ari to the rescue. Interested in feeling old when Elkins calls Nirvana an oldie? He’s got you, fam.
As you can see, Elkins has a knack for recommending music that fits a specific mood — and that personality trait forms the basis of his new podcast. Elkins is the host of Soundtrack Your Day, in which the TikToker and his guests use Spotify Live to build and discuss themed playlists.
Soundtrack Your Day is a hybrid between an on-demand podcast and a live audio program. Every Monday at 8 PM ET, Elkins will host a Spotify Live session in which he will build a playlist alongside his guests and listeners. The musicians who appear on the show will talk about songs they’ve released that fit the week’s theme. For example, the podcast’s premiere centered around morning songs, so it was an opportunity for Quinn XCII andAshe to promote the song ‘Coffee.’
In addition to musicians, TikTok stars will contribute to Soundtrack Your Day. Connor Wood, aka Fibula, showed up in the first episode. The second installment will take on the subject of mental health and will feature appearances from Charly Jordan and Emma Brooks, among others.
The upstart audiophile told Spotify that he came up with his podcast after thinking about another figure with a penchant for playlists. “The idea for Soundtrack Your Day came from President Obama’s annual playlists,” Elkins said. “In my mind, Obama isn’t generally associated with music or being an artist, but so many people were tuning into his playlists, including me. So I thought, everybody’s listening to music. What if we take people from different sectors, get them to share the music they love and are interested in, get them to create a playlist of it, and talk about music that they’re passionate about?”
On Spotify’s side of things, Soundtrack Your Day is both an opportunity to work with an influential young voice and a chance to show the potential of the platform’s live audio service. Other platforms may be pivoting away from their Clubhouse competitors, but Spotify Live is still going strong, and it’s the perfect place to contribute your opinion to Elkins’ music conversations.
TikTok has its eye on Tinseltown. The micro-video platform has unveiled its inaugural Showbiz List, a collection of 35 creators who are “making waves in the entertainment industry.”
Rather than indicating up-and-coming talent in a specific field, the Showbiz List picks out talented artists across a wide variety of disciplines. It includes actors and directors, makeup artists and costume designers, critics, musicians, and consultants. There are two common denominators between all of these talented people: They are active on TikTok, and they are “representing a new generation of creators for Hollywood to watch.”
Why should Hollywood pay attention to these short-form superstars? The Showbiz List provides a multitude of reasons. For starters, the creators included on it are already plugged into pop culture. TikTok noted actor Julian Burzynski‘s Euphoria parodies as evidence of that trend.
Other top TikTokers are “changing the game” by bringing novel approaches to their respective fields. JeremyTheTea is breaking gender boundaries with his costume designs, and Cindy Chenteaches 1.8 million followers how to apply her avant-garde beliefs about makeup and design.
The Showbiz List serves as a reminder about TikTok’s place in youth culture. While other short-form platforms boast big payouts and huge audiences, TikTok is positioning itself as the primary incubator of the next generation of entertainment celebrities. Earlier this month, as part of that plan, the Bytedance-owned platform launched a short film contest at the Cannes Film Festival, with comedic mega-star Khaby Lame serving as one of the judges.
Will today’s TikTokers be tomorrow’s Hollywood icons? We’ll be paying attention to the creators on the Showbiz List to see if their inclusion brings them development deals, leading roles, or high-profile gigs.
A day after sharing advertiser-friendly features during its annual Brandcast, YouTube revealed a slew of updates that will affect its flagship product. The YouTube player has been equipped with the ability to skip straight to a video’s popular moments, and individual clips can now be looped so that they replay over and over.
YouTube will identify big moments by determining the sections of videos that are replayed most often. Those climaxes will be displayed in graphs that will be visible within the video player’s progress bar. Sections that have been watched more frequently will appear as shaded “hills” above the bar. You can see what that visual effect will look like in the above image.
If you don’t want to skip through your videos at all, you can now watch them over and over. The ability to play content on loop is new to the long-form version YouTube, though it was previously enabled as a default option on YouTube Shorts. If viewers become aware of this new option (which can be enabled on desktop by right-clicking on the player), it could spell the end of those ultra-long videos that repeat the same clip over and over. Why watch Shrek play the saxophone for ten hours when you can just loop the shorter version?
The other new update worth noting here synergizes with one of the major themes of YouTube’s Brandcast presentation. During its pitch to advertisers in New York, the video platform boasted about its prowess on connected TVs. Now, viewers on those screens will be able to take advantage of a feature that you’ve probably seen already on another device. Video chapters, which split long uploads into individually-labeled sections, can now be experienced on connected TV.
