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Hi, this is Amanda Perelli and welcome back to Insider Influencers, our weekly rundown on the business of influencers, creators, and social-media platforms. Sign up for the newsletter here.
In this week’s edition:
13 brands have stopped working with YouTube star David Dobrik
Influencers start to make money from Clubhouse’s boom
How ESPN quadrupled its TikTok follower count in the past year
YouTube Shorts launches in the US — here’s how it works
YouTube star David Dobrik has been dropped by brands like Chipotle, EA Sports, and Dollar Shave Club
Some brands that have worked with the YouTube star David Dobrik are cutting ties in the wake of an Insider investigation into a former member of his Vlog Squad creator group.
Brands like EA, Dollar Shave Club, and HelloFresh confirmed they were no longer working with Dobrik.
Kat Tenbarge, Lindsay Dodgson, Sydney Bradley, and I reported that these confirmations follow Insider’s investigation into a rape allegation against a former member of Dobrik’s YouTube Vlog Squad.
13 brands confirmed to Insider they were no longer working with Dobrik.
Here were a few examples:
HelloFresh: “We can confirm that we are no longer working with David Dobrik or any member of the Vlog Squad and do not have any plans to work with them again in the future. “
Chipotle: “We take the allegations related to David Dobrik and the Vlog Squad very seriously, and we do not have any future initiatives planned together.”
Honey: Honey said it was “no longer working with him.”
Brand partnerships have become many top creators’ main source of income, and losing deals could have a strong effect on Dobrik’s overall influencer business, which encompasses platforms like YouTube, Instagram (14 million followers), and TikTok (26 million fans).
Have a tip on David Dobrik or his Vlog Squad? Email Kat Tenbarge at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Influencers are starting to make money from Clubhouse’s boom through sponsored rooms, event planning, and tips
Clubhouse is stirring up interest in the influencer-marketing industry and now has over 2 million users.
Influencers are swiftly finding ways to make money using the audio-only app. So far, influencers said they have primarily made money on Clubhouse through sponsored rooms, event planning, and tips through third-party services like Cash App.
Sydney Bradley spoke with creators about early sponsorships and how much money they were charging:
Instagram “micro” influencer Lissette Calveiro said her starting rate for a sponsored Clubhouse room was $1,000.
Calveiro has about 56,000 Instagram followers and about 4,000 Clubhouse followers.
That rate typically includes a 60-minute Clubhouse room on a relevant topic, up to five panelists, and at least four mentions of the brand (as well as in the title).
YouTube has begun to release its TikTok competitor, Shorts, to users in the US.
The app is rolling out a set of features that let users create and share short-form videos.
I spoke with the product lead for YouTube’s Shorts on how it works:
The US rollout includes new creation tools that are designed to let users film and share vertical videos that are under 15 seconds long.
Users can find Shorts on the homepage within a carousel (“shelf”) of short videos, under long-form videos, and in the subscriptions tab if they subscribe to a particular creator.
YouTube plans to continue to improve the feature so that it can be a place where creators can make money, reach new audiences, and build sustainable businesses.
“I think it’s important for us to build this with creators and with viewers and even more music-industry partners,” the product lead said. “We’re just getting started.”
ESPN was No. 2 among brands that added the most TikTok followers in the past year (behind only Netflix).
Dan Whateley spoke with ESPN’s VP of social media Kaitee Daley and on-air talent Omar Raja who broke down its TikTok strategy.
The social team monitors trends, studies metrics, and compares video performance to other platforms:
ESPN now has around 14 million followers on its main account and over 1 million fans on its Spanish-language account, ESPN Deportes.
The company pays close attention to what everyday users are doing on the app, and knows that participating in day-to-day trends is a key to building an audience.
Most of its videos feature game highlights (such as dunks), behind-the-scenes posts from on-air talent such as Omar Raja, or funny — or athletically impressive— user-generated videos.
More coverage on YouTube creator David Dobrik and his Vlog Squad from Insider:
This week from Insider’s digital culture team:
Female former employees say they faced sexism at Fine Brothers Entertainment, the YouTube giant behind the viral ‘Kids React’ videos
Insider reporter Lindsay Dodgson spoke with 13 former employees of the YouTube giant Fine Brothers Entertainment, and contractors, who said they experienced or witnessed sexism.
They alleged incidents at pitch meetings and sexist comments from some in management in 2018 or earlier.
On YouTube, FBE has attracted 30 million subscribers, and in June 2020 it raked in 300 million views a month.
An FBE spokesperson said the current leadership team “had no direct knowledge” of many of the allegations.
More on digital culture:
Relationships between influencers and their fans are inherently problematic, experts say
A free-living commune in Tennessee used TikTok to attract new members, but the strategy may have backfired
- Streamer Gross Gore banned from Twitch after years of sexual misconduct allegations
Here’s what else we’re reading:
The implosion of David Dobrik’s company shows the dangers of influencer branding (Ben Popken, from NBC News)
There’s a growing group of investors who are sharing trading information on social media (Akane Otani, from The Wall Street Journal)
YouTube channel Ryan’s World makes most of its revenue from merchandise, not ads (Lucas Shaw
and Mark Bergen, from Bloomberg)
MrBeast launched a new company focused on providing equity-based financing for YouTube creators (Sam Lessin, from The Information)
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