Facebook Watch Unveils ‘Stereoscope,’ Its Next Crypt TV Original

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Facebook Watch has cut back on scripted originals this year, but it’s still making room for more Crypt TV.

The digital horror studio linked up with Facebook last year in one of Watch’s largest content production deals to date: a five-series slate of 10-episode exclusives. Now, Facebook has picked up a sixth show, with plans to make it Crypt TV’s first internationally distributed Watch original.

Based on Crypt TV’s 2017 short film of the same name, Stereoscope follows the titular ocular device as it wreaks havoc on the lives of those who dare entrust their peepers to its otherworldly powers. After the scientist (played by Brian White) handling it dies mysteriously, his wife (Prema Cruz) and daughter (Bree Winslow) must come together to discover what the stereoscope is–and what it’s capable of.

“Our partnership with Facebook Watch is built on turning our best performing IP on our pages to long-form shows,” Darren Brandl, Crypt TV’s, said in a statement. “Stereoscope is a story our fans have been demanding to see more of, and we can’t wait to see their reaction.” (Crypt TV and Facebook’s first original, The Birch, is similarly based on a previous short film. Facebook renewed that series for a second season just over a month ago.)

Stereoscope is an English-language production, but will be subtitled and distributed on Crypt TV’s Facebook Pages for speakers of Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Hindi, and Indonesian. The studio says it has more than 10 million followers across its various Pages.

Brandl added that Stereoscope’s debut will “kick off 50 consecutive weeks of new original scary programming, exclusive to our Facebook pages.” This content is not part of its deal with Facebook; Crypt TV has for years used the social network to boost its own originals. Forthcoming programming includes productions from Crypt TV’s new partnerships with Mumbai-based Abundantia Entertainment and Sony Screen Gems.

Stereoscope premieres Aug. 21.

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Continue Reading Facebook Watch Unveils ‘Stereoscope,’ Its Next Crypt TV Original

Facebook Watch Unveils ‘Stereoscope,’ Its Next Crypt TV Original

  • Post category:Other

Facebook Watch has cut back on scripted originals this year, but it’s still making room for more Crypt TV.

The digital horror studio linked up with Facebook last year in one of Watch’s largest content production deals to date: a five-series slate of 10-episode exclusives. Now, Facebook has picked up a sixth show, with plans to make it Crypt TV’s first internationally distributed Watch original.

Based on Crypt TV’s 2017 short film of the same name, Stereoscope follows the titular ocular device as it wreaks havoc on the lives of those who dare entrust their peepers to its otherworldly powers. After the scientist (played by Brian White) handling it dies mysteriously, his wife (Prema Cruz) and daughter (Bree Winslow) must come together to discover what the stereoscope is–and what it’s capable of.

“Our partnership with Facebook Watch is built on turning our best performing IP on our pages to long-form shows,” Darren Brandl, Crypt TV’s, said in a statement. “Stereoscope is a story our fans have been demanding to see more of, and we can’t wait to see their reaction.” (Crypt TV and Facebook’s first original, The Birch, is similarly based on a previous short film. Facebook renewed that series for a second season just over a month ago.)

Stereoscope is an English-language production, but will be subtitled and distributed on Crypt TV’s Facebook Pages for speakers of Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Hindi, and Indonesian. The studio says it has more than 10 million followers across its various Pages.

Brandl added that Stereoscope’s debut will “kick off 50 consecutive weeks of new original scary programming, exclusive to our Facebook pages.” This content is not part of its deal with Facebook; Crypt TV has for years used the social network to boost its own originals. Forthcoming programming includes productions from Crypt TV’s new partnerships with Mumbai-based Abundantia Entertainment and Sony Screen Gems.

Stereoscope premieres Aug. 21.

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Insights: Microsoft Intercepts TikTok Political Football, Despite Facebook’s Game Plan

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So, Microsoft wants to get into the business of social media. Real social media, not just the business of business-oriented social media. The tech giant’s executives must have been feeling left out of last week’s Congressional hearings featuring nearly six hours of posturing by pols and bland responses by CEOs from Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, and Facebook.

Of course, the day after their penalty-box appearances before Congress, those other four tech giants also reported huge quarterly earnings, with combined profits of around $29 billion for the quarter. If the Faustian price of that vast well of profits is an occasional day with the House Judiciary Committee, well, as Donald Trump put it regarding what was then 154,000 U.S. coronavirus deaths, “It is what it is.”