If these features pique your interest, you might want to pay attention to http://youtube.com/new. On that landing page, viewers who possess Premium subscriptions can serve as testers for upcoming product launches. YouTube said that it developed the “most replayed moments” feature that way, and pretty soon, another test will arrive at that URL. Premium users will soon have the opportunity to try out a tool that will allow them to skip directly to an exact moment in a specific video.
At its Brandcast presentation in New York on May 17, YouTube positioned itself as a direct competitor to TV.
In a change from previous years, the annual pitch to advertisers occurred during the TV industry’s upfronts season. “”We’re so excited to be at the upfronts this year,” YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said during her address. “We’re here because YouTube is the mainstream.”
When that move was announced, we speculated that YouTube was bidding for ad dollars that have previously gone to TV networks, as several of its recent product rollouts had indicated. In 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic forced viewers onto connected TVs, YouTube expanded its advertising options on those screens. A year later, YouTube’s CTV service got access to the same Nielsen metrics used by traditional TV channels.
At Brandcast, YouTube talked about the return it’s seeing from its investment in connected TVs. A blog post from the company reveals some of the statistics it shared during its presentation, such as:
YouTube reached 96% of the US population aged 25-54 across devices (according to Nielsen).
Nielsen also reported that YouTube reached over 135 million people on connected TVs in the U.S. in December 2021.
YouTube accounts for over 50% of ad-supported streaming watch time on connected TVs among people ages 18 and up.
Alan Thygesen, Google’s President of Americas, used stats like those to suggest that YouTube is now beating the TV networks at their own game. He stressed that 35% of the platform’s CTV viewers “can’t be reached by any other streaming platform. They only watch YouTube.”
The claims of YouTube’s connected TV prowess are backed up by a Think with Google study that was released a day before Brandcast. Among other insights, Google claims that viewers are 34% more likely to value content for its “unique storytelling and production” rather than its “cinematic quality.” The study quotes EGAMI GROUP managing director Parris Bowe, who claims that “authentic, aesthetically imperfect content that resonates, that gets to the heart of matters, is what’s winning right now and what will be winning in the future.”
Though YouTube is positioning itself to redefine TV consumption, it didn’t miss an opportunity to restate its dominance of the ad-supported streaming industry. During Brandcast, it highlighted the scale its individual creators are able to achieve. It noted that if MrBeast‘s YouTube channel were its own streaming service, it would have more subscribers than every other streaming service except YouTube. MrBeast has 95 million subscribers; HBO and HBO Max have 76.8 million of them.
So there you have it. YouTube still has the scale no other digital platform can match — though if the MrBeast streaming service ever gets off the ground, YouTube should watch out.
Tonight, for the first time, YouTube hosted its annual Brandcast—where it appeals to advertisers with fresh user data and new content and feature announcements—at the TV Upfronts rather than the digital NewFronts.
That’s because YouTube really, really hopes marketers will buy it as a competitor for the ad dollars they’d normally spend with traditional TV networks. Over the past few years, YouTube has consistently pitted its audience reach and viewership against TV’s.
“Traditionally, the Upfronts are for the TV networks, but for today, because of the incredible shifts we’ve seen in the media industry, we know, like a lot of you, this isn’t your parents’ Upfront,” Alan Thygesen, Google’s president of Americas and global partners, said onstage. “We continue to see YouTube outperform TV’s ROI head to head.”
And YouTube’s aiming to bring ROI for more than advertisers.
At Brandcast, it wrapped in a content announcement of the sort TV viewers are pretty familiar with: live shopping.
Forget QVC and the Shopping Network—YouTube wants creators, viewers, and brands to turn to it for live product-picking.
It’s kicking off this year’s livestreamed ecommerce efforts June 16 with the Beauty Festival, hosted by its head of fashion and beauty, Derek Blasberg, and featuring YouTuber SSSniperWolf and celebrities Hailey Bieber and Tracee Ellis Ross.
This will be YouTube’s second Beauty Festival. The first took place last year and featured Michelle Phan, Emma Chamberlain, and Manny MUA, as well as Paris Hilton, Pharrell Williams, and Jessica Alba.
YouTube pitched last year’s event as a “summit-style” livestream. This year, it’s changing things up. The entire event will be shoppable—meaning viewers tuning in can grab items from participating brand partners like Glossier and Lancôme—and will include exclusive product drops and integrations, YouTube says.
During the stream, SSSniperWolf, Bieber, Ross, and other attending creators/celebs will “reveal their best tricks of the trade,” the platform adds.
Beauty Festival will be put on by Den of Thieves with Jesse Ignjatovic, Evan Prager, Jared Morell, and Jordan Barrow as executive producers.
YouTube also wants its creators to be able to sell more stuff
In tandem with announcing Beauty Festival, YouTube announced a couple future features meant to help individual creators who want to get into the live shopping biz.
First, later this year, it’ll start letting two channels cohost a live shopping stream, a move aimed at “uniting their communities” for more eyeballs (and, presumably, more sales).
Second, it’s introducing a sponsored content-oriented tool called live redirects, where creators “can start a shopping live stream on their channel, then redirect their audience to a brand’s channel for fans to keep watching.”
YouTube didn’t say when live redirects might debut. It also didn’t say what the access threshold could be for these two features—whether all users will be able to launch shopping streams, or only those in YouTube Partner Program, or only those with a certain number of subscribers, and so on.
Whichever creators YouTube ends up letting sell, it’s clear the company has its eye on live ecommerce…and for good reason.
So as you can see, Rebelo can really play, but is he better at Fortnite than some kid you’ve never heard of? That’s the question that one of Rebelo’s rivals — fellow YouTube star Ali ‘SypherPK‘ Hassan — tried to answer through a recent series of branded videos. Hassan worked with Lenovo Legionand AMD to launch #GamerVsWorld, which ended with a showdown between Hassan’s chosen champion and Rebelo. The campaign was developed and produced by Portal A.
Hassan and Portal A developed the idea for #GamerVsWorld after Hassan told Rebelo that he could find a gamer who could beat the Typical Gamer head-to-head. Rebelo didn’t believe him, so Hassan set out on his search and recruited creators from around the world as talent scouts. These “ambassadors” included the Indian streamer Gattu and Norwegian Fortnite player Endretta.
After all the ambassadors surveyed their local communities (thanks to some help from the gaming PCs in the Lenovo Legion lineup), the #GamerVsWorld contenders put their skills to the test. Ultimately, it was Endretta’s pick who Hassan chose to challenge Rebelo in the series finale. Norwegian unknown FishaGG may not be a household name, but he had all the skills he needed to give one of YouTube’s top stars a run for his money.
The finale was a hotly contested affair, but ultimately, it was FishaGG who eked it out. As a result of losing his bet with Hassan, Rebelo will have to do a stream from an ice bath. Meanwhile, FishaGG will probably be streaming to way more than 3,800 people in the near future.
The real winners were the creators who hosted the #GamerVsWorld videos and the brands that sponsored them. In total, the campaign has delivered 5.4 million total viewsand has reached more than 31 million followers on social media.
There are three lessons to take away from this. First and foremost, #GamerVsWorld is a reminder that there is incredible talent in the esports world that hasn’t been discovered yet, and as internet connectivity continues to improve across the globe, more of these unheralded gamers will be able to show off their chops. Secondly, this is the latest campaign to leverage small streamers in order to appeal to consumers. Shining some light on creators who are just starting out is a noble mission, which is probably why brands like Jack in the Box and HyperX have employed similar strategies in their own gaming-focused videos.
And finally, an important reminder: Professional gamers are competitive by nature. If you pose a bet to one of them, you best believe they’re going to call you out, and they’re going to try as hard as they can to prove you wrong.
[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.
The second week of May has brought new trends to our U.S. Top 50 chart.
The channel that has sat at the top of this channel for most of 2022 has now spent a two-week stretch outside the #1 spot for the first time all year. Read on to learn which kid-friendly hub replaced it in that position.
Like Nastya has reached the #1 spot in our U.S. Top 50 for two straight weeks.
The Florida-based family vlog has had a spectacular May. Its latest seven-day totals include 804.1 million weekly views. Not only was that enough traffic to lead our U.S. chart, but it actually put Like Nastya in first place in our Global Top 50 as well. If the family is able to repeat its performance next week and secure another 11% week-over-week viewership increase, it will approach 900 million weekly views.
Cocomelon – Nursery Rhymes finished second in the U.S. Top 50 for the second week in a row. The California-based animator rarely slips from its perch as the U.S. #1, so we can call the company’s two-week dip an interesting new development. Perhaps Cocomelon will surpass Like Nastya next week, but to do so, it will probably need to increase its viewership dramatically. Over our last seven-day period, it earned 561.3 million weekly views.
The #3 channel in the U.S. Top 50 is also the same one from last week. LeoNata Family has become one of the leading channels on YouTube Shorts, and this week, it registered more YouTube traffic than any other U.S.-based short-form hub. By adding 330.9 million weekly views, LeoNata Family has roared closer to some impressive milestones. It will likely reach 10 billion lifetime views before the end of the summer.
