Future of TV Briefing: How creators are setting themselves up for the career long haul

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This week’s Future of TV Briefing looks at how creators are preparing for the career long haul.

  • Career creators
  • Paramount’s new parent, Amazon’s upfront impact and more

Career creators

The creator career path is still pretty new and fairly uncharted. But this year has shown how it is maturing, with veteran creators like Matthew Patrick and Tom Scott stepping away from regularly making videos, even retiring in Patrick’s case.

“I think it’s exciting that we are at a point now where creators can have succeeded enough where they are able to retire if they want to, or are able to take a step back, make less content. For a long time and for a lot of creators, you kind of have to be on that treadmill forever in order to pay the rent next month,” said Hank Green, a veteran creator in his own right and co-founder of the annual creator confab VidCon.

While the likes of Patrick and Scott have reached the other side of the career trajectory for creators, others are still in their early stages. Most creators can’t yet call making videos a career, with 48% of creators who are making any money earning $15,000 or less last year. And many others — such as the short-form video creators that blew up during the pandemic — are relatively new to the occupation of full-time creator.

Here is how five video creators who have gone full-time since 2020 are taking steps to ensure sustainable careers for themselves. The transcripts have been edited for length and clarity.

Alan Chikin Chow (@AlanChikinChow)

I think of my career as my vision to build a multi-faceted media company with successful arms across multiple industries. Digital, film and TV, maybe licensing and merch, podcasting. That’s the intention. And the way to do that is by building team members: Having a bigger team and more faces that are able to carry content in different ways. If you include freelancers, I’d say my team is around 20 people. Right now, most of the hires are around business and operations. So I hired a HR manager. There’s a lot of logistical things that come with having a big team that those are the hires now, which I never thought I would be hiring a HR manager when I started making videos three years ago just for my mom on my phone.

MissDarcei (@MissDarcei)

I am really good at taking small breaks in between filming or whatever I’m doing. I can feel when I’m burning out, and burning out is just when you’re doing things that you don’t really want to do. So whenever I feel that way, I kind of reevaluate. Okay, well, what are the things that I really want to do? And maybe start doing those things more. Getting a team really did help. I do have a team on the business side because I don’t know anything about business. I feel like I’m a creative, but the only creative help that I have is my editor, which I feel like is okay for me right now at the place that I’m at.

Naomi Hearts (@NaomiHearts)

Maybe it was always a trend, but it’s new to me: being on top of your finances. Because it is no joke. When I got taxes, I was like, “Okay, we do need a finance person.” Just being on top of your stuff and being responsible.

Sheena Melwani (@sheenamelwani)

I am starting to implement more of a team and more of a process now, as I’m coming up on the four- or five-year mark of my business. I think it’s important to have people that you can lean on and that you trust to help you distribute your responsibilities, your workload. Every new business starts with this hustle and this push — and you do have to push — and then you can level out and say, “Okay, this is what works. This is what I need.” Because the people around you that you can set up on your team, those are the people that can support your growth.

V Spehar (@underthedesknews)

I’m lucky that I had a bit more maturity when I got into this to recognize, when success hit for me, that I wanted to maintain that success as opposed to trying to maximize it. That’s how I fight burnout. I have an incredibly stable home life, and I think that makes a big difference. I have a great wife. My parents are supportive. I live in Rochester, New York, in a neighborhood that’s really nice and easy. I’m not trying to move to L.A. or New York. So I think you’ve got to figure out who you are, what level of success you want to be at and what you’re willing to give away of yourself to get there.

What we’ve heard

“My videos have gotten longer over the last six months or so. I’ve reduced the number of uploads that I’m putting on the channel, and I’m just making what I am posting longer. And it’s been an absolute game changer for me.”

YouTube creator Charlotte Dobre

Numbers to know

$400 million: How much money Paramount Global would have to pay Skydance Media if the former walks away from its agreed-upon sale to the latter.

36%: Percentage share of shows that people watched on Peacock in the first half of 2024 that released new episodes this year, a higher share than rivals including Hulu, Max and Netflix.

>30%: Percentage share of Gen Alpha members who watch YouTube and YouTube Shorts for more than two hours per day.

What we’ve covered

How the Dr Disrespect scandal sent the gaming industry’s whisper network into overdrive:

  • Gaming industry members seem to have been aware of Dr Dispect’s misconduct soon after Twitch banned the creator in 2020.
  • Twitch employees seem to have been the ones to spread that awareness.

Read more about the Dr Disrespect scandal here.

The Trade Desk holds fire on full Yahoo video suspension:

  • The DSP did not fully disable access to Yahoo’s video inventory on July 1, as initially planned.
  • Yahoo execs have met with IAB Tech Lab to determine how to appropriately label the company’s video inventory.

Read more about TTD vs. Yahoo here.

How fast-food chain Carl’s Jr. is pushing CTV to become a performance channel:

  • The restaurant chain has increased CTV’s share of its ad spending from 15% last year to 20% this year.
  • Carl’s Jr. wants to measure its CTV ads against store visits.

Read more about Carl’s Jr.’s CTV strategy here.

What we’re reading

Paramount’s new parent:

Skydance Media CEO David Ellison is not only the soon-to-be new owner of Paramount Global nor just the son of billionaire Larry Ellison, but also a 41-year-old actor-turned-producer who seems interested in a more data-driven streaming strategy for Paramount, according to The New York Times.

Amazon’s upfront impact:

The addition of Prime Video’s ad-supported tier to the annual haggle has led to lower streaming ad prices across the board and given Amazon a lead over most other upfront sellers with at least one agency holding company, according to Business Insider.

Threads’ standing with creators:

Video creators aren’t about to abandon TikTok — or any video-centric app, really — in favor of Meta’s text-based Twitter rival, but they are using the platform — to a point — and cashing in on Meta’s paid bonus program, according to The Washington Post.

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