Still there are reasons why this makes sense for Microsoft. For instance, Morgan Stanley analyst Keith Weiss called the TikTok acquisition “a compelling fit” for Microsoft, because:

  • With 100 million U.S. users, TikTok would “immediately make Microsoft a viable player in the consumer-oriented social media space,” Weiss wrote in a research note. TikTok certainly is the hot newcomer giving The Zuckerbeast night sweats. After killing off failed TikTok clone Lasso at Facebook, subsidiary Instagram launched another copycat, Reels, this week in more than 50 countries. It’s counting on Reels and its Instagram integration to blunt TikTok’s surging popularity.
  • More surprisingly, to me anyway, Microsoft also could wring a lot more cash out of TikTok, Weiss wrote. Currently, the average revenue per user is paltry–less than $5. Microsoft, whose market capitalization sits north of $1.6 trillion, knows a little bit about extracting value from software.
  • Microsoft is best positioned to buy/rescue TikTok. There’s that $1.6 trillion valuation for one thing, and a cash hoard of $136 billion. Even if buying TikTok costs as much as $30 billion, per some reports, Microsoft could easily pay for it, and still have money to buy coffee for members of the entire House Judiciary Committee.
  • Just as important as wallet size is Microsoft’s acceptability to people on several sides of this conversation. Microsoft was the trillion-dollar tech company that wasn’t summoned before Congress. It doesn’t have issues with regulators over monopoly-power abuses (at least not in the last couple of decades). It even is likely the easiest company for Chinese regulators, investors, and nationalists to accept. Microsoft is highly esteemed in China, where it has had a presence for more than a quarter century. Over that time, it’s fostered a lot of goodwill, and sprinkled alumni throughout the country’s tech sector. Even ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, was founded by a Microsoft alum, Zhang Yiming.

And there are other reasons that this acquisition will make sense once the dust settles from the purchase, regulatory approvals, and technical unwinding of the sold pieces from the rest of TikTok.

How Microsoft can integrate TikTok into Minecraft and more

To start with, given their hugely overlapping core demographics, integrating TikTok into Minecraft is a no-brainer. Minecraft has been one of the biggest sources of YouTube content for years now; transferring at least a portion of that video creation and audience directly to TikTok could be huge.

And what about Microsoft’s long-dominant PC operating system and related hardware? Could TikTok functionality be wired directly into Windows 10, and optimized in Surface laptops and tablets, perhaps with improved webcams or other consumer hardware?

Speaking of hardware integrations, Microsoft has spent a lot of money developing the HoloLens and related “mixed reality” immersive entertainment technologies. Could a marriage with TikTok ease the process of building short mixed-reality content for the next generation of creators on platforms beyond the PC and smartphone?

Closer to home, a big opportunity sits out there with Microsoft’s Xbox, which launches its next generation of consoles later this year, and Windows-based PCs. It’s also about to launch xCloud, a streaming game service on Android that’s designed to compete with Google‘s Stadia. Simplifying the output of gameplay videos from any of those platforms into TikTok could be a win-win, and a potentially compelling way to make up for Microsoft’s decision a month ago to kill Mixer, its Twitch competitor.

I’m less certain about how TikTok might integrate with LinkedIn, that business-facing social-media service Microsoft bought a few years back for $26 billion. The difference between buttoned-down posts about supply chains and marketing plans on the one hand, and dance routines and pratfall videos on the other, is huge.

But maybe it could work. LinkedIn has become a convenient successor for business cards, especially during the Zoom-addled pandemic and lockdown. The site is a vital resource for job seekers, employers, and recruiters. But LinkedIn hasn’t really innovated much since becoming part of Microsoft. The service has been smartly integrated with Outlook and other Microsoft services, but otherwise seems to have been largely left alone.

Maybe adding business-minded TikTok videos can become another way for people to showcase themselves and their talents on LinkedIn. It would still be a stretch, but I’m guessing the growing tribe of LinkedIn influencers out there hope they soon get a chance to figure it out.

TikTok was ready to take off. Then this happened.

TikTok has been positioned to take off this year. The company promised to spend up to $2 billion over the next three years to support creator monetization, half of that in the United States. It also promised to create 10,000 new U.S. jobs, and was looking for a new international headquarters, with New York and Los Angeles among possible locations. In his note, Weiss projected the company will generate $1 billion in revenue this year, and as much as $6 billion worldwide in 2021, half that from U.S. operations.

Basically, it’s turning into a formidable, deep-pocketed competitor for Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and other, more established services with far more resources than the typical wannabe startup.

All that makes President Trump’s antipathy with the site–allegedly over “national security” but more likely over the role K-pop TikTok fans played in undermining his disastrous Tulsa political rally earlier in the summer–and Mark Zuckerberg‘s interests nicely aligned. Facebook can’t buy or bury TikTok, two of its time-tested tactics, and one cloning operation has already died. Reels, the new clone, seems fine, and well positioned for success as a new tab on Instagram. We’ll see whether users take advantage in large numbers.

Perhaps Zuckerberg’s newest playbook maneuver is to stir up enough political blowback to hamstring threatening burgeoning competition. He’s certainly not above that sort of strategy, given his long history of unscrupulous dealing with challengers. If nothing else, the distractions and sales talk guarantee TikTok executives will continue to be scattered for months.

As it is, lots of questions still need to be answered:

  • Why is Microsoft taking only the TikTok operations in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, but not England or Ireland?
  • What exactly will Microsoft be getting when it buys those parts of TikTok? Does it get to keep the secret-sauce algorithm that so effortlessly serves up the just the right next video? What will be the relationship with the remaining parts of TikTok in other countries, or with Douyin, ByteDance’s Chinese version of TikTok?
  • What will creators think of a bifurcated service? Do they lose access to their overseas audiences? Facebook is waving large checks in front of some TikTok stars already, and Snapchat is adding some TikTok-like functionality. Will TikSoft be able to retain most of its talent?
  • Is Microsoft really ready for the ramped-up scrutiny it will face over issues such as marketing to minors, culling hate speech and conspiracy theories, and quelling antitrust concerns?

TikTok was having one of the most remarkable years in the brief history of social media. I’ll confess, despite my own significant skepticism after it bought and killed off Musical.ly in 2017/2018, that I hope the company survives and thrives. It would be good to see a meaningful competitor to the Facebook/Instagram and YouTube hegemony that can give creators and audiences more options, outlets, and experiences. But it’s going to be a crazy rest of 2020 and beyond before we know how this one turns out.

Visit Tubefilter for more great stories.

Source: TubeFilter.com

Continue Reading Insights: Microsoft Intercepts TikTok Political Football, Despite Facebook’s Game Plan

Insights: Microsoft Intercepts TikTok Political Football, Despite Facebook’s Game Plan

  • Post category:Other

So, Microsoft wants to get into the business of social media. Real social media, not just the business of business-oriented social media. The tech giant’s executives must have been feeling left out of last week’s Congressional hearings featuring nearly six hours of posturing by pols and bland responses by CEOs from Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, and Facebook.

Of course, the day after their penalty-box appearances before Congress, those other four tech giants also reported huge quarterly earnings, with combined profits of around $29 billion for the quarter. If the Faustian price of that vast well of profits is an occasional day with the House Judiciary Committee, well, as Donald Trump put it regarding what was then 154,000 U.S. coronavirus deaths, “It is what it is.”

Still there are reasons why this makes sense for Microsoft. For instance, Morgan Stanley analyst Keith Weiss called the TikTok acquisition “a compelling fit” for Microsoft, because:

  • With 100 million U.S. users, TikTok would “immediately make Microsoft a viable player in the consumer-oriented social media space,” Weiss wrote in a research note. TikTok certainly is the hot newcomer giving The Zuckerbeast night sweats. After killing off failed TikTok clone Lasso at Facebook, subsidiary Instagram launched another copycat, Reels, this week in more than 50 countries. It’s counting on Reels and its Instagram integration to blunt TikTok’s surging popularity.
  • More surprisingly, to me anyway, Microsoft also could wring a lot more cash out of TikTok, Weiss wrote. Currently, the average revenue per user is paltry–less than $5. Microsoft, whose market capitalization sits north of $1.6 trillion, knows a little bit about extracting value from software.
  • Microsoft is best positioned to buy/rescue TikTok. There’s that $1.6 trillion valuation for one thing, and a cash hoard of $136 billion. Even if buying TikTok costs as much as $30 billion, per some reports, Microsoft could easily pay for it, and still have money to buy coffee for members of the entire House Judiciary Committee.
  • Just as important as wallet size is Microsoft’s acceptability to people on several sides of this conversation. Microsoft was the trillion-dollar tech company that wasn’t summoned before Congress. It doesn’t have issues with regulators over monopoly-power abuses (at least not in the last couple of decades). It even is likely the easiest company for Chinese regulators, investors, and nationalists to accept. Microsoft is highly esteemed in China, where it has had a presence for more than a quarter century. Over that time, it’s fostered a lot of goodwill, and sprinkled alumni throughout the country’s tech sector. Even ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, was founded by a Microsoft alum, Zhang Yiming.

And there are other reasons that this acquisition will make sense once the dust settles from the purchase, regulatory approvals, and technical unwinding of the sold pieces from the rest of TikTok.

How Microsoft can integrate TikTok into Minecraft and more

To start with, given their hugely overlapping core demographics, integrating TikTok into Minecraft is a no-brainer. Minecraft has been one of the biggest sources of YouTube content for years now; transferring at least a portion of that video creation and audience directly to TikTok could be huge.

And what about Microsoft’s long-dominant PC operating system and related hardware? Could TikTok functionality be wired directly into Windows 10, and optimized in Surface laptops and tablets, perhaps with improved webcams or other consumer hardware?

