Архив метки: AI

Roku touts its new ad products, including an AI that matches campaigns to TV moments

In Roku’s recent quarter, the company posted better-than-expected revenue of $741 million, but worried investors with its warning of an uncertain ad market and declining average revenue per user. Today, at the IAB NewFronts, the streaming media company introduced its latest ad products to potentially help it address the latter, at least. These included new opportunities to advertise on Roku’s Home Screen, within its original content, and even in its screensaver, among other things. It also hyped its use of contextual AI for automatically running ads right next to the most relevant moments in shows and movies on The Roku Channel.
The company explained that its new artificial intelligence capability searches across the Roku library for “iconic plot moments” that would match a brand’s message and place their ads in real time. To work, marketers will first tell Roku their campaign’s theme. The AI searches the library to match the campaign with key moments. For example, when Tim Gunn says “make it work” in “Project Runway,” an apparel brand could insert its message.
Roku also announced a new slate of Roku Originals, which will include an entrepreneurship docuseries, “Side Hustlers,” produced by Hello Sunshine — Reese Witherspoon’s media company that sold in 2021 for $900 million to Candle Media, the company run by former Disney execs Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs, which now has its hand in numerous pies across the streaming landscape. Digital bank Ally was also involved in this production that focuses on people turning their side hustle into their main business.
Image Credits: Roku
Other new Originals arriving this year include “Celebrity Family Cook Off,” a series executive produced by Sofia Vergara and hosted by Manolo Gonzalez Vergara and “Carpe DM with Juanpa,” which will feature social media star Juanpa Zurita, among others.  Roku said it’s also renewing “The Great American Baking Show,” featuring Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith, Ellie Kemper and Zach Cherry and “Honest Renovations,” featuring Jessica Alba and Lizzy Mathis.
The company claimed its Originals were delivering better than cable, and even better than broadcast audiences every day. 
The streaming company additionally used its time to pitch marketers about how to reach its now 71.6 million active accounts on its service via new ad products and placements.
The pitch, delivered by Roku Media President Charlie Collier, touted Roku’s reach in the U.S.
“Americans spend more time on Roku than any other TV platform, which means they spend more time here with Netflix and Hulu and Disney+ and even more time streaming CBS, NBC ABC, and Fox,” Collier told the audience. “Think about this: 50% of all Super Bowl streaming took place on Roku this year,” he added.
Image Credits: Roku
During the event, Roku shared some of its latest ad deals. It noted that its screensaver “Roku City,” which floats a cityscape on the TV screen while the TV is idle, will open up to brands. While before, the city screensaver would point users to suggested content to stream, it will now be able to feature other brands, as well. This summer, it will feature McDonald’s brand as part of the artwork, for instance, as its first brand partner on the new ad offering. The screensaver is used by nearly 40 million homes, Roku said.
The company also introduced new discovery experiences that allow brands to host content in areas like Home & Garden and Sports experiences that curate content from across TV on the Roku Home Screen. Now, when users turn to Roku search, they may see a featured collection that’s “presented by” an ad partner — for example, Walmart was shown “presenting” the Home & Garden collection.
Image Credits: Roku
Image Credits: Roku
Roku also shared that Instacart was its latest Commerce+ partner, joining others like Walmart, Best Buy, Cox Automotive, DoorDash, Kroger and more on its shoppable ads and other retailer-focused initiatives.
Commerce+ is designed to shorten the path to purchase for consumers, Roku explained.
For example, Wendy’s offered Roku users $5 off powered by DoorDash via a Home Screen ad, then used DoorDash data to help measure the impact of their ad spend. The campaign grew Wendy’s order size mainly among new and lapsed users and delivered a positive return on investment many times over, the company said.
Other news for marketers included Roku’s introduction of a Primetime Reach Guarantee, which it claimed to be a “first” in streaming. Essentially, the guarantee commits to brands they’ll be able to reach more TV households in primetime than the average program airing on a top-five cable channel on traditional TV.
“We’re uniquely positioned to make brands unmissable in TV because Roku is not fighting for turf in streaming—we are the turf,” said Alison Levin, Roku’s vice president of Ad Revenue and Marketing Solutions, in a press release. “We’re bringing the entire power of the platform, not just the pieces, to give marketers more of the scale, delight, and flexibility that they love in TV.”
Roku touts its new ad products, including an AI that matches campaigns to TV moments by Sarah Perez originally published on TechCrunch
Roku touts its new ad products, including an AI that matches campaigns to TV moments

