Creators vs. NBA All-Stars 🏀

It's a face-off for the ages.

It’s Friday and Coca-Cola lovers are crying “Happy Tears” over the beverage company’s new TikTok-exclusive flavor.

THE SHOW GOES ON

Dan Howell is giving fans around the world a chance to see the “ultimate version” of We’re All Doomed!

The announcement: Between 2022 and 2023, Dan Howell’s comedy stage show hit more than 80 tour stops across the U.S., U.K., Australia, and New Zealand. Now, the DanAndPhilGAMES YouTuber is making We’re All Doomed! available worldwide—by bringing a “live film premiere stream” of the show to Kiswe.

The background: Howell’s tour emerged as a response to what he calls “a weird year for humanity.” From 2021 to 2022, the creator says he was “in a really strange place mentally…reading news stories, terrifying myself.” To overcome that “funk,” Howell began writing a stage show filled with “savage self-deprecation,” “soul-searching” and his “deepest fears and desires.”

The big show: The “ultimate version” of We’re All Doomed! will be filmed at the Alexandra Palace Theatre in London before coming to Kiswe (an interactive streaming platform that has partnered with creators like Smosh and Rhett & Link) on Feb. 25 at 3 p.m. E.T.

  • Fans from all over the world can snag access to that stream for $14.99. Viewers willing to spend a little more ($19.99) will also be able to join a post-show Q&A hosted by Howell (although the comedian plans to hang out in the text chat during the premiere, too).

Industry perspective: Ticketed platforms like Kiswe are becoming increasingly relevant as creators seek to produce off-platform events while remaining accessible to wide audiences.

  • As Zach Kornfeld (of The Try Guys) noted in an article from Campaign, “advertising-based video on demand is a really wonderful financial tool, but it’s limiting.” By partnering with platforms like Kiswe, creators can produce high-quality events based on direct community support—while simultaneously creating additional revenue streams through VIP experiences, VODs, merch sales, and sponsorships.

HEADLINES IN BRIEF 📰

  • TikTok says approximately 2.3 million creators contributed to Global Live Fest, while another 38 million users tuned into the event’s official homepage. (Tubefilter)

  • After taking a $1.5 billion stake in Epic Games, Disney says it plans to partner with the Fortnite publisher to create a “transformational new games and entertainment universe.” (Tubefilter)

  • Meta and TikTok parent company Bytedance are suing the European Union over a supervisory regulation that would require major platforms to collectively pay a $48.7 million fee. (Engadget)

  • YouTube has announced an audio-friendly update that will allow podcasters to “upload their RSS feed in YouTube Studio.” (TechCrunch)

COLUMNS • STREAMERS ON THE RISE 📈

From Animal Crossing to cooking streams, this variety creator does it all

How it started: Jalon didn’t go into content creation to find a new career path or build an online following. She just wanted to make videos about her favorite game: Animal Crossing.

  • The pandemic gave Jalon with all the time she needed to get started. After losing her job, she saved up her unemployment checks to buy a simple (but life-changing) piece of tech: a gaming laptop.

  • At first, streaming on Twitch was just a means to an end; the platform’s VOD tool made it easy for Jalon to download gaming content for her YouTube channel. But it wasn’t long before “more people were in the streams than actually watching the YouTube videos.”

  • Shifting gears to streaming was the obvious next step—and the right one. Thanks to her talent for entertainment and her infectious love of gaming, Jalon “ended up hitting 1,000 followers within a month.” After that, she kept “going, going, going, and going.” Within six months, the creator was eligible for partnership. Within ten, Coca-Cola had stepped in to upgrade her streaming set-up.

How it’s going: Four years later, Jalon’s online presence has expanded to encompass everything from a cooking series with pro chefs to gaming streams and IRL content. All that variety has earned her a devoted fanbase: the multi-talented creator has attracted over 50,000 followers on Twitch, and says her main priority is to be a source of “comfort” to those viewers.

What’s up next: Now, Jalon is ready to spend “all of ‘24 just going full force”:

“This is what I do. I like cooking. I like IRL streams. I love chatting and I love gaming. You’re going to get all this no matter what.”

CREATORS ON THE COURT

Kai Cenat and Lilly Singh are teaming up against Tristan Jass for the 2024 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game

The NBA is bringing digital stars back to the court for its annual All-Star Celebrity Game. This year’s creator competitors: streamer Kai Cenat, comedian Lilly Singh, and hooper Tristan Jass.

The annual event: The 2024 Celebrity Game will kick off All-Star Weekend on February 16 at Lucas Oil Stadium—two days before NBA players hit the same locale for the annual All-Star Game.

  • The roster for that star-studded pregame has already been released. Cenat and Singh will join the team led by NFL legend Shannon Sharpe, while Jass will be coached by basketball pundit Stephen A. Smith.

The creators: This isn’t Jass’ first time hitting the court for an NBA-adjacent event. The sports influencer previously participated in a Creator Cup that coincided with the finals of the association’s inaugural In-Season Tournament.

  • Jass’ competitors aren’t quite as athletically inclined, but they’ll still bring plenty of star power to the court. Cenat has earned acclaim as a Twitch record-breaker, while Singh has tackled multiple ambassadorships and world tours since rising to fame in the 2010s. The comedian’s next step will be the premiere of her feature film, Doin’ It, at SXSW.

Why it matters: With NIL athletes moving into content creation and longtime influencers going pro, creators have more sway in the sports world than ever before. NBA All-Star Weekend has become a hot spot for personalities affiliated with groups like 2HYPE and House of Highlights, but sports fans are just as likely to come across creators and creator brands while watching UFC matches, Super Bowl commercials, NFL Sunday Ticket promos, and WWE events.

  • That intertwining of industries is a win for both sides—especially as younger generations of sports fans increasingly turn to digital stars for game highlights and BTS content.

WATCH THIS 📺

YouTube streams are going vertical

Vertical Live: Streamers will no longer be limited to a horizontal aspect ratio when going live on YouTube.

  • In a new video uploaded to the platform’s Creator Insider channel, YouTube Live Product Manager Sherry Lin announced that the platform is giving creators the ability to “go live vertically on your phone and have it show up (now starting soon) in the Shorts feed.” Those mobile-friendly streams will occasionally appear in Shorts viewers’ feeds as “big grey buttons.”

  • Shin also clarified to YouTube Creator Liaison Rene Ritchie that Vertical streamers will still be able to employ live monetization features like Super Chat, Super Stickers, and Memberships.

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Today's newsletter is from: Emily Burton, Sam Gutelle, and Josh Cohen. Drew Baldwin helped edit, too. It's a team effort.