Speaking of hardware integrations, Microsoft has spent a lot of money developing the HoloLens and related “mixed reality” immersive entertainment technologies. Could a marriage with TikTok ease the process of building short mixed-reality content for the next generation of creators on platforms beyond the PC and smartphone?

Closer to home, a big opportunity sits out there with Microsoft’s Xbox, which launches its next generation of consoles later this year, and Windows-based PCs. It’s also about to launch xCloud, a streaming game service on Android that’s designed to compete with Google‘s Stadia. Simplifying the output of gameplay videos from any of those platforms into TikTok could be a win-win, and a potentially compelling way to make up for Microsoft’s decision a month ago to kill Mixer, its Twitch competitor.

I’m less certain about how TikTok might integrate with LinkedIn, that business-facing social-media service Microsoft bought a few years back for $26 billion. The difference between buttoned-down posts about supply chains and marketing plans on the one hand, and dance routines and pratfall videos on the other, is huge.

But maybe it could work. LinkedIn has become a convenient successor for business cards, especially during the Zoom-addled pandemic and lockdown. The site is a vital resource for job seekers, employers, and recruiters. But LinkedIn hasn’t really innovated much since becoming part of Microsoft. The service has been smartly integrated with Outlook and other Microsoft services, but otherwise seems to have been largely left alone.

Maybe adding business-minded TikTok videos can become another way for people to showcase themselves and their talents on LinkedIn. It would still be a stretch, but I’m guessing the growing tribe of LinkedIn influencers out there hope they soon get a chance to figure it out.

TikTok was ready to take off. Then this happened.

TikTok has been positioned to take off this year. The company promised to spend up to $2 billion over the next three years to support creator monetization, half of that in the United States. It also promised to create 10,000 new U.S. jobs, and was looking for a new international headquarters, with New York and Los Angeles among possible locations. In his note, Weiss projected the company will generate $1 billion in revenue this year, and as much as $6 billion worldwide in 2021, half that from U.S. operations.

Basically, it’s turning into a formidable, deep-pocketed competitor for Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and other, more established services with far more resources than the typical wannabe startup.

All that makes President Trump’s antipathy with the site–allegedly over “national security” but more likely over the role K-pop TikTok fans played in undermining his disastrous Tulsa political rally earlier in the summer–and Mark Zuckerberg‘s interests nicely aligned. Facebook can’t buy or bury TikTok, two of its time-tested tactics, and one cloning operation has already died. Reels, the new clone, seems fine, and well positioned for success as a new tab on Instagram. We’ll see whether users take advantage in large numbers.

Perhaps Zuckerberg’s newest playbook maneuver is to stir up enough political blowback to hamstring threatening burgeoning competition. He’s certainly not above that sort of strategy, given his long history of unscrupulous dealing with challengers. If nothing else, the distractions and sales talk guarantee TikTok executives will continue to be scattered for months.

As it is, lots of questions still need to be answered:

  • Why is Microsoft taking only the TikTok operations in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, but not England or Ireland?
  • What exactly will Microsoft be getting when it buys those parts of TikTok? Does it get to keep the secret-sauce algorithm that so effortlessly serves up the just the right next video? What will be the relationship with the remaining parts of TikTok in other countries, or with Douyin, ByteDance’s Chinese version of TikTok?
  • What will creators think of a bifurcated service? Do they lose access to their overseas audiences? Facebook is waving large checks in front of some TikTok stars already, and Snapchat is adding some TikTok-like functionality. Will TikSoft be able to retain most of its talent?
  • Is Microsoft really ready for the ramped-up scrutiny it will face over issues such as marketing to minors, culling hate speech and conspiracy theories, and quelling antitrust concerns?

TikTok was having one of the most remarkable years in the brief history of social media. I’ll confess, despite my own significant skepticism after it bought and killed off Musical.ly in 2017/2018, that I hope the company survives and thrives. It would be good to see a meaningful competitor to the Facebook/Instagram and YouTube hegemony that can give creators and audiences more options, outlets, and experiences. But it’s going to be a crazy rest of 2020 and beyond before we know how this one turns out.

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Source: TubeFilter.com

Continue Reading Insights: Microsoft Intercepts TikTok Political Football, Despite Facebook’s Game Plan

TikTok Launches Long-form Fire TV App With Curated Video Playlists, Creator Interviews

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As the clock ticks toward its Sept. 15 deadline to find a new owner, TikTok has made the jump to TV screens.

Unlike WarnerMedia and NBCUniversal, the shortform video platform made it through negotiations with Amazon to secure a spot on Fire TV for its new long-form streaming app, More on TikTok. The app begins rolling out today across Fire TV devices, per Business Insider.

Nick Tran, who left his spot as Hulu’s VP of brand culture and marketing in April to become TikTok’s head of global marketing, told BI the move was sparked by a recent increase in “co-viewing” thanks to the pandemic.

