True crime goes on tour 💀

Read time: 4 minutes.


It's Tuesday and ChatGPT’s screenwriting career is off to a bumpy start. The world premiere of the chatbot’s first film—ironically titled The Last Screenwriter—has been canceled before production even began.


MrBallen is taking his true crime empire on tour

The live show: Fans across the U.S. will soon have a chance to hear MrBallen’s “strange, dark, and mysterious” tales in person. The true crime YouTuber (aka John Allen) has announced a cross-country tour that will hit 15 cities between September 26 and October 20.

  • That event series is the first full-length tour put on by Ballen Studios, but it isn’t Allen’s live debut. The former Navy Seal previously enthralled audience members at a storytelling session held last October. His upcoming tour will offer ticket-holders a similar fare of sordid true crime tales—plus the chance to pick up a copy of his upcoming graphic novel, MrBallen Presents: Strange, Dark & Mysterious. 

The context: That book is just one of the multi-media endeavors to come out of MrBallen Studios. In addition to managing Allen’s 2024 tour and broader content empire (which includes several of YouTube’s most-watched videos), the company launched a creator management arm last spring.

The statement:

“Telling stories on YouTube and on the podcast each week for millions of fans is something I absolutely love to do. Now, to be able to do that in front of those fans, feel their energy, and have a chance to meet them as well, is something that excites me to no end.”

John Allen

The big picture: Creator tours are shaping up to be one of the hallmarks of 2024. Top YouTubers like Rhett & Link, Daz Black, and Dan Howell have all demonstrated the enduring value of live event series, which have become an increasingly powerful audience-building tool and revenue source in the aftermath of COVID-19.

Spotter’s AI suite helps YouTubers beat creative block—so you can focus on making the content your fans love

From building audiences to brainstorming content, YouTubers like you do it all—which is why Spotter has invested more than $900 million to make sure creators have every possible resource at their fingertips.

🛠️ Now, Spotter is adding a new suite of AI resources to that list.

Spotter’s expert team has partnered with top creators and industry pros to develop creator-friendly products focused on ideation, packaging, and creative storytelling. The goal: helping YouTubers save time and money while accelerating their careers. 

💪 Dude Perfect, Lizzy Capri, and Kinigra Deon are already leveraging Spotter’s AI suite of products to create viral videos.

Now, it’s your turn to level up your content with one of Spotter’s brand-new AI tools: Title Exploder.

Title Exploder helps you create captivating video titles based on insights from your most successful content and YouTube’s top videos. Hit the link below to register for free—and receive exclusive access to upcoming launches, features, and events along the way.


  • Gaming and entertainment org XSET has acquired Illusive Media to form an in-house studio dedicated to the production of “original and unrivaled content.” (Tubefilter)

  • Streamer Dr. Disrespect has been dropped by Midnight Society—aka the gaming studio he co-founded in 2021—after being permanently banned from Twitch amidst grooming allegations. (The Verge)


Top 3 Branded Videos: Deadly obstacle courses, secret hotels, and forbidden love

After appearing as a guest in last week’s #1 sponsored clip, MrBeast has returned to the rankings as the star of his own viral video. Here’s a sneak peek at Gospel Stats’ latest batch of branded data:

🥇 MrBeast x Cirkul: World’s Deadliest Obstacle Course!
After enduring a hardcore challenge of his own, Jimmy Donaldson decided to put someone else through the ringer. That lucky contestant (a frequent MrBeast guest star named Mack) was tasked with completing a series of death-defying obstacles. The prize: $800,000.

  • That’s a lot of pressure, but MrBeast’s title sponsor did take one challenge off Mack’s shoulders. With Cirkul flavored water on hand, the competitor didn’t need to worry about beating dehydration.

Danger is MrBeast’s middle name. (It’s actually Stephen, but you get the point.)

🥈 Ryan Trahan x Squad Busters: I Stayed in Secret Hotels
Ryan Trahan’s latest travel diary might be Squad Busters’ most fruitful partnership of 2024, but it’s hardly the game’s first stab at YouTube marketing.

  • In total, Squad Busters has sponsored three videos this year: a food art challenge from ZHC, a German-language scooter tour hosted by Trymacs, and Trahan’s own hotel escapade.

🥉 Dhar Mann Studios x Dragon City: CHEERLEADER Falls In Love With NERD | Dhar Mann Studios
Squad Busters isn’t the only video game sponsor represented in this week’s ranking. Dragon City linked up with Dhar Mann Studios to fund one of the company’s signature moral-fueled stories. The result: 5.3 million views and an addictively cheesy reminder that love conquers all.

FYI: This Weekly Brand Report is just a taste of everything Gospel Stats has to offer. Check out the full site here for in-depth data on branded partnerships, rising creators, and emerging YouTube trends.


Shopify is giving small businesses their very own Sidekicks

The launch: Creators who sell merch through Shopify will now have an AI buddy to back them up. The ecommerce company has announced the early access launch of Sidekick, a chatbot designed to help small business owners “make good decisions and resolve tasks.”

  • Find out more about Sidekick (and the other 150+ updates on Shopify’s Summer 2024 itinerary) here.

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