The “exclusive, tight-knit” club for content creators in college 🎭
And Cameo makes a union deal.
It’s Thursday and if you’re wondering whether YouTube’s most-followed creator really got arrested this week, then you might want to tune into Airrack’s latest video.
DRIVING A HARD BARGAIN
SAG-AFTRA is coming through for union members on Cameo
SAG-AFTRA is taking important steps to ensure that its members are properly compensated for sponsored Cameo content. Under a new collective bargaining agreement with Cameo’s C4B (aka Cameo for Business) marketplace—which connects celeb users with brands—SAG-AFTRA talent will be able to count earnings from sponsored content toward their pensions and health benefits. Presumably, they’ll be able to count on legal protection from SAG-AFTRA if brand partners skip out on payments.
That agreement could be a game-changer for thousands of creators.
SAG-AFTRA says “tens of thousands” of celebrities currently use C4B, including many “SAG-AFTRA members who want the rights, benefits and protections afforded by a union contract.” Cameo echoed the importance of its new agreement with SAG-AFTRA in a recent statement from co-founder and CEO Steven Galanis:
“The talent experience is a top priority so we’re thrilled that this new SAG-AFTRA partnership will ensure that existing and new talent are easily covered and contributing to their essential membership benefits while engaging with brands on our platform.”
Of course, not all Cameo content created by SAG-AFTRA members is protected under the new contract. The union’s agreement with Cameo is exclusive to the brand partnership side of the platform—meaning celebrities’ other offerings (i.e. custom shout-outs sold directly to fans) aren’t covered.
🔆 SPONSORED 🔆
Say goodbye to copyright claims—and say hello to Snapmuse’s library of 34,000 royalty-free tracks
As a royalty-free music licensing platform, Snapmuse.com has already helped 160,000 creators find the perfect sound for their next video—without worrying about copyright claims. It all comes down to Snapmuse.com’s unique production process:
Unlike other platforms, Snapmuse.com’s library is completely self-owned and produced in-house.
That means all 34,000 songs and sound effects are 100% safe for monetized use on platforms like YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, and Instagram.
Snapmuse.com works hard to ensure that creators never have to stress about video takedowns or copyright claims. And since their team understands that every creator and channel is different, Snapmuse.com is all about options:
Pre-cut tracks and full stems: Snapmuse.com offers both social media-ready tracks and complete stems—so you can customize your favorite songs, or post 10-30-second tracks straight to TikTok and YouTube Shorts.
Easy browsing and personalized tracks: Browse by genre, mood, and theme to find the perfect song in seconds—or ask Snapmuse.com’s team to compose a one-of-a-kind track just for you.
A simple, streamlined process: Snapmuse.com doesn’t require a one-size-fits-all subscription, so you can purchase one song, subscribe for unlimited downloads, or buy a completely personalized track.
Ready to discover your next soundtrack?
HEADLINES IN BRIEF 📰
Enjoy Basketball—the lifestyle and media brand co-launched by creator Kenny Beecham and Up North Management—is joining forces with ICEE for its spring merch drop. (Tubefilter)
Meta’s latest round of layoffs will reportedly affect approximately 6,000 employees. (Gizmodo)
Google DeepMind is leveraging its visual language model, Flamingo, to generate metadata descriptions for YouTube Shorts. (The Verge)
According to new reports, high-level League of Legends esports players will soon vote on whether to stage a walkout over changes made to the North American minor league system. (Engadget)
DATA • CREATORS ON THE RISE 📈
From undergrad to 80 million monthly views, this creator’s career has been “a wild and fun ride”
David Alvarez has “always loved comedy,” but he wasn’t originally planning to be a full-time content creator. Instead, Alvarez aimed to become a pediatrician—until Univision offered to sign him for channel management halfway through his fourth year of undergrad.
After that, Alvarez was all in.
It was the right move. Alvarez had already collaborated with fellow YouTuber Jorge Muñoz by then, but going full-time gave him the opportunity to forge deeper connections within the wider creator community. Before long, the creator had written “for really big YouTubers like the Merrell Twins or Alex Wassabi.”
Then he discovered his own niche: white cyc videos.
Alvarez’s views hit a major peak in April. Data from Gospel Stats.
Producing that content was an expensive risk: according to Alvarez, filming videos in white cyclorama studios meant “having to spend all this money, renting out a studio, renting out cameramen, a sound guy.” Luckily for the creator (and his 1 million subscribers), that high-risk, high-reward strategy worked out just fine.
These days, Alvarez’s white cyc productions feature casts of up to 30 people and routinely score millions of views—especially on YouTube Shorts.
Case in point: the creator’s top Short has earned a whopping 43 million views since April 12.
His monthly totals are even more impressive: in April, Alvarez scored more than 80 million views.
And overall? The comedian’s YouTube hub now claims over 277 million lifetime views.
Welcome to USC’s most exclusive social media club
Last fall, the University of Southern California’s prestigious content creator incubator club—USC Reach—accepted 38 out of 250 applicants. That lucky 15% was rewarded with access to exclusive mentorships, workshops with speakers from companies like Google, Facebook, WarnerMedia, TikTok, and Spotify, and access to collaborative content production days.
Even if you’ve never heard of Reach, you’re probably familiar with its most notable alumni.
Previous members include PARTY SHIRT (20.5 million followers on TikTok), Alan Chikin Chow (13.1 million followers), Mia Finney (6.5 million), Cosette Rinab (2.3 million), and Reach chairman-slash-CEO Dylan Huey. Now, Huey (who became Hype House co-founder Chase Hudson‘s first manager at just 17-years-old) is using his leadership role to expand Reach’s impact:
“Our club members are so diverse, something [they] love is hearing from amazing guest speakers at our weekly meetings. Obviously the guest speakers we have can’t fulfill every niche that all of our members are in.”
To supplement Reach’s current offerings (which currently serve members at 10 schools and will expand to 25 by end-of-semester), Huey, USC Reach vice-president Natalie Park, and director of community Veda Mahbubani started a weekly podcast. ReachNOW provides insight from a variety of industry executives, especially in relation to the genesis of their careers. The majority of episodes aren’t currently accessible for public listening (with the exception of the first), but USC Reach does have plans to eventually make the podcast available to non-members.
If you’re a college student and would rather skip that wait, details about Reach’s application process are available here. According to Huey, the club’s ideal applicants are front-facing and behind-the-camera creators who have “really taken initiative and taken the lead into wanting to be someone in social media.”
WATCH THIS 📺
Hank Green is taking on Hodgkin’s lymphoma with his signature sense of humor
It’s been a rough week for the Vlogbrothers, but Hank Green is taking on cancer with as much humor as possible. In a recent video, his brother and fellow creator, John Green, let fans in on a few of the ways that Hank has added a little light to the situation since announcing his diagnosis.
That update also included a gentle warning to the brothers’ viewers: serious issues like cancer can have a humorous side—but only ”if the laughs come from a place of love and understanding.” To accomplish that (especially through online comments), humor has to feel “like inclusion rather than stigma, and like celebration rather than dismissal.”
Was this email forwarded to you? Subscribe here.
Today's newsletter is from: Emily Burton, Sam Gutelle, and Josh Cohen. Drew Baldwin helped edit, too. It's a team effort.