“We know that during this time a lot of families and people are engaging together, as a collective group, to watch anything entertainment,” he said. “We see a lot of co-viewing and it’s harder to do that on a mobile device, so we wanted to bring another outlet for them to watch it all.”

The fact that TikTok is using TV screens to capture that shared viewership isn’t unique. YouTube especially has been leaning hard into TV viewership; it revealed at this year’s NewFronts that users now watch a whopping 450 million hours of its content on TV screens each day, up from 250 million last year. And, almost immediately after launch, Quibi changed its entire distribution strategy to embrace TV viewing thanks to a mass outcry from users frustrated with being restricted to their phones.

There is one thing about TikTok’s TV play that’s unique, though. With YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Shudder, and pretty much every other video service out there, TV apps are an extension of their mobile apps. Users can watch half of a video on their phone, then swap seamlessly to finish it on their TV.

More on TikTok isn’t like that. Instead of being a TV-screen-sized of the usual TikTok experience, where users flick through millions of individual videos, the Fire TV app’s library is a collection of themed playlists and compilations of popular videos curated by TikTok. It also has longer-form videos, including two original productions: In the Studio, a series of minute-long interviews with celebrities; and This Is TikTok, which profiles some of the platform’s top creators.

All of this content is served up without any kind of personalization or recommendation algorithm, because users don’t log in. More on TikTok doesn’t distinguish between viewers; it serves everyone the same mix of trending content.

Tran told BI that the TV app is “unique in the sense that you’re not interacting with it.” He added, “You’re leaning back and consuming it all.”

Viewers won’t, however, be consuming ads. More on TikTok is ad-free–at least for now.

In addition to offering co-viewing, More on TikTok will be used to test how people watch different projects, such as tonight’s live The Weeknd concert. TikTok has boasted that the event (beginning at 8:30 p.m. in its apps) will be a “first-of-its-kind virtual music experience” with special effects that sound a lot like Fortnite’s Travis Scott performance.

As for why TikTok chose Fire TV, Amazon told BI that “mobile-first” video services–apps that originally were only available on smartphones, then expanded to TVs–have seen a 70% increase in watch hours from January to June. In the same time period, mobile-first apps gained twice as many new users as other Fire TV apps, it said. (It also noted that YouTube is “consistently” one of the top five Fire TV apps by total watch time.)

Amazon said it expects this growth to continue after pandemic lockdowns end.

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Snapchat Unveils In-App Voter Registration Tools Ahead Of November Election

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Snapchat, an app that regularly touts its by Gen Z and millennial-leaning usership, has announced a quartet of new voting tools to commemorate the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act — yesterday — which prohibits racial discrimination in voting.

The tools will officially bow in September, Axios reports, and will also be complemented by Discover content aiming to inform Snapchatters about how to register and tender their votes. (Of its young audience, Snapchat shared at its first-ever NewFront in June that it reaches 90% of all 13 to 24-year-olds in the United States — which is more, in terms of that demographic, than Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger combined).

The first tool, a Voter Registration ‘Mini’, builds on the Mini functionality that Snapchat announced at its Partner Summit in June, which allows third-party developers to build bite-sized apps that live within Snapchat. The Voter Registration Mini, created alongside TurboVote — a self-described online tool whose aim is to make voting easy — will enable users to register to vote within Snapchat, and also monitor how many Snapchatters have done so. Another Mini, created in partnership with BallotReady — which aims to inform voters across their entire ballots — is dubbed Before You Vote, and will provide users with information about different candidates and referendums.

A Voter Guide with also furnish information about how to vote by mail, ballot education, and registration that can be accessed by Snapchat’s keyword search, Axios reports, comprising resources from the National Association For The Advancement Of Colored People (NAACP), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and more. And finally, a new voter portal dubbed the Voter Checklist will live on users’ profiles to encourage them to register.

Axios notes that Snapchat registered 450,000 people to vote during the 2018 midterm election, with subsequent data showing that 50% of those who registered to vote actually did so.

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TikTok Aligns With ‘American Idol’ Creator Simon Fuller To Search For Next Pop Supergroup

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With its very existence increasingly in question, TikTok is forging onward on with a new project to help native musicians.

The micro-video platform is teaming up with American Idol creator Simon Fuller to search for pop music’s next global supergroup. Members will be culled for the group via an in-app audition process. Details are still scant, but Fuller suggested that the TikTok audience will be helping to select artists in tandem with his own curation efforts. TikTok says interested parties should keep an eye on the app for audition details.

Fuller, the founder of XIX Entertainment, also boasted that the ensuing group would “be the most connected pop group ever, thriving on every platform and sharing their talent and positive energy with the world.” For his part, Fuller was the inspiration by the Spice Girls and has worked on various ventures with David and Victoria Beckham, Andy Murray, Lewis Hamilton, Annie Lennox, and Amy Winehouse.

