- Pokimane ditches Twitch 👋
Pokimane ditches Twitch 👋
And Big Bird learns about dinosaurs.
It’s Monday and Mark Zuckerberg’s penchant for cage-fighting and “recreational aviation” is turning out to be risky business for Meta.
END OF AN ERA
Pokimane just hosted her first YouTube stream. Here are her post-Twitch plans:
The announcement: On January 30, Pokimane wrapped up her decade-long career as one of Twitch’s most-followed female streamers with a bombshell announcement:
The update: Pokimane’s 9.3 million Twitch followers didn’t have to wait long for more information—but they did have to venture off-platform. The creator kicked off the next phase of her career on February 1 by hosting her very first YouTube stream.
Over the course of that four-hour stream, Pokimane clarified that she hasn’t signed an exclusive contract with YouTube or sealed a multimillion-dollar, nonexclusive deal with Kick (à la Twitch stars Amouranth and xQc).
Instead, Pokimane says she’s using the expiration of her Twitch contract as an opportunity to “nonexclusively” release whatever content she finds “enjoyable.” While she plans to stream only on YouTube for now, she clarified that she’ll likely “try some other things” in the future.
The implications: Although Pokimane hasn’t signed with another platform, her departure still speaks to the underlying current of dissatisfaction affecting Twitch’s creator community. When one chat member mentioned that “Twitch has too many ads,” Pokimane’s response was enthusiastic: “That was one thing that was kind of exciting about my contract ending. No more forced ads!”
As Twitch kicks of a year of cost-cutting efforts, it will need to take care not to double-down on features that generate profit at the expense of streamers (something that has alienated top creators and opened doors for rivals like Kick in the past).
So far, the platform seems to be maintaining a good balance: although Twitch recently transitioned to a more “sustainable” fixed-rate model for Prime Gaming subs (which may result in slightly lowered revenue from subscriptions), it accompanied that change with creator-friendly updates to the Plus Program.
HEADLINES IN BRIEF 📰
Spotify’s latest deal with controversial podcaster Joe Rogan is reportedly a non-exclusive agreement worth roughly $250 million. (TechCrunch)
Meta’s stock soared on Friday after the company informed investors that its net income had jumped from $4.65 billion in Q4 2022 to $14 billion in Q4 2023. (CNBC)
A bipartisan group of senators has introduced The Disrupt Explicit Forged Images and Non-Consensual Edits (DEFIANCE) Act in response to concerns over non-consensual deepfakes. (Gizmodo)
COLUMNS • MILLIONAIRES 📈
This creator couple is ready to “romanticize” the everyday moments that make life magical
Reza and Puja Khan had a good thing going. They’d both found great jobs, and were settling into life as newlyweds. Then a video of their first dance went viral.
How it started: Puja is Indian and Reza is half Persian and half Pakistani, so the two of them threw a “very classic South Asian wedding”—the kind that includes roughly “seven choreographed dances” (in Reza’s words). Afterwards, Puja posted a 30-second clip of their first dance on her personal TikTok account.
Neither she or Reza thought much of it…until their videographer reposted the video on YouTube. Millions of views flooded in almost immediately; within a few weeks, the couple’s accounts had 30,000 TikTok followers and 10,000 YouTube subscribers.
Puja knew they had to seize the opportunity. She convinced Reza to give the whole content creation thing an honest try (by posting once a day for a year). Within two months of filming consistently, Puja had quit her job to focus on content full-time.
Reza and Puja hit a major high last month. Data from Gospel Stats.
How it’s going: These days, Puja and Reza are both full-time creators and full-time parents. Their couple-focused skits and vlogs have evolved to include their parents and their baby, as well as the real-life joys and challenges of parenthood.
What’s up next: Puja and Reza have big plans for 2024 (including diving headfirst into the podcasting world). But even though their content has changed over the years, the couple’s top priority remains the same:
ELMO MAKES A FRIEND
Blippi is bringing the party to Sesame Street
The collaboration: Elmo’s newest friend might not be a muppet, but we’re guessing he’ll still be popular with Sesame Street’s target audience. Blippi—a kid-friendly YouTube sensation with 19.3 million subscribers and a Netflix show—has joined forces with The Sesame Workshop to release a series of videos, which will be distributed across both brands’ channels.
Beginning February 3, Blippi (aka Stevin John) and his friend Meekah (real name Kaitlin Becker) will operate an excavator, give Big Bird a paleontology lesson, help Abby plan a party for Elmo, and hang out with Herb the Dinosaur. Those science-focused adventures will also entertain viewers with a few original songs.
The context: This isn’t the Sesame Workshop’s first time collaborating with family-friendly YouTube creators. While other TV franchises have struggled to adapt to the rise of streaming services and online video, Sesame Street has continually evolved to reach its target audience on new platforms.
In addition to featuring homegrown creators like Rosanna Pansino and Pentatonix, the brand’s YouTube channel often produces viral videos (including some with over 100 million views).
Sesame Street will evolve again in 2025. Following the conclusion of its current deal with Max, the Sesame Workshop plans to update its flagship show’s format to feature “two 11-minute narrative-driven segments”—a length well-suited to kiddos reared on shorter online videos.
LISTEN UP 🎙️
This week on the podcast…
TikTok loses Taylor Swift: While YouTube celebrated 100 million paid subscribers and a 15% rise in yearly ad revenue, TikTok went to war with Universal Music Group—and lost tracks from Taylor Swift, Drake, and Olivia Rodrigo in the process.
Zuckerberg takes heat: Last week’s Congressional hearing was no picnic for Meta’s CEO. Mark Zuckerberg dodged a series of tough questions about child safety before eventually defending teenage creators’ rights to public Instagram accounts.
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