Kids Diana Show is the only channel other than Like Nastya and Cocomelon to occupy the #1 spot in this chart this year, but in our latest count, the family-friendly hub is fourth in our U.S. Top 50. Its 329.2 million weekly views represent an 8% week-over-week increase over its previous seven-day total, and as a result, it moved up one spot from fifth to four.
Another YouTube Shorts channel, XO Team, rounds out this week’s U.S. top five. With its moralistic content, the micro-video destination has picked up 292.2 million weekly views and pushed past five billion lifetime views.
It’s been five years since Kendrick Lamarlast released a full album, but over the past week, the Compton-born rapper’s activity on YouTube reminded the world that he’s still on top of the rap game.
Kendrick’s new album is titled Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers, and all of its tracks are available on the artist’s official VEVO channel. In addition, some songs already have their own music videos. The clip for the song ‘N95’ already has 9.8 million weekly views, and no, it’s not literally about masks.
The assembly of Mr. Morale content on YouTube made Kendrick one of the top musical artists on the platform during the second week of May. During that period, his 80.1 million weekly YouTube views allowed him to place 48th in our U.S. Top 50. Only two VEVO channels scored more views this week. Kendrick has also surpassed 10 million subscribers and is closing in on 4.5 billion lifetime YouTube views.
And you know what? If the positive reviews for Mr. Morale keep coming, Kendrick will climb even higher. With its snappy, metaphorical visuals, the ‘N95’ video is reminiscent of its performer’s most-watched music video, for the song ‘Humble.’ That clip has been seen more than 850 million times, so don’t be surprised if ‘N95’ eventually soars to a nine-digit view count all on its own.
This week, there are 26 YouTube Shorts channels in the U.S. Top 50.
Candle Media has announced its latest acquisition.
The deep-pocketed entity, which has spent billions to acquire digital media companies like Hello Sunshine and Moonbug, has now gained control of another brand with a massive presence on social media. Candle has acquired ATTN:, the eight-year-old content producer known for delivering politically-driven videos to platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.
The acquisition price was “roughly $100 million,” according to TheWrap. As has become the norm with Candle Media acquisitions, the company will not make widespread changes to its new subsidiary’s senior management team. Matthew Segal and Jarrett Moreno, who co-founded ATTN: in 2014, will continue to lead its day-to-day operations.
With most of its acquisitions, Candle emphasizes its plans to grow across platforms, and ATTN: is well-suited for that sort of expansion. The Millennial- and Gen Z-focused brand is perhaps best known for its work on Facebook, where it has been able to reach millions of young adults by discussing the political issues they care about. Its connections to those generations made it an appealing partner for TikTok, which tapped it to run the social justice platform TikTok for Good. ATTN: has also worked directly with several top influencers, including Juanpa Zurita and Nabela Noor.
“ATTN: has a deep, digital-native understanding for how to cut through the noise and reach today’s audiences through engaging content on social media,” Mayer and Staggs said in a statement. “We are excited for them to join Candle and provide the benefits of their talented team’s expertise across our brands and franchises.”
On the ATTN: side of things, Segal and Moreno stated that the acquisition would further their team’s ability to “use creative and clever storytelling to make important issues more digestible for mass audiences.” No specific pieces of post-acquisition programming have yet been revealed.
When Twitch co-founder Kevin Linchose to leave the company in 2020, he promised to “build again.” Two years later, he is assembling the building blocks of an ambitious new company. Lin is the founder and CEO of Metatheory, a Web3 entertainment company that just raised a $24 million Series A funding round led by deep-pocketed firm Andreessen Horowitz.
Metatheory, which launched last year, approaches the buzzy field of blockchain development with an eye toward pop culture. The company’s first project, a game called Duskbreakers, uses a “play to mint” model that rewards gamers with NFTs. In a post announcing the investment, Andreessen Horowitz said that Duskbreakers now has a community of 20,000 players. Meanwhile, in a press release, Metatheory noted that the initial run of 10,000 Duskbreakers NFTs sold out in just six days.
Lin spent more than 12 years at Twitch, dating back to when the streaming platform was still known as Justin.tv. “Building immersive digital experiences has always been a passion of mine, and after stepping away from Twitch to explore what’s next in the industry, I truly believe blockchain will open the door to even more possibilities and have a major impact in the gaming, storytelling and community building space,” Lin said in a statement. “At Metatheory, we’ve built a team of industry vets who are focused on embracing blockchain across multiple media categories with a focus on elevating standards of customer experience and shared ownership.”