“It’s been nothing short of awe-inspiring to see the extraordinary musical talent — from up-and-coming artists to superstars like Lizzo, JLo, and Justin Bieber – that shows up on TikTok every day and inspires even more creativity around the world,” TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer said in a statement. “Together with Simon Fuller, we have the opportunity to find the next stars, many of whom are on TikTok today, and empower them to become a cultural phenomenon.”

TikTok has emerged as a major force in the music industry, catapulting the careers of artists like Lil Nas X, Doja Cat, and Megan Thee Stallion. The app’s trending dances regularly spawn hits for the songs they are set to. And even established artists have turned to the buzzy app, such as when Drake tapped four native stars to choreograph dances for his April single, “Toosie Slide.”

TikTok’s deal with Fuller arrives after President Trump yesterday issued an executive order banning TikTok and another China-owned platform, WeChat, from operating in the U.S. in 45 days if they are not sold by their Chinese owners.

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YouTube Millionaires: For Our First 10 Million Subscriber Special, We Check In With Chad Wild Clay And His Burgeoning Franchise ‘Spy Ninjas’

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Welcome to YouTube Millionaires. Normally, we use this weekly spot to profile creators whose YouTube channels have recently crossed the one million subscriber mark. This installment, however, is a special edition. Today, we’re chatting with a creator whose channel has more than ten million subscribers. Join us below to see how his content and business has evolved over ten years of making videos on YouTube.

You can read previous Millionaires installments here.

This week’s installment of YouTube Millionaires is brought to you by SuperBam, the premiere rights management company for creators.


And now for something a little different.

Here at YouTube Millionaires, we take a moment each week to spotlight folks who recently reached a notable YouTube milestone: one million subscribers. But this week, for our first special edition installment, we’re tagging in veteran creator Chad Wild Clay, who has more than 10 million subscribers and brings in more than 150 million views per month. He’s been on YouTube since 2010, and as the platform has evolved over the past decade, so has his content.

Clay has auspicious YouTube origins. His very first video went viral, netting him an early audience on a platform that, at the time, was still relatively new. Since then, he’s always kept an eye on how fans react to his uploads, and has cycled through different video niches–from parodies to YouTuber roasts to the high-energy prank and surprise content he favors today–to meet their interests. That close attention is why, when he noticed folks were really, really into his one-off video about a real-life version of Fruit Ninja, he turned it into a regular series. These days, installments have moved away from typical ninja gadgetry (Kingsman, anyone?), but those original videos still have a key place on Clay’s channel as the humble kernel of his growing franchise: Spy Ninjas.

Thanks to his fruit-slicing, Clay snagged himself a reputation as a bit of a ninja. Then, like a backyard game of Cops and Robbers, it was only natural for his wife and fellow content creator Vy Qwaine to appear in videos as her own alter-ego, the Spy. At first, Spy Ninjas was simply a name for their collective fans; now, it’s a narrative that encompasses the duo’s YouTube videos, an expanding cast of characters, a mobile game, and line of toys coming to TargetWalmart, and Amazon this fall.

In the Spy Ninjas narrative, Clay, Qwaint, and friends DanielRegina, and Melvin PZ9 battle the dastardly Project Zorgo in videos that also track popular YouTube topics like “last to” challenges, mystery boxes, and Fortnite. The franchise’s biggest development happened last year with the release of aforementioned mobile game Spy Ninjas Network, which asks players to take down Project Zorgo using clues from Clay and Qwaint.

As Clay celebrates this subscriber milestone, it’s more apparent than ever that Spy Ninjas–and, crucially, the dedicated fanbase for which it was named–played key roles in turning his channel into his full-time career.

Check out our chat with him below.

Tubefilter: Welcome to our very first special ten million subscriber edition of YouTube Millionaires! Do you remember how it felt to hit your first big subscriber milestone? A thousand? One million? Did your feelings change between crossing one million and crossing ten million?

Chad Wild Clay: When my wife, Vy Qwaint, and I first started taking YouTube seriously in 2010, I recall telling her, “If we can get up to 100,000 subscribers, we’ll be one of the Top 500 most subscribed YouTube channels.” When we finally achieved 100,000 subscribers (three-plus years later), I was excited, but my thinking was, “Wow, that was crazy difficult! And now, getting into the Top 500 requires 850,000 subscribers!” I’m happy to report we did eventually make it into the Top 500 for the first time this year. (It now requires 11.9 million subscribers!)

Tubefilter: For those who don’t know you, tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? What did you do in ye olde days before YouTube?

CWC: Before YouTube, I co-owned a software company, and Vy owned a fitness center franchise in Minnesota.