What to expect from the creator economy in 2023

Social media platforms and creator-focused startups haven’t looked too hot this year, as companies like Snapchat, Patreon, Cameo and Meta all waged layoffs along with the rest of the tech industry. YouTube ad revenue is declining, and creator funds for platforms like Pinterest have dried up.
It might seem like things are bad on the surface, but the creator economy is more than just a buzzword that’s losing interest among venture capitalists. Despite challenges on a platform level, creators are continuing to make a living outside of the bounds of traditional media and will only continue to grow in 2023.
Social media platforms will need to commit to creators (seriously, this time)
In my opinion, the biggest creator news in 2022 was YouTube’s announcement that it would include Shorts creators in the YouTube Partner Program, allowing shortform creators to earn ad revenue for the first time ever. Starting in early 2023, creators will be able to apply to the YouTube Partner Program if they meet a new Shorts-specific threshold of 1,000 subscribers and 10 million Shorts views over 90 days. As members of the Partner Program, these creators will earn 45% of ad revenue from their videos.
This is huge, because it’s an open secret that shortform video is hard to monetize. For example, TikTok pays creators through its Creator Fund, a pool of $200 million unveiled in summer 2020. At the time, TikTok said it planned to expand that pool to $1 billion in the U.S. over the next three years, and double that internationally. That might sound like a lot of money, but by comparison, YouTube paid creators over $30 billion in ad revenue over the last three years. As the pool of eligible creators becomes more saturated, creator funds are pretty useless — if you’re in TikTok’s creator program and have a video get 1 million views, you might be able to cash out for a small latte. So while these multi-million (or billion) dollar creator funds might seem like a beacon for creators, they don’t help too much. Most popular TikTokers make their money from sponsorships and off-platform opportunities, rather than from their videos.
TikTok has long been the dominant platform in short form video, while Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube largely copied the newcomer to keep up. But creators will finally be incentivized to flock to YouTube Shorts once they can actually earn ad money there. The best part? There has never been more pressure on TikTok to follow suit.

YouTube Shorts could steal TikTok’s thunder with a better deal for creators

‘Creator Economy’ isn’t a buzzword
What’s a buzzword? You know it when you see it. It’s when Facebook rebrands to Meta and you suddenly get hundreds of emails about “the metaverse,” or when a crypto startup declares its commitment to fostering “community” just because it has a semi-active Discord server. You could also classify “creator economy” as a buzzword — I personally find myself cringe whenever I say it out loud, but I stand by the fact that it’s a much easier shorthand than saying “the industry in which talented people on the internet are leveraging social media audiences to develop careers as independent creatives.”
But all of these buzzwords actually represent real things. Yes, even the metaverse is a thing, though I’d argue we’re talking more about Club Penguin than whatever Mark Zuckerberg is into. The problem with buzzwords, though, is that they dilute real phenomena into fads that get further muddled by disconnected venture capitalists doubling down on the trend with over-enthusiastic investments.
On TechCrunch’s own Equity podcast last week, everyone’s favorite tweeter and brand new dad (!!) Alex Wilhelm reflected on a prediction he made last year.
“The passion economy isn’t sustainable,” he read, quoting his prediction from last year. “Nailed it! Who talks about creators these day? Nobody!”
I can forgive Alex because I do hate “passion economy” with the fire of an exploding supernova for each and every follower Khaby Lame has on TikTok. The term glorifies the relentless, soul-crushing hustle that people face while trying to “make it” in a field they love, while ignoring that industries that people pursue out of passion (art, non-profit work, politics) are often the most exploitative of all.
I think what Alex is getting at here, though, is that in 2021, venture capitalists poured money into the creator economy in the same way they pursued “trendy” tech like AI and web3. According to data retrieved from Crunchbase earlier this year, here’s the breakdown of creator economy funding for the first three quarters of 2022.
Q1: 58 rounds worth $343.2 million.
Q2: 42 rounds worth $336.0 million.
Q3: 19 rounds worth $110.2 million.
I don’t think this means that the creator economy is failing, though. It could just mean that the industry is correcting for over-investing in a bunch of creator-focused companies that creators didn’t actually want or need. Also, you know, the economy.
I’ve been saying for the entire past year that creator economy startups can only succeed if their foremost goal is truly to help creators. In 2021, a year when venture capital flowed like champagne at a Gatsby party, we joked that there were more creator economy startups than creators. But that’s a problem for investors, not creators, many of whom operate completely oblivious to the whims of a16z. It’s indicative of an environment that incentivizes tech moguls with no hands-on experience to try to solve problems of an industry that they don’t quite understand, and as a result, the space became deeply oversaturated. I cannot keep track of the number of companies I’ve encountered that attempt to automate the process of securing brand deals or help creators make white label products.
I’d go as far as to say that it’s bad for creators when there are too many startups angling for their partnership. We know that most startups are doomed to fail — what happens if you rely on a company to offer your business some sort of service, and then they fail within a few years? This is why I’ve made it a personal policy of mine to always ask creator-focused startup founders how they would plan to protect their creators from harm if their company fails.
No matter where the VC funds may fall in 2023, the playbook for creators’ success remains the same. Diversify your income streams, build trust with your audience, and make sure you don’t burn yourself out.