The storytelling element of Metatheory plays a crucial role in its approach to blockchain development. The company is looking to turn its games and interactive stories into franchises that will thrive in the era of the metaverse. “Metatheory’s mission is to inspire imagination by connecting people worldwide through immersive worlds built on cross-generational IP,” reads the company’s About page.
Andreessen Horowitz, which previously made a massive investment in Bored Ape Yacht Club creator Yuga Labs, is bullish about the cultural potential of NFTs. In announcing its support of Metatheory, the VC firm asserted its belief that “the next major creative franchise will be built from the bottom up through games and web3 primitives.”
In addition to Andreessen Horowitz, other entities that contributed to Metatheory’s Series A include cryptocurrency firms Pantera Capital and FTX Ventures, as well as Breyer Capital, Merit Circle, Recharge Thematic Ventures, Dragonfly Capital Partners, Daedalus, Sfermion, and Global Coin Research.
[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, something unusual has happened in our Global Top 50. A channel other than T-Series has ranked #1 in the world.
The channel in question came close to the Indian juggernaut last week before pushing past it during the second full week of May.
Say hello to your new global #1, Like Nastya.
The U.S.-based family channel calls its titular personality the biggest individual creator within YouTube’s family category. Now, Nastya can claim that her home channel most-watched hub in the world. With 804.1 million weekly views, Like Nastya raised its viewership by 11% week-over-week to claim the top spot in our Global Top 50. No other channel is within 100 million views of that total.
The closest competition for Like Nastya is last week’s global #1, T-Series. There have only been a few weeks this year when the Indian record label hasn’t sat atop our worldwide chart, and this is one of them. T-Series fell back to #2 even though it got 700.2 million weekly views and pushed its lifetime viewership above 190 billion. Will this be a mere blip for the indefatigable music hub, or the first step in an ongoing trend?
There was also a surprise at the #3 spot in our Global Top 50. Bahauddin Dije, a Belgium-based creator who plies his trade on YouTube Shorts, moved from outside the Top 50 to pass all but two other channels. Over seven days, Dije’s videos picked up 653.3 million weekly views, and he surpassed three billion lifetime views in the process. He’s also Belgium’s only representative in the Global Top 50.
Cocomelon – Nursery Rhymes is all the way back in fourth place this week. For most channels, that would be an all-time high, but for the American producer of kid-friendly animations, that placement represents a bit of a slump. That said, the U.S.-based channel’s viewership is still nothing to sniff at. During our latest seven-day measurement period, Cocomelon got 561.3 million weekly views.
Sony SAB finished nearly 200 million views behind Cocomelon, but its seven-day viewership was still high enough for it to snag the final slot in our global top five. The destination for Indian TV content counted 373.3 million weekly views during the week that was.
The channels in this week’s Global Top 50 represent four different continents, but many of the biggest players on YouTube succeed by appealing to viewers across the globe. That strategy helped propel Vietnam’s SKY CHANNELto the #10 spot in the world after it ranked 28th a week ago.
In particular, SKY CHANNEL relies on the universal language of comedy. If you want to be funny, all you have to do is take a situation and escalate it — and that’s exactly what happens in this clip. Other pieces of SKY CHANNEL content utilize physical comedy that wouldn’t be out of place in an old Marx Brothers movie. After watching the hub’s most-popular YouTube Shorts clip, I’ll be sure to look before I dip my vegetables.
With these quick-hitters at its disposal (the one embedded above has more than 126 million views), SKY CHANNEL has rocketed up our charts. It was Vietnam’s only representative in this week’s Global Top 50, and by scoring 314.3 million weekly views, it increased its traffic by 50% week-over-week. That sort of lift is worth writing about — this one, however, maybe not.
Here’s a breakdown of the Top 50 Most Viewed channels this week in terms of their countries of origin:
United States: 19 channels in the Top 50.
India: 13 channels in the Top 50.
Pakistan: 5 channels in the Top 50.
Argentina, Japan, and Turkey: 2 channels in the Top 50.
Belgium, Brazil, Germany, Israel, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Vietnam: 1 each in the Top 50.
This week, 27 channels in the Top 50 are primarily active on YouTube Shorts.
Vanessa Guthrie, the executive who spearheaded Snap’s push into original content, is leaving the company.
Per Variety, Guthrie will continue her role through the end of June 2022; after she exits, Anjuli Millan, who’s been Snap’s head of production for originals since 2019, will take over.
“During her time with us, Vanessa has been a trailblazer for women in tech and has played an integral role in launching content for the mobile-first generation,” Snap said in a statement. “While we will miss her tremendously, we’re excited to see what she tackles next.”
Guthrie joined Snap in 2016, first as senior manager of originals, then as director of content and head of originals.
Snap told Variety that Guthrie was instrumental in building the team that developed Snapchat Originals as a concept and to date has deployed more than 150 individual specials and series. And those originals apparently have an impressive reach: At its recent NewFronts presentation, Snap said that in the fourth quarter of 2021, over 80% of the U.S. Gen Z population watched at least one Snapchat Original.
Snap did not disclose what Guthrie’s future plans are, or whether she has accepted a position at another company.
Millan, who worked at Collective Digital Studio and Studio71 before joining Snap in 2016, will report to Ben Schwerin, SVP of content and partnerships. Snap says Millan has had a hand in production of more than 100 of Snapchat’s originals, including directly working with starring talent like Simone Biles, Megan Thee Stallion, Stephen Curry, Ryan Reynolds, and Addison Rae.
In addition to Guthrie’s exit and Millan’s rise to head of originals, Snap announced a small roster of promotions and role expansions within the originals team:
Pierre Finn has been promoted from manager of operations and post-production to head of production and operations for Snap Originals.
Erin Keating, head of next-generation content, has had her role expanded to cover AR storytelling, live-event activations, Cameo integrations, and more.
Alex Leibow, head of editorial for creators, has had his role expanded to include more development for Snapchat creators, including monetized Stories and “creator moments,” per Variety.
Meanwhile, Jill Dickerson will continue to oversee unscripted originals; Amanda Krentzman will continue to oversee international originals; and Peter Hamby will continue to host and executive produce Snapchat’s Good Luck America.
Influencer boxing matches can be hit-or-miss, but the Creator Clash was an absolute knockout.
The highly-anticipated event was organized by former ‘Content Cop’ iDubbbzand featured 18 stars from platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Twitch. A sold-out crowd witnessed nine thrilling matches at the Yuengling Center in Tampa, Florida, and more than 100,000 people tuned in online via pay-per-view on Moment House. In the main card, iDubbbz showed a ton of heart against Doctor Mike, but the physician ultimately prevailed via unanimous decision.
iDubbbz determined performance was the result of his grueling training regimen. The internet commentator transformed his body to prepare for the Clash, and he was able to land a lot of shots against his larger opponent. He will document the entire experience in a long-form video he plans to release on his YouTube channel.
Many of the undercards showcased respectful boxing as well, and it was clear that the majority of the participants trained hard and took this opportunity seriously. Highlights included Harley Morenstein‘s physical domination of Arin Hanson, an epic brawl between female fighters Yodeling Haley and Justaminx (who emerged victorious), and Nathan “Dad” Barnatt‘s brutal first-round knockout of Matt Watson.
Many of the observers who purchased the Clash on pay-per-view praised the level of competition they saw. Commenters also gave respect to iDubbbz for assembling the thrilling matchups.
Alongside iDubbbz, the Creator Clash was also organized by Real Good Touring and co-creatorMike Leanardi. Proceeds from the event will benefit several charities, including the American Heart Association and the Alzheimers Association of America. The total amount of money raised by the influencer boxing bonanza will be announced at a later date.
Though the response to the event was mostly positive, some viewers called out the apparent size mismatches among some of the competitors. Those criticisms can be addressed in an upcoming sequel. During his weigh-in before the fight, iDubbbz remarked that Creator Clash 2 could go down sometime next year.
If round two does indeed happen, there are plenty of creators who have expressed interest in stepping into the ring. While spectating the Creator Clash online, Twitch stars Mizkif and Valkyrae remarked that they might want to give boxing a try. Those are two names that could definitely sell a lot of tickets and pay-per-view streams.
The new slate is headlined by roundtable discussion Recipe for Change: Amplifying Black Women, which follows previous installments Recipe for Change: Stop Asian Hate and Recipe for Change: Standing Up to Antisemitism.
The new episode will feature hosts Mary J. Blige, Saweetie, and Tabitha Brown with chefs Kelis and Danielle Saunders and dinner guests including Chlöe Bailey, Winnie Harlow, Kelly Rowland, Jackie Aina, Keisha Lance Bottoms, Roxane Gay, Sarah Jakes Roberts, Lynn Whitfield, Yaya DaCosta, Loni Love, Renee Montgomery, Danielle Young, Angelica Ross, Hallease, and Elaine Welteroth. Reporter Amanda Seales will have segments interviewing “Black women and their allies” on the streets of Los Angeles, YouTube says.
