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Creators

YouTube, Instagram, SoundCloud, and other online platforms are changing the way people create and consume media. The Verge's Creators section covers the people using these platforms, what they're making, and how those platforms are changing (for better and worse) in response to the vloggers, influencers, podcasters, photographers, musicians, educators, designers, and more who are using them. The Verge’s Creators section also looks at the way creators are able to turn their projects into careers — from Patreons and merch sales, to ads and Kickstarters — and the ways they’re forced to adapt to changing circumstances as platforms crack down on bad actors and respond to pressure from users and advertisers. New platforms are constantly emerging, and existing ones are ever-changing — what creators have to do to succeed is always going to look different from one year to the next.

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Spotify needs every win against Apple it can get

Apple is expected to be hit with a $540 million fine resulting from an antitrust complaint by Spotify.

The birth of a salesman

The Flip shopping app is a TikTok knockoff, filled with wannabe influencers making pennies per video view — myself included.

Stop what you’re doing and turn on this Twitch stream right now.

Daft Punk (y’know the French electronica duo with the really cool helmets) is streaming their anime movie Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem on their official Twitch channel right now.

If you’ve never seen it, it’s great. If you’ve seen it a million times, watch it again. Or if you really like Daft Punk’s Discovery album and wonder what it would look like as feature length animated movie, then oh boy have I got a treat for you.


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A nation of lurkers.

I’ve mused before on the correct number of posters and influencers vs lurkers required on text-based social networks — but refrained from commentary on video. (I don’t watch much.) Anyway this survey data suggests my theory applies there too: most people don’t post. That means posters are weird outliers who should be studied in a lab.

About half of TikTok’s users have never uploaded a video; a normal user hasn’t so much as updated their bio. Why, then, is TikTok successful? Posters.


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MKBHD just signed on to “start making actual products” with accessories brand Ridge.

We’re increasingly seeing YouTubers try their hand at product development. It’s a logical next step in expanding income beyond YouTube ad revenue, and now Marques Brownlee is joining the fray.

Today he announced that he’s joined the board at Ridge, an accessories company best known for wallets, and will also become the brand’s “chief creative partner.”


TikTok music features are expanding.

Users in more than 160 new countries will be able to add music they find on TikTok to their streaming platform of choice, TikTok announced today. The “add to music app” feature launched in the US in November, integrating platforms like Spotify and Apple Music with the video app.

Music discovery is huge on TikTok, but the relationship between labels and the tech company are tenuous: earlier this month UMG pulled its entire catalogue from TikTok, including Taylor Swift and Drake, due to disagreements on compensation.


TikTok’s “Add to music app” button is shown on the top left corner when users click into an audio track from a video.
Image: TikTok
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Who reviews the reviewers?

House Fresh, a blog focused on air quality, is just the kind of source you might want when you’re shopping for an air purifier — but it’s getting harder and harder to find them.

In a post titled, “How Google is killing independent sites like ours,” managing editor Gisele Navarro explains how bigger publishers like BuzzFeed, Better Homes & Gardens, and Rolling Stone outrank the independent site in Google Search:

These Digital Goliaths shouldn’t be able to use product recommendations as their personal piggy bank, simply flying through Google updates off the back of ‘the right signals,’ an old domain, or the echo of a reputable brand that is no longer.

As a team that has dedicated the last few years to testing and reviewing air purifiers, it’s disheartening to see our independent site be outranked by big-name publications that haven’t even bothered to check if a company is bankrupt before telling millions of readers to buy their products.


Instagram’s Threads: all the updates on the new Twitter competitor

The latest app taking on Twitter is getting a boost from Instagram’s billions of users.

Nielsen stats show YouTube and Netflix dominating US TV streaming.

YouTube was the most-watched streaming option over the past 12 months, according to data from Nielsen. In January, YouTube accounted for 8.6 percent of usage in the US, followed by Netflix at 7.9 percent. 罢丑补迟’蝉 more than the next eight services combined.

Separately, YouTube says users around the world watched over 1 billion hours of content on the site’s TV app every day, while creators saw a 400 percent increase in watch time on TVs.


Image: Nielsen
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First X, now the EU is opening formal proceedings against TikTok.

In what Reuters says is the second formal proceedings under the Digital Services Act, EU regulators are looking into whether TikTok has broken rules about safeguarding children and advertising transparency. If found guilty, TikTok could be fined up to 6 percent of its global turnover.

It comes after the EU opened formal proceedings against X over its handling of illegal content surrounding the Israel-Hamas war.


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Reduce, reuse, recycle: the Ubiquitree.

Here’s something you can do with that dozen or so obsolete Ubiquiti access points you’ve got shoved in your junk drawer.


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Mark Zuckerberg, VR influencer.

Hey, you know Zuck’s video review of the Vision Pro? Katie Notopoulos noticed! Here’s the nut:

I don’t attempt to think too hard about Mark Zuckerberg’s inner life, but I don’t get the sense that what we’re seeing is a window into his soul. This is a business strategy.

I think Zuckerberg noticed posting worked well for Elon Musk for a decade, and decided to do a media-trained version of it. That didn’t work for Jeff Bezos, though.


Eight million people streamed the Super Bowl on YouTube TV.

With more than 8 million concurrent live streams for the event, spokesperson Allison Toh says Super Bowl LVIII is now the most-watched event ever on YouTube TV — and more broadly was the “most-watched telecast in history.”

TV is shaping up to be a focus for YouTube. Earlier in February, YouTube CEO Neal Mohan announced that the platform’s subscription TV service had more than 8 million subscribers.


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May you never know the pain of final_final_FINAL.ppt.

Slide decks: good, useful, necessary in business! Also a scourge against humanity that may exist only for the purpose of bringing unending misery to those who are forced to make them all the time.


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Totally unofficial Apple Vision Pro YouTube app makes it to version 1.1.

Call me pessimistic, but I was sure Google would immediately slam the breaks on Christian Selig’s third-party YouTube app (especially now the company plans to make a YouTube app of its own). But Juno is still going strong, and Selig has just released its 1.1 version update. Improvements include a playback quality selector, drag and drop support, bug fixes, and other performance and UI tweaks.


Juno 1.1

[christianselig.com]

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Jeff Koons sends his space balls to the Moon.

Attention President Skroob, Moon Phases — an art project from the maker of shiny balloon animals, comprised of 125 miniature Moon sculptures within a transparent cube — is headed to the Moon as a payload aboard Intuitive Machines Nova-C “Odysseus” lander, which was launched by SpaceX this morning.

The lunar surface will become the new home immortalizing Koons’ piece if Odysseus successfully lands on February 22nd.


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The majority of influencers don’t say when they’re advertising.

罢丑补迟’蝉 according to a study performed in the EU, which looked at 576 influencers across major social platforms. While 97 percent of influencers posted commercial content, only 20 percent — or one in five — disclosed these posts as advertising.

The EU has consumer laws in place that require influencers to disclose when they’re advertising. As a result of the study, the EU has “earmarked” 358 influencers for “further investigation.”


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OpenAI’s Dall-E sent a “shock wave of panic” through Adobe.

罢丑补迟’蝉 according to a new Bloomberg report, detailing how Adobe concentrated its efforts to build Firefly, the company’s own “commercially safe” generative AI model used in tools like Photoshop, following the success of rival tools like Midjourney.

Analysts now anticipate that Adobe may be one of the first big tech companies to actually profit from AI. Meanwhile, Adobe Stock contributors who helped train Firefly, potentially unknowingly, receive annual payouts that are as low as $70.


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Meghan Markle is back to podcasting.

After a very public and acrimonious breakup with Spotify, Meghan Markle has a new podcast deal with Lemonada Media. She will launch a new show with the network, which will also take over distribution for her Spotify podcast, Archetypes. The company had another splashy launch last year with Wiser Than Me with Julia Louis-Dreyfus.


TikTok’s Creative Assistant is now integrated with Adobe Express.

Available in english for both free and premium Adobe Express users, the AI-powered TikTok Creative Assistant add-on can write scripts and provide insights into what topics and hashtags are trending on the video-sharing platform, alongside design templates and editing features like the free TikTok video creator.

Once a video has been produced, users can schedule or publish content to TikTok without leaving the Express platform.


A screenshot of TikTok Creative Assistant in Adobe Express showing trending hashtags.
Now you can access Adobe’s basic video editing tools and key TikTok insights together on the same platform.
Image: Adobe
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X will allow advertisers to only run ads on selected profiles.

Elon Musk’s revamped X ad business has included a “revenue sharing” program that requires payment to have the potential of getting paid and shown ads alongside white nationalist profiles.

X, as it attempts to become a YouTube alternative, says it has over 80,000 creators monetizing their posts and is trying to address brand safety issues with Creator Targeting:

This means giving advertisers more control to be able to use the self-serve X Ads Manager to run pre-roll video ads against the video content of their chosen creator(s) in both the home timeline and profile.

Soon we’ll add the ability to serve ads only on an individual creator’s profile – completely eliminating the unlikely event of unwanted adjacencies while aligning your brand to creators you love most.?

It didn’t say how big of a cut creators will get if their profile is targeted or if they can choose which advertisers are shown.


More layoffs at SiriusXM.

SiriusXM CEO Jennifer Witz sent a memo to staff on Monday announcing another round of layoffs. She said that less than 3 percent (which works out to about 170 people) would be affected. Last year, the company cut 475 employees.


The TikTok music situation, explained.

The longer the TikTok / UMG battle drags on, the more I think UMG’s leverage increases. Talked about it on Today, Explained with my pal Sean Rameswaram — and Cory Doctorow also joined this episode, so it’s a fun one.


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Adobe’s Project Primrose makes its catwalk debut.

Remember the animated fabric that Adobe unveiled at its MAX 2023 event? Well, now it’s been used in an actual, wearable garment by Christian Cowan.

The Primrose dress was revealed at the designer’s show at New York Fashion Week, created using 1,264 laser-cut polymer dispersed liquid crystal “petals.” The fact it happens to look like badass scale mail is just a happy bonus.


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TikTok is going full QVC with studios for creators to peddle products from.

罢丑补迟’蝉 according to a new report in The Information, which says the company is opening the studios in “several locations in cities including LA,” which it may or may not charge creators to use for promoting products.

TikTok plunged into US e-commerce last year and plans to start taking a bigger cut of sellers’ profits soon.


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