Tubefilter: What made you join YouTube way back when? What was the turning point where it went from casual to “Oh, this might be a career thing”?

CWC: I’ve heard the saying, “The worst thing that can happen to a first-time gambler is winning.” My first YouTube upload was a music video of a song I wrote for Vy. It received over one million views, and I instantly became addicted to YouTube. After that, most all of my free time, after putting in 50+ hours a week at my software company, went to making more videos. After doing that for five years, Vy decided to sell her business, and my partners at the software company were kind enough to let me go off and pursue this YouTube thing full-time.

Tubefilter: How has your content changed from the early days to now?

CWC: The only thing that has been consistent with my YouTube channel is change. We started off doing high-production parody music videos (I’ve been a huge fan of Weird Al Yankovic since I was a kid). That later evolved into doing comedy skits and then friendly roasts of other YouTubers. We started to build a dedicated audience when we began doing unboxings of ninja gadgets and testing them out against fruit (Fruit Ninja in Real Life). That is what eventually evolved into the Spy Ninjas series.

Tubefilter: Spy Ninjas is a huge component of your content. Tell us more about it!

CWC: After having a lot of success with the Fruit Ninja series, I started to refer to myself and my fans as “ninjas,” and Vy became known as a “spy.” Eventually, we put the two words together and started calling our fans “Spy Ninjas.” I didn’t like the name at first, but we couldn’t think of anything more fitting (or creative, haha). Now I love the name, though. Our narrative is constantly evolving, almost in real-time. We pay very close attention to every video’s comments and let the viewers have a big influence on us. We pay even closer attention to each video’s analytics, especially the CTR (click-through-rate) and audience retention. We’re constantly adapting all facets of our production to increase these metrics and continue growing.

Tubefilter: Walk us through the average day. Do you have a set production schedule? How much time do you spend working on content for YouTube?

CWC: We have production down to a science; however, we are also constantly experimenting and trying to improve. Currently, we have specific days and times assigned to filming (usually a 14 to 16-hour day), editing, brainstorming, writing, thumbnails, uploading, and reading comments, reviewing analytics, and more. My typical day starts at 6:30 a.m. and ends around 7:30 p.m. My weekends I take pretty easy and usually work only a few hours per day.

Tubefilter: How have you expanded your content and personal brand off YouTube? Have you launched any merch or products?

CWC: Yes, we have a merch store selling t-shirts, hoodies, backpacks, and other gear. We also have a popular mobile game called Spy Ninja Network that has surpassed 6 million installs. We’ve teamed up with Surge Licensing, the agency behind The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, to help build our Spy Ninjas brand into a full media franchise and have already signed Playmates Toys to produce ninja gear, spy gadgets, and more items to be sold online at Target, Walmart, and Amazon this fall, and then in stores this coming spring. Finally, we are in the middle of lining up video games, publishing, and promotional partnerships.

Tubefilter: How has your business changed from where you were starting out, to one million subscribers, to now ten million?

CWC: When we were starting out, I didn’t really consider it as much of a business as a hobby. Once we reached about 100,000 subscribers, we started believing this was something that we should consider pursuing as a business. By the time we reached one million subscribers in 2017, we had moved from Minnesota to Los Angeles and had been creating YouTube videos as our full-time job for about two years. It was still just the two of us creating videos out of our apartment, and it felt like we were still trying to figure out how to turn this into a real business. By the time we hit 10 million subscribers in 2019, everything felt very different. We had a full team working with us, we were working out of a designated “Spy Ninjas safe house,” and we were in the middle of negotiating various licensing deals.

Tubefilter: How many people are currently on your team and what are their roles?

CWC: We have 10 people on our team and everybody does a little bit of everything. We love working with people who are multitalented and passionate about the entire video creation process, all the way from brainstorming ideas to editing to creating thumbnails.

Tubefilter: What have been some of the issues with running a channel so large–from content piracy to knockoff products and more–and what are some of the things you do to remedy them?

CWC: Piracy certainly has been a major problem. Every month, there are between 40 million and 50 million views on pirated (unofficial reuploaded) versions of our videos. Thankfully, we have a really great company called SuperBam helping us with this.

Piracy of our merch is an even larger problem. I estimate about 19 out of every 20 Spy Ninjas or CWC items sold online is counterfeit. We don’t (yet) sell anything on Amazon, but there are currently thousands of counterfeit items of ours sold there (and other websites) every month. We don’t currently have a remedy for this, unfortunately.

Tubefilter: What’s your favorite part of making content on YouTube?

CWC: Meeting fans in real life, reading their comments, and hearing about how much of a positive impact our videos have on them. I also really love the entire video-making process, especially the creative brainstorming and trying to come up with ideas that will get viewers excited.

Tubefilter: What’s next for you and your channel? Any plans looking to the future?