YouTube adds that this installment with center “the powerful stories and experiences of Black women, celebrating their perseverance and strength while making space for joy and the power of sisterhood.”
“Today’s announcement continues YouTube’s long-standing commitment to celebrating diverse perspectives on its platform,“ Nadine Zylstra, global head of YouTube Originals, said in a statement. “Our upcoming projects highlight important stories and raise impactful voices to not only educate and entertain our audiences, but to also inspire meaningful change.”
Also on the docket is another installment of YouTuber Marques Brownlee’s Retro Tech, scheduled for a December 2022 release, plus a Nelson Mandela documentary dropping on Mandela Day, July 18.
You can read full descriptions from YouTube of all greenlit projects below.
“Recipe for Change: Amplifying Black Women”–Premieres Thursday, May 19 on Jason Y. Lee’s Jubilee YouTube Channel
Following the success of the Daytime Emmy Nominated “Recipe for Change: Stop Asian Hate,” and the recently released second installment “Recipe for Change: Standing Up To Antisemitism,” “Recipe for Change: Amplifying Black Women” continues with the latest special centering on the powerful stories and experiences of Black women, celebrating their perseverance and strength while making space for joy and the power of sisterhood. Hosts Mary J. Blige, Saweetie and Tabitha Brown partner with esteemed chefs Kelis and Danielle Saunders to host dinner guests including Chlöe Bailey, Winnie Harlow, Kelly Rowland, Jackie Aina, Keisha Lance Bottoms, Roxane Gay, Sarah Jakes Roberts, Lynn Whitfield, Yaya DaCosta, Loni Love, Renee Montgomery, Danielle Young, Angelica Ross, Hallease and Elaine Welteroth. Amanda Seales also joins the special episode as an on-the-street reporter, speaking with Black women and their allies in Los Angeles. “Recipe For Change: Amplifying Black Women” is executive produced by LeBron James and Maverick Carter with their media conglomerate The SpringHill Company. Showrunner Joel Relampagos also executive produces “Recipe for Change: Amplifying Black Women” alongside Jamal Henderson and Philip Byron of The SpringHill Company. Co-executive producers include Camille Maratchi and Courtney Whitaker also of The SpringHill Company with Nefertiti Lovelace, and directed by Joie Jacoby.
“A New Green Book”–Premieres Thursday, May 26, 2022
A transformative original series that follows the incredible journey of Black visionaries on relentless pursuits of mastery, “A New Green Book” is a timely, engaging travel series that serves as an homage to the original Green Book — the once Black Travelers’ Guide that provided advice on safe places to eat and sleep when journeying through the Jim Crow-era U.S. “A New Green Book” celebrates Black culture across the country, where each host curates a highly personal itinerary in a city that they love. For the pilot special, Terrell Grice, of The Terrell Show, takes viewers on a special tour of Los Angeles to eat, explore, and experience locations that celebrate Black culture, history, beauty, cuisine, fashion, and art. Produced by Tastemade.
“The Mandela Project” (working title)–Premieres Mandela Day–July 18, 2022
Each year on July 18th, the Nelson Mandela Foundation strives to make the world aware of the legacy and learnings of Nelson Mandela, encouraging people across the world to give back to their own communities. The series joins Jabari Banks, Marsai Martin, Jeremy Lynch, Ndaba Mandela, Big Zuu, Patrice Evra, and Zozibini Tunzi as they undertake impactful acts of service in the UK, USA, and South Africa. Inspired and motivated by key elements of Nelson Mandela’s life and work, “The Mandela Project” will showcase his lasting legacy in communities around the globe. Produced in Africa by VIS, Paramount’s international studio, in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
“Spectrum Global: Being Black In…”–Pilot in development for Fall 2022
YouTube and Jubilee Media are partnering to reimagine their popular video series Spectrum into a global special. “Spectrum Global” takes viewers on a journey to explore Blackness across the globe to expand the conversation and share a more inclusive and expansive vision of humanity. Spectrum explores the variety of beliefs in one group through conversations to help deconstruct the myth that any one identity or group thinks and acts as a monolith. Shot in various locations, the special brings together 6-8 Black men and women who live in different parts of the world to engage in a discussion and take the viewer on an immersive experience sharing what life is like, where they often find themselves being a very small minority.
“Retro Tech: Future Tech with Marques Brownlee” (working title)–Premieres December 2022
Continuing with his Emmy-nominated series “Retro Tech,” season three has Marques Brownlee exploring the technology of the future. Web 3.0 makes big promises to place the power of the internet in the hands of the user, yet the technology that powers Web 3.0—from blockchain to cryptocurrency to DAOs—sometimes feels vague, confusing, and exclusionary. Will the latest iteration of the internet help or is this simply becoming a playground for people who are already rich, tech-savvy, and well-connected? Will the promise of NFTs and DAOs help boost entrepreneurship in underrepresented communities? Could cryptocurrency help close the racial wealth gap? Marques will go beyond traditional storytelling in this next season to bring this world to life by creating Web 3.0 communities and projects like NFTs to build a first of its kind next generation community around FutureTech. Retro Tech is produced by Vox Media Studios.
YouTube’s original programming division has been in flux since Susanne Daniels left the company earlier this year. Despite that turmoil, the leading video platform is making sure that its youngest viewers have plenty of high-quality content to enjoy. The latest slate of YouTube Kids originals includes an animated series helmed by Canadian star Lilly Singh and a Halloween-themed program from family entertainment giant Moonbug.
Varietydelivered details about 13 family-friendly YouTube originals that will premiere in 2022 and 2023. Singh’s contribution to that initiative is Mindful Adventures of Unicorn Island, which will arrive in 2023. That title resembles Singh’s A Trip To Unicorn Island, which came out in 2016 and chronicled its star’s 30-city tour. That documentary was one of the first projects YouTube green-lit when it started bringing original programming to the subscription platform that was then known as YouTube Red. (It’s called YouTube Premium now.)
Moonbug will contribute Buster’s Big Halloween to the YouTube Kids lineup. The London-based media company owns and operates a number of highly-successful children’s channels, including the ubiquitous Cocomelon. Buster’s Big Halloween is based off the Go Buster channel, a 3D animation hub that reaches nearly two million subscribers.
Other YouTube Kids originals have been in the works for years. Shows like Jam Vanand Corpse Talk were listed as “in development” when the all-ages platform revealed its 2021 programming slate. Now, they’re due out in 2022. Other shows that previously debuted are receiving second season pickups. Tab Time, starring actress and chef Tabitha Brown, generated millions of views which teaching youngsters about healthy eating habits. Now it’s coming back next fall with a fresh batch of ten 22-minute episodes.
“We are proud of our new kids slate, which is supercharged with learning, diversity and fun,” said YouTube Originals global head of kids and family Craig Hunter. “Our programming has been designed to represent a wide landscape of children’s intersecting cultures and identities.”
YouTube has been compelled to create wholesome, high-quality content for kids since reaching a settlement with the FTC in 2019. The government body charged the platform with data privacy violations, and YouTube responded by pledging to deliver shows that express character traits like “courage, compassion, communication, gratitude, curiosity, humility, teamwork, integrity, perseverance, self-control, empathy, and creativity,” according to a letter sent to potential creative partners in 2020.
The result of those talks was a $100 million initiative centered around original programming for kids and families. And while other portions of YouTube’s original content biz may not be as active as this one, the density of the latest YouTube Kids slate suggests that the platform’s all-ages operation is as busy as ever.
Night, the Dallas- and Los Angeles-based management company that reps creators like MrBeast, ZHC, Ryan Trahan, Unspeakable, and MrBallen, has signed longtime lifestyle and beauty YouTuber Safiya Nygaard.
Nygaard has been on YouTube since 2014, and is known for trying weird and sometimes wonderful—but mostly weird—products and experiences.
At Night, she’ll be represented by manager Lili Colwell.
Night focuses on signing entrepreneurial-minded creators who want to build businesses adjacent to or even apart from their content creation endeavors. Colwell tells Tubefilter she can’t discuss exactly what Night and Nygaard (who has her own merch brand, Fiendish Behavior) have planned, but says the company is “excited to ramp up Safiya’s business and provide her with the tools and support to build her business.”
Colwell adds that “Night is excited to continue to expand their roster to include talent in the beauty, lifestyle, and fashion vertical and is very excited to be working with a top female creator in this category.” She says Night has had its eye on Nygaard for a while, and that Nygaard has “obviously been a top-tier talent on YouTube for over five years.”
Nygaard is the first beauty creator to sign with Night.
“I’m super excited about my new partnership with Night,” Nygaard tells Tubefilter. “Night represents some of the biggest creators on YouTube and I can’t wait to work together to further my brand, business, and content. In the brief time that we’ve worked together, I’ve been very impressed with the Night team, and can’t wait to see where we will go together.”
Nygaard’s YouTube channel currently brings in around 10 million views per month.