Yeah, funding for creator-focused startups is drying up

Venture capital will continue to intersect with creators, but not in the way you think
Investments into creator economy companies might be down, but creators are continuing to interface with VC money in a way that their audiences don’t often see. Charli D’Amelio and her family have become investors themselves. MrBeast is seeking funding at a unicorn-sized valuation, which isn’t surprising given that other especially successful creators have accomplished the same.
In less extreme cases, many creators are growing their businesses through startups like Creative Juice, Spotter and Jellysmack, which offer up-front cash in exchange for temporary ownership over a creator’s YouTube back catalog, which means the company gets all of the ad revenue from those videos. These companies operate similarly to venture capital firms. They invest in creators that they believe will turn that cash infusion into even more money, giving both parties a return.
Despite securing massive funding rounds and mammoth valuations, the model that these companies operate is still relatively new, and creators should exercise caution, as they should with any business deal.

Is MrBeast actually worth $1.5 billion?

What to expect from the creator economy in 2023 by Amanda Silberling originally published on TechCrunch
What to expect from the creator economy in 2023

QuickVid uses AI to generate short-form videos, complete with voiceovers

Generative AI is coming for videos. A new website, QuickVid, combines several generative AI systems into a single tool for automatically creating short-form YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat videos.
Given as little as a single word, QuickVid chooses a background video from a library, writes a script and keywords, overlays images generated by DALL-E 2 and adds a synthetic voiceover and background music from YouTube’s royalty-free music library. QuickVid’s creator, Daniel Habib, says that he’s building the service to help creators meet the “ever-growing” demand from their fans.
“By providing creators with tools to quickly and easily produce quality content, QuickVid helps creators increase their content output, reducing the risk of burnout,” Habib told TechCrunch in an email interview. “Our goal is to empower your favorite creator to keep up with the demands of their audience by leveraging advancements in AI.”
But depending on how they’re used, tools like QuickVid threaten to flood already-crowded channels with spammy and duplicative content. They also face potential backlash from creators who opt not to use the tools, whether because of cost ($10 per month) or on principle, yet might have to compete with a raft of new AI-generated videos.
Going after video
QuickVid, which Habib, a self-taught developer who previously worked at Meta on Facebook Live and video infrastructure, built in a matter of weeks, launched on December 27. It’s relatively bare bones at present — Habib says that more personalization options will arrive in January — but QuickVid can cobble together the components that make up a typical informational YouTube Short or TikTok video, including captions and even avatars.
It’s easy to use. First, a user enters a prompt describing the subject matter of the video they want to create. QuickVid uses the prompt to generate a script, leveraging the generative text powers of GPT-3. From keywords either extracted from the script automatically or entered manually, QuickVid selects a background video from the royalty-free stock media library Pexels and generates overlay images using DALL-E 2. It then outputs a voiceover via Google Cloud’s text-to-speech API — Habib says that users will soon be able to clone their voice — before combining all these elements into a video.
Image Credits: QuickVid
See this video made with the prompt “Cats”:

Or this one:
QuickVid certainly isn’t pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with generative AI. Both Meta and Google have showcased AI systems that can generate completely original clips given a text prompt. But QuickVid amalgamates existing AI to exploit the repetitive, templated format of B-roll-heavy short-form videos, getting around the problem of having to generate the footage itself.
“Successful creators have an extremely high-quality bar and aren’t interested in putting out content that they don’t feel is in their own voice,” Habib said. “This is the use case we’re focused on.”
That supposedly being the case, in terms of quality, QuickVid’s videos are generally a mixed bag. The background videos tend to be a bit random or only tangentially related to the topic, which isn’t surprising given QuickVids being currently limited to the Pexels catalog. The DALL-E 2-generated images, meanwhile, exhibit the limitations of today’s text-to-image tech, like garbled text and off proportions.
In response to my feedback, Habib said that QuickVid is “being tested and tinkered with daily.”
Copyright issues
According to Habib, QuickVid users retain the right to use the content they create commercially and have permission to monetize it on platforms like YouTube. But the copyright status around AI-generated content is … nebulous, at least presently. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently moved to revoke copyright protection for an AI-generated comic, for example, saying copyrightable works require human authorship.
When asked about how the USPTO decision might affect QuickVid, Habib said he believes that it only pertain to the “patentability” of AI-generated products and not the rights of creators to use and monetize their content. Creators, he pointed out, aren’t often submitting patents for videos and usually lean into the creator economy, letting other creators repurpose their clips to increase their own reach.
“Creators care about putting out high-quality content in their voice that will help grow their channel,” Habib said.
Another legal challenge on the horizon might affect QuickVid’s DALL-E 2 integration — and, by extension, the site’s ability to generate image overlays. Microsoft, GitHub and OpenAI are being sued in a class action lawsuit that accuses them of violating copyright law by allowing Copilot, a code-generating system, to regurgitate sections of licensed code without providing credit. (Copilot was co-developed by OpenAI and GitHub, which Microsoft owns.) The case has implications for generative art AI like DALL-E 2, which similarly has been found to copy and paste from the datasets on which they were trained (i.e., images).
Habib isn’t concerned, arguing that the generative AI genie’s out of the bottle. “If another lawsuit showed up and OpenAI disappeared tomorrow, there are several alternatives that could power QