HEADLINE NEWS FROM THE SOCIAL SPACE
TikTok Becomes Title Sponsor of VidCon 2021
TikTok has signed a deal to become a major sponsor of VidCon – the multi-genre online video tech conference that brings fans face-to-face with creators.
YouTube has long been the headline supporter of the event since 2013, but TikTok is now taking over from the Google-owned platform. Short-form video is also looking to be a key focus in the VidCon schedule, following the popularity of TikTok and the new wave of creators being born on the app. As TikTok is the title sponsor of the event this year, the platform will have top talent and execs participating in all three of VidCon’s tracks that include the community, creator and industry. In addition to this, TikTok will also have the keynote address spot.
This move of becoming the title sponsor of VidCon shows the dominance of TikTok, the platform in such a short space of time has become as big as long-standing players in the social media space. YouTube has already tried to launch Shorts to combat the dominance of short-form video, but TikTok remains a huge threat with ongoing efforts to help creators better monetise content and its ever-developing e-commerce integrations.
Advertising Standards Authority In The UK Is Cracking Down On Influencers
Influencers have been named and contacted by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for repeatedly breaking advertising rules when posting ads online. Influencers include Chloe Ferry, Chloe Khan, Jodie Marsh and Lucy Meckleburgh, who all have repeatedly ignored advertising rules and now face being fined and having posts deleted among other sanctions.
The ASA issued a final warning to 122 UK-based Instagram influencers in March, putting them on notice that they would face sanctions if they did not stick to rules regarding posts that promote products for brands. Under the UK advertising code, posts promoting products must clearly show they are paid-for endorsements, through hashtags such as #ad or #spon.
The ad watchdog said that it experienced a 55% increase in complaints about social media influencers last year, rising from 1,979 in 2019 to 3,144 in 2020. More than 60% of the complaints last year were about postings on Instagram.
Influencers who consistently fail to properly disclose sponsored content will now become the first to be added to a new non-compliance website, which publishes a list of those who have broken ASA guidelines. The influencers will be named on the website for at least three months and would be “subject to a period of enhanced monitoring spot checks”.
Netflix Launches Online Store
Netflix has launched an online store, Netflix.shop which acts as a place to purchase apparel, toys, events and games that are inspired by hit Netflix shows and films.
VP of consumer products, Josh Simon said Netflix would “drop exclusive limited editions of carefully selected high-quality apparel and lifestyle products tied to our shows and brand on a regular basis.” Netflix is dropping streetwear and action figures inspired by two anime series and limited-edition apparel and items inspired by Lupin. Future launches will be around popular shows such as The Witcher and Stranger Things.
The store will operate in the U.S (international rollout coming soon) with select products being available in stores such as Walmart, Sephora, Amazon and Target.
NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF INFLUENCERS
David Dobrik Returns To The Internet
David Dobrik has recently taken some time away from the internet following multiple controversies that saw the creator lose sponsors and have to step away from his app, Dispo. However, this week David returned to YouTube with his infamous 4 minute and 21-second vlog format.
The creator, who has a main channel consisting of over 18 million subscribers, released a vlog on Tuesday titled, “Surprising my Friends”. In the vlog, his “vlog squad” all returned and were surprised with a trip to Hawaii. Interestingly, Jeff Wittek was also in the video, this is the same creator who only recently revealed in a docuseries on YouTube, that Dobrik operated the excavator that nearly killed him in a stunt that went very wrong. Following a lack of safety measures, among other things, David vowed to restructure his internal team to ensure he had some form of HR and safety team. Following his comeback, it is assumed he has done just that!
The video released by David has already received over 4.8 million views and growing, with a very positive like to dislike ratio – showing that even with his year of controversy, he still has a strong fanbase that supports his content.
FaZe Clan Grace The Cover of Sports Illustrated
FaZe Clan is a professional esports and entertainment organisation, based in Los Angeles, and has recently made history as the first esports organisation to feature on the cover of Sports Illustrated. The only other esports figure to feature on a popular sports magazine was Ninja for ESPN.
The Sports Illustrated cover features six of FaZe Clan’s members which included: FaZe Nickmercs, FaZe Swagg, FaZe Rug, FaZe Temperrr, FaZe Bronny, and FaZe K1. A further feature inside the magazine also had interviews with the organisation’s founders and investors.
This marks a growing acceptance of esports within traditional sports, something that the gaming industry has been struggling to achieve for many years.
Spotify’s Biggest Exclusivity Deal For Woman-Led Podcast
Spotify has confirmed a three-year agreement with Alex Cooper and her sex-positive podcast, “Call Her Daddy”. The podcast was previously with Barstool Sports since its inception in 2018. The agreement with Spotify is worth more than $60 million, making it the biggest exclusive deal featuring a woman-led podcast. All existing and new episodes of the podcast will remain free and available through Spotify exclusively from July.
This is a significant move by Spotify, as the podcast consistently charts high on all podcast platforms – especially on Spotify, with Call Her Daddy ranking as the fifth-most popular podcast. Alex Cooper, the host, also has a huge following across social media, and has over the years grown a loyal fanbase that she dubs the “Daddy Gang”. Her audience has helped develop further revenue streams such as a popular merch line – selling exclusive Call Her Daddy products based on popular catchphrases in the show.
The podcast has already featured celebrity guests such as Miley Cyrus, and continues to grow in strength and popularity. This deal is one of many made by Spotify as of late, with others being between the Obamas, Prince Harry & Meghan Markle and Joe Rogan.
WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH PLATFORMS?
Spotify Launches Greenroom
Spotify has now launched Greenroom, which is essentially its own Clubhouse rival to deliver live audio content. Spotify’s Greenroom is a new mobile app allowing Spotify users to join or host live audio rooms, the app will also make it easy to turn these conversations into podcasts.
There is also an announcement of a U.S Creator Fund, helping to incentivise creators to deliver great content on the platform – a tactic we’ve seen countless other platforms implement such as TikTok and Instagram for short-form video creation.
This move can be traced back to March when Spotify acquired the company behind the sports-focused audio app, Locker Room. The new Spotify app is reportedly based on the Locker Room app’s existing code, and soon users of Locker Room will experience a rebrand to align with Greenroom. Rooms initially will be able to host up to 1000 people and will be available on iOS and Android.
So it looks like Clubhouse has yet another competitor to face as the race for dominance of audio-only content continues…
Instagram Adds Group Fundraisers
Instagram has now made it possible to run group fundraisers on the app, helping users boost awareness of important causes by allowing multiple people to partner on a fundraiser promotion.
As explained by Instagram:
“Offline fundraising is often a group activity, from things like walk-a-thons, to bake sales, to concerts, and we wanted to bring that same sense of community to Instagram fundraisers so people can activate together around a single cause. 100% of the funds go directly to the nonprofit you’re raising money for, too.”
The new feature will now be made possible when setting up a typical fundraiser on Instagram, where the option to invite other users to join has been added. Instagram also notes that it has been working hard to facilitate fundraising on the platform since COVID-19, with personal fundraisers being added, as well as Instagram Live fundraisers. Facebook even reported that over $5 billion has been raised through fundraising tools on Facebook and Instagram, proving that there is value for such a feature to sit on the platforms.
YouTube Shorts Analytics And Controls
YouTube has added a new control option in YouTube Studio that allows channel managers to stop users from using the audio from their videos in Shorts Remixes. The ability to block Shorts sampling in bulk also has been made possible through YouTube Studio.
The Remix format has been an important engagement tool on TikTok, with IG Reels and YouTube Shorts both looking to replicate ‘Remix’ to achieve the same boost in engagement. However, some creators on YouTube have concerns about people using their clips to their detriment, which is why YouTube has made this control possible.
YouTube is also testing Shorts Analytics in the main YouTube app and not just the YouTube Studio. The analytics made available will be key overviews of Shorts data. This will include information on audience retention, engagements and traffic sources.
Providing analytics on the platform is an important move as a lot of creators look closely at video performance on YouTube. If creators can see a reason to continue using Shorts, they will, especially if it helps with channel growth and creating new avenues for content discovery.