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Author: Scott Guthrie | #014 | 14 July 2021

Welcome to the Fourth Floor newsletter, your weekly feed of the biggest news, developments, insights, and analysis from the ever-evolving world of influencer marketing.

Curated by influencer marketing industry expert, consultant, and commentator Scott Guthrie, consider this your regular window on what’s currently happening, why, and what it means for your future marketing plans. Each newsletter also rounds off with an exclusive editorial column from Scott, so scroll down and enjoy all the weekly commentary you need.

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Ryan’s World ties up trainers in deal

Basketball’s Michael Jordan did it with Nike. Gamer and streamer Ninja did it with Adidas. Now Ryan Kaji is doing it with Skechers on a limited-edition footwear collection. 10-year-old Ryan Kaji is the highest-paid YouTube star in the world, making an estimated $26 million in yearly income reviewing toys, according to Forbes.

His real money comes from brand extensions, however. ‘Ryan’s World’ branded products, including: clothing, toys, books, apps, videogames, and toothbrushes generated more than $200 million in retail sales in 2019. Ryan is an example of the direction of travel for the creator economy. Influencers building their brands beyond social media. Building new products, white labelling existing products, or partnering with existing brands to produce co-branded products.

Australian Association of National Advertisers calls out influencers for code breaches

Adidas Australia, Bondi Boost, and Reebok have all had influencer marketing advertising campaigns complaints against them upheld by the AANA for breaches of advertising standards under distinguishable advertising rules.

Chinese farmers lead world in livestream ecommerce

Last year Jin Guowei, aka. Brother Pomegranate, earned $46m in revenue by livestreaming to his 7.3m followers. More than 100,000 farmers streamed 2.52 million sessions on Alibaba Group’s Taobao Live in the year ended in March. Douyin’s agricultural content creators with more than 10,000 followers rose sixfold in 2019-20 from the year before.

ITV To Launch shoppable TV

ITV is to launch shoppable TV, allowing viewers to discover and shop items from its programmes directly on screen. The first service of its kind in the UK, it’s scheduled to launch during Love Island with Boots UK.

Spotlight dims for Snapchat creator payment

Snapchat pays cash to creators who upload top-performing Spotlight clips. Some influencers, however, are worried by delayed payments, and even a halt in payments entirely, as Snap works to evolve the programme. Snap altered the Spotlight payment process in June, ending daily payment totals of $1 million for Spotlight clips in favour of a more vague ‘millions per month’. But even within that, creators say that payments have all but stalled since April 11th.

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We spend more time on TikTok than YouTube, Facebook, or Netflix… But do we?

This Tubefilter story has been doing the rounds this week. It’s a killer stat, but let’s look beyond the headline. The article is based on findings from an analytics firm. Data is mobile only and, crucially, Android only.

I’m not taking anything away from TikTok. The platform has shown stellar growth. In the U.S. people who use Android phones now spend an average of 24.5 hours on TikTok per month, compared to 22 hours per month on YouTube. In the UK, users spend around 26 hours a month on TikTok, compared with around 16 a month on YouTube.

But mobile isn’t the primary destination for SVOD services. YouTube generates vast eyeball numbers from desktop, connected TV, gaming consoles, and other devices. The moral: always look beyond the headline and dig into the detail.

TikTok clones Cameo

TikTok is working on a feature enabling creators to charge fans for custom videos. Sounds like Cameo? That’s because it is like Cameo. Instagram is also working on a feature that would let its creators charge for customer content, which is not to be confused with similar products already available at YouTube.

TikTok to robo-block porn

TikTok is automating the blocking of videos that violate its policies. The social network says the new system removes content including nudity, sexual activities, or violence. This will free up time for its safety team to focus on more nuanced content areas, like hate speech, bullying and harassment.

TikTok wants to be LinkedIn

As Instagram becomes more like TikTok, and TikTok becomes more like YouTube, YouTube becomes more like Twitch and TikTok. But now TikTok wants to be LInkedin as well? What a time to be alive!

“With the rise of career and job-related creative content, TikTok believes there's an opportunity to bring more value to people’s experience with TikTok by enhancing the utility of the platform as a channel for recruitment” runs the announcement. ‘TikTok Resumes’ is a pilot program designed to continue expanding and enhancing TikTok as a new channel for recruitment and job discovery.

YouTube to help viewers discover creators with discovery feed

YouTube is introducing a video discovery feed it hopes will help viewers discover creators or content that is new to them, and help them explore beyond their typical recommendations. The feed, called New To You, is different from YouTube’s Explore page because it’s personalized to each user, and suggests a range of content they haven’t seen before, but will likely be interested in based on their activity.

Net neutrality back on agenda

US President Joe Biden has pushed to restore net neutrality protection - so as to prohibit the blocking, throttling, or paid prioritization of web traffic - that was repealed by President Trump's FCC. A White House fact sheet details more (though you may wish to Ctrl + F to find the relevant section - it’s a long read).

Influencer Marketing | Social Platforms | Fourth Floor | Quick Links | Column

Instagram influencers, and how to get the best out of working with them

Instagram influencer marketing strategy can be - and should be - as varied as the needs of the brands using it, writes David Houghton. A good influencer marketing agency will help you unlock the full creative, connective, and storytelling potential of the platform.

3 food brands that unexpectedly went viral on TikTok

Read how Ocean Spray, Little Moons and Chipotle all captured the attention of TikTok audiences around the world, and the tactics they used to do it.

Influencer Marketing | Social Platforms | Fourth Floor | Quick Links | Column

-> Carter Kench (great name BTW) is an 18-year-old TikTok influencer who has caught the eye of brands including Dunkin Donuts.

-> Venture capitalists have invested $2 billion into creator start ups this year.

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Wild West turns to gold rush

The influencer marketing space used to be characterised as the Wild West: lawless. A raft of initiatives from regulators coupled with advertisers’ demands for the sector to become accountable largely diminished that characterisation to a whisper. Instead, the Wild West is shifting to a gold rush.

We’re entering a new dawn within the creator economy. The first sunrise was the advent of the platforms: the Facebooks; the Instagrams. These provided the rails on which anyone with internet connectivity could share their views and knowledge. A few platform users consistently created compelling content for their communities. Their influence swelled.

Advertisers latched onto this opportunity in the second morning. Influencer marketplaces sprung up to match-make brands with influencers. By the afternoon of that time marketplaces had matured; largely replaced by agencies adding creativity and nurturing longer-term relationships.

There are glimpses today of a new tomorrow. A day in which influencers look to commercialise their own community without being solely reliant upon brand collaborations or the vagaries of social media platform algorithms.

This time it is the Venture Capitalists who are latching on to the opportunity. In the first half of this year they’ve ploughed $2 billion into 50 creator-related startups. Creators are being courted. There are early signals of a gold rush. But a salutary thought to leave you with. Who got rich during the 19th Century Californian gold rush? A few prospectors for sure. But mainly it was Levi Strauss making jeans for the gold-hungry-hopefuls along, with other support industries - like shovel makers - who really hit it big.

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