CWC: Next up is getting Vy Qwaint’s channel to 10 million subscribers, which should happen later this year. I’m also very excited to continue growing the entire Spy Ninjas team, including the channels for Daniel, Regina, and Melvin. We definitely plan to keep adding more talented and passionate Spy Ninjas to the team in the near future (creators who are interested can apply at [email protected]).


You can add yourself to the ranks of Casale’s more-than-a-million YouTube subscribers here.

SuperBam is the global leader in digital rights management, helping content owners reclaim their rights, boost their revenue and grow their audience. As a YouTube Enterprise Partner, SuperBam is the perfect all-in-one rights management solution for creators and content owners of all types. For more info, visit SuperBam.com.

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Lizzo Signs First-Look TV Deal With Amazon Studios

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Amazon Studios has inked a first-look deal with the multi-faceted musician Lizzo.

The streamer will work with Lizzo, whose real name is Melissa Jefferson, to develop and produce television programming, Deadline reports. The news was unveiled by Amazon Studios television co-heads Albert Cheng and Vernon Sanders during the company’s virtual Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour, during which Cheng called the songstress a “force of positivity.”

In addition to her music career, Lizzo has previously appeared in Hustlers and lent her vocal acting talents to the animated musical UglyDolls. Her most recent album, Cuz I Love You, won three Grammys and spawned the smash singles “Good As Hell and “Truth Hurts.”

“Lizzo is one of the most exciting, creative, joyful artists in the industry, and it is such a pleasure to announce this new deal with her,” Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke said in a statement, per Deadline. “She has such a unique perspective and we’re so excited to hear her ideas for new content that our Prime Video customers are sure to love.”

This isn’t the first time that Amazon has pacted with a high-profile musician on video programming — though in a slightly different capacity. In December, Amazon Prime paid a reported $25 million for global rights to a Rihanna documentary feature.

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Three Of Bon Appétit’s Test Kitchen Stars Have Exited After Failed Pay Negotiations

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Three Test Kitchen staffers of color have resigned from Bon Appétit’s video department.

Assistant food editor Sohla El-Waylly, contributing writer Priya Krishna, and contributing food editor Rick Martinez will no longer work on the popular digital series, but will remain at Bon Appétit in other capacities. El-Waylly will continue creating editorial content for the culinary giant’s titular magazine and website, while Krishna and Martinez will freelance for the website, Business Insider reports.

They and other Test Kitchen had been in contract negotiations with Bon Appétit since allegations of racism within the company surfaced in June. Some of those allegations came from El-Waylly, who alleged she had been hired “to assist mostly white editors with significantly less experience than me.” She also said that Bon Appétit did not fairly compensate staffers of color for on-camera appearances compared to their white colleagues.

At the time, Bon Appétit parent Condé Nast denied these claims. In the weeks since, the majority of contract negotiations have focused on establishing pay structures for on-camera appearances, per BI.

Krishna and Martinez told the outlet they received proposed new contracts that would pay them a base salary of $1,000 per day to film Test Kitchen videos where they were the primary host, and $625 per day for videos where they hosted, but other staffers made appearances lasting more than two minutes. If they made guest appearances in other hosts’ videos for less than two minutes, they would not be compensated.

Their proposed contracts guaranteed 10 video appearances per year. But Martinez told BI he reviewed white colleagues’ proposed contracts, and they were guaranteed as many as 60 appearances.

“The contract I received was nowhere near equitable, and actually would potentially allow for me to make even less than I do currently,” Krishna wrote in a statement posted to Twitter. “I have received no concrete update on diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.”

BI reports that El-Waylly was offered a $20,000 raise in June, which she refused, saying she was “insulted and appalled” because she knew white Test Kitcheners made more than that in per-episode fees. Today, she let Instagram followers know that she’ll remain at Bon Appétit “developing fun recipes and stories,” but won’t be part of Test Kitchen.

Negotiations are ongoing for the rest of Test Kitchen staffers.

“We pay all our employees fairly, and in accordance with their role and experience,” Condé Nast told BI in a statement. “Our pay practices are in line with industry standards. To suggest that we are paying individuals differently based on race, gender or any other reason simply isn’t true.”

Separately today, Bon Appétit announced the appointment of Sonia Chopra, its new executive editor. Chopra previously oversaw strategy and operations at Vox’s culinary outlet Eater, and co-executive produced its PBS show No Passport Required. At Bon Appétit, she’ll lead its editorial content, as well as content for Condé Nast’s other foodie brands, including Epicurious, Healthyish, and Basically. She will specifically focus on developing video strategy, Bon Appétit said.

Chopra will join the company Aug. 24, and until Bon Appétit finds a replacement for former editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport, she will report to Vogue’s veteran EIC and Conde Nast’s artistic director, Anna Wintour.

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