The big takeaway? Earnings in the creator economy are heavily concentrated in the top 1%, with a “long tail” of creators making little to no revenue.
Linktree estimates that there are 200M creators globally, of which 66M are full time - but the vast majority of full-time creators (88%) make less than $50k per year.
We’d recommend checking out the full report - but some other interesting stats:
Only 2% of creators say their largest audience is on a website or blog - but 25% earn the most income from this channel
Niche content creators have more monetization opportunities. 37% of them have engaged in a brand collab, versus only 26% of non-niche creators
12% of beginner creators see TikTok as their biggest platform, versus only 6% of experienced creators - who lean towards FB (22% say it’s their #1 platform)
1️⃣ Netflix tumbles: Netflix stock fell 35% on Wednesday after the company reported it lost subscribers for the first time in ten years. Increased competition in streaming and a lifting of COVID restrictions were behind the subscriber decline. Netflix is considering an ad-supported tier, and will likely crack down on password sharing.
2️⃣ Didi prepares to delist: Chinese rideshare app Didi, which IPOed on the NYSE last year, is planning to exit the U.S. stock market due to pressure from Chinese regulators. Regulators had asked the company to delay its IPO for a cybersecurity review, but Didi went ahead - and the government ordered app stores to remove it.
3️⃣ Boring Co raises $675M: Elon Musk’s Boring Company announced a massive Series C this week, co-led by Vy Capital and Sequoia. The company aims to build underground highways, and received approval in October for their first project in Las Vegas - which should be operational later this year!
4️⃣ Chipotle launches VC fund: Chipotle announced a $50M fund, Cultivate Next, to invest in early stage startups building restaurant tech. Today, this fund is entirely financed by Chipotle - but the team hasn’t ruled out raising from external LPs in the future. In a world where VC firms increasingly try to stand out with portfolio services and perks, we’re curious to see what Chipotle offers founders: free burritos for life?
what we’re following 👀
If you’ve spent time on TikTok in the last week, you’ve likely heard about Revolve Festival. For the uninitiated: Revolve is an ~aspirational~ clothing retailer that targets millennial and Gen Z women with on-trend items (and sparks lots of dupes).
Revolve regularly hosts a festival during the first weekend of Coachella, an invite-only event for influencers, celebrities, and other fashion-lovers to mingle and take lots of IG pictures. This is a major part of the brand’s marketing strategy. Most retailers see sales peak in Q4 due to the holidays, but Q2 is usually Revolve’s biggest quarter (pre-COVID) - see the video above for more on why this strategy is profitable.
In 2018, Revolve said that influencers drove nearly 70% of all sales. For better or worse, influencers are major stakeholders in Revolve’s business - and the company needs to keep them happy. While the Revolve Festival is usually a major win from this perspective, it was more challenging this year. Some influencers went as far as comparing it to the infamous Fyre Festival.
What went wrong? It seems like the primary issue was capacity: Revolve simply invited too many attendees, and didn’t have enough buses to transport them to the event or room on the grounds to host them. Influencers were reportedly waiting for hours in the hot sun to board the buses, only to get turned away. Unsurprisingly, some of them made viral TikToks about the experience (examples here and here).
Another interesting dimension of this - we got a peek inside the world of influencer compensation, with creators sharing their incentives to attend. The “top tier” creators have brand deals with Revolve, and stayed at the sponsored hotel. Others were offered store credit, but expected to cover transportation and housing. And finally, some were asked to pay $2,000 (via purchasing a Revolve gift card) to attend.
This may be a case where “all press is good press” - the drama certainly got Revolve media coverage and increased brand awareness. But it also may have damaged influencer relationships, and made them think twice about working with Revolve.
Do you think the Revolve Festival drama will help or hurt the brand?
👍 Help - the brand is starting conversation!
👎 Hurt - sentiment seems fairly negative
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puppy of the week 🐶
Meet Luke, an almost two-year-old schnoodle (poodle/schnauzer mix) who lives in Japan.
He enjoys playing in the snow, going on hikes, and hanging out with his doodle friend Sunday.
Follow him on Instagram @luke_thedog_tokyo!
All views are our own. None of the above should be taken as investment advice. See this page for important information.