Hi, this is Amanda Perelli and welcome back to Insider Influencers, our weekly rundown on the business of influencers, creators, and social-media platforms. Sign up for the newsletter here.
In this week’s edition:
But before we get started, I want to first introduce a new reporter on the business of influencers team, Michael Espinosa!
Mediakix, a prominent influencer-marketing agency, was acquired by Stadiumred Group in 2020.
But about a year later, Mediakix began to miss some payments to staffers and influencers, sources said.
Sydney Bradley reported that most Mediakix staffers have now left the company and its phone line is seemingly disconnected.
Insider spoke with 10 former staffers of Mediakix or Stadiumred; most spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Here are three takeaways from the investigation:
Starting as early as December 2020, influencers began posting to social media platforms like Twitter claiming they had not been paid by Mediakix.
Tweets posted by several influencers continued into 2021 through May, and agents and managers were talking about Mediakix, too.
Mediakix had about a dozen staffers in early 2021. But two sources said that all but one staffer had left Mediakix by the end of May.
“I had no power,” a former Mediakix employee told Insider. “And on top of being paid late, ethically, I wanted to leave.”
Evan Asano, who founded MediaKix in 2011, left the company in early 2021. He provided a comment to Insider about Mediakix, but did not substantially address specific details.
“I am frustrated and saddened by the recent media coverage reporting allegations that Mediakix is not fulfilling its contracts with influencers,” Asano wrote.
Stadiumred and its founder and CEO, Claude Zdanow, did not wish to provide any comment on the record.
Influencer boxing can be lucrative for creators, but can be a mess to run for event organizers.
Companies like Triller, Showtime, and LiveXLive are all vying to take control of the emerging category.
Dan Whateley wrote about how all three companies have run into hurdles as they’ve embarked on their first influencer fights.
Here are three key points:
Last week, Showtime had to issue refunds to some viewers of its pay-per-view fight between YouTuber Logan Paul and boxing legend Floyd Mayweather after they encountered technical issues with its stream.
Last month, Triller Fight Club, the boxing division of the short-form video app Triller, filed a lawsuit seeking millions in damages and claiming internet users illegally streamed and broadcasted its fight between YouTuber Jake Paul and Ben Askren.
Whether the category will end up being profitable for these companies is a big unknown.
While influencers aren’t professional boxers, they are masters at marketing – an asset for exhibitors looking to sell PPV fights.
LiveXLive said it’s already considering other ways to pit social-media stars against each other in live PPV competitions.
Preston Seo is a TikTok creator who films videos about personal finance and entrepreneurship.
Seo started posting videos earlier this year, and now he has about 1.6 million followers.
I spoke with Seo about how much he makes from affiliate links, sponsorships, and TikTok’s Creator Fund.
He earned more from affiliate links in 2021 than the other revenue streams he shared with Insider, which were verified with documentation Seo provided:
“What it comes down to, is your audience and numbers,” he said. “Understanding your metrics is super important when negotiating. Know your worth and stick to that.”
Kelly Stamps is a YouTuber who films videos about minimalist-lifestyle and personal-development.
Stamps has 600,000 subscribers and last year she’d saved just enough money from YouTube to leave her family home and quit college.
Molly Innes spoke with Stamps about how much she makes per month from ads on YouTube.
Stamps broke down her monthly YouTube ad earnings for 2021 so far:
“It’s still a challenge finding my niche,” Stamps said about her channel, which ranges in content from showing her minimalist belongings to personal-finance tips.
More influencer industry news:
My colleague Dan Whateley is hosting a webinar featuring execs from TikTok, Universal Music Group, and UnitedMasters for a conversation about TikTok’s role in the music industry, and how social media is slated to make an even bigger impact on popular culture in 2021.
The 30-minute chat is scheduled for July 8 at 1 pm ET/10 am PST. If you’d like to submit a question to be answered, please fill out this brief form.
Influence.co published its 2021 CreatorScape, a comprehensive breakdown of the creator economy including categories like link in bio, crypto, fintech, newsletters, and audience building.
TikTok creators Josh Richards and Griffin Johnson first rose to fame by posting fratty videos while living in Sway LA, a TikTok content house. But the pair, along with some of their TikTok friends, have spent the past year building up businesses outside of social media.
Recently, they launched a venture fund called Animal Capital. And this week, the duo announced they’re partnering with Hawke Media’s Erik Huberman to start a boutique marketing agency focused on Gen-Z consumers dubbed “HawkeZ.”
On Monday, Richards tweeted that the agency’s first client was Crocs.
Every week, Insider gives a rundown of news on hires, promotions, and other creator economy announcements. This week includes promotions at A3 Artists Agency, new gaming creator signings at WME, and former NBA star Magic Johnson joining Cameo’s board.
Here’s what else we’re reading: