Younger users create more content
69% of Gen Z spend almost 7 hours a week (6.9 hours) creating and publishing digital content. This compares with 59% of Millennials who spend 6.8 hours and 46% of Gen X who spend 5.9 hours each week. This is according to a survey conducted by Newzoo, published this week in Business of Apps.
Digital Creator Association launched by ex Gleam exec
Philip Hughes, ex-Gleam Futures COO and entertainment IP lawyer, has launched the Digital Creator Association (“DCA”). The DCA is a not-for-profit trade association for all digital creators, influencers, and their professional commercial representatives. Its aims are to:
Protect the careers and reputations of creators
Help professionalise the space
Champion inclusivity and representation to ensure the industry’s longevity and effectiveness.
Board members include leading digital creators such as Patricia Bright and Lucy Edwards, alongside talent management industry veterans including Dominic Smales and Lucy Loveridge.
Neal Mohan to head YouTube as CEO Susan Wojcicki announces departure
This week Susan Wojcicki announced she is stepping down as YouTube CEO after nine years, and nearly 25 years with Google. Neal Mohan will lead YouTube after her departure, though he won’t be immediately anointed CEO. Mohan’s title will be SVP and Head of YouTube.
Mohan offers a safe pair of hands. He and Wojcicki have worked together for 15 years. Wojcicki brought Mohan across to YouTube when she took over as CEO. Mohan became YouTube’s Chief Product Officer in 2015.
Time will tell whether safe hands can win amid an advertising slowdown and heightened competition from TikTok. It’s also worth noting that YouTube has lost several other key figures recently, including business officer Robert Kyncl, business finance officer, Martin Kon, and Matt Koval, head of creator liaison.
Ms Wojcicki said in an open letter to YouTube creators that she intends to focus on “family, health, and personal projects I'm passionate about”. However, she is to "take on an advisory role across Google and Alphabet."
Wojcicki is pals with Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. She rented her home’s garage to the pair back in 1998 and later became Google’s employee number 16 (today there are around 175,000 employees at Alphabet).
Social media tops brand discovery for Gen Z
More Gen Z discover new brands and products via social media than search engines, according to GWI research.
Beyond discovery, the number of Gen Z turning to social for product research has leapt 35% since 2015. Three-in-10 Gen Z now say they use social media as a place for inspiration. This makes social media a one-stop-shop for their purchase journey. Gen Z want to be inspired, rather than simply informed, and social media platforms like TikTok fill this role. GWI positions this as a mindset shift from “I know what I want to find/search for” to “I want to explore and find things I didn’t even know I needed”.
In what seems to have become a semi-regular feature for this newsletter, we turn again to the media’s reporting of de-influencing. Regular readers will recall we discussed de-influencing at length in newsletter #92, and again last week. This week, the Financial Times - along with academic newsletter The Conversation - threw their caps in the ring to discuss the trend.
“De-influencing is just as manipulative as any other social media performance. It is instead a sign of economic anxiety,” says the FT.
More constructively, Prof. Kate Daunt and two senior lecturers in Marketing write, “Rather than representing the demise of influencers, de-influencing is an opportunity for them to reassert their original “guru” role and gain trust through transparency and authenticity. It is a strategy used to protect their influencer role – and future income.”
By guru status, the writers are referring to ‘role prioritisation’ - where YouTubers appreciate they have to adapt to increasing follower distrust, and so concentrate on their subject matter expertise over the “influencer” role.
Hilton uploads 10-min ad to TikTok … and it works
Hotel chain Hilton shared a new 10-minute ad to its TikTok account this week. A 10-minute ad? Are you cray-cray? Findings from a 2021 TikTok internal report showed nearly 50% of users thought videos longer than a minute long were stressful. So, how stressed out could a 10-minute advertisement make you feel? Surely that would be sufficient to alienate all customers and prospects, plus get the hotel brand laughed off the video-sharing entertainment platform?
Not so, according to the stats. At the time of writing, five days after posting, the ad has attracted 12.1m views, 332.2k likes, 17.8k comments, and 9k shares. I wrote more about this ad earlier in the week.
Airbnb: Benefits of brand building over performance marketing
Two years ago, Airbnb swapped performance marketing for brand building. The result? The company’s most profitable fourth quarter ever. [MarketingWeek].
HMRC comes for creators
HM Revenue & Customs is writing to thousands of influencers to remind them of their tax liabilities. According to the Financial Times, “HMRC is writing to 2,300 online content creators, who make money or receive gifts for posting material on platforms such as Instagram, TikTok and YouTube”.
Readers will recall that in newsletter #92, we looked at how tax authorities in Australia, India, and Singapore are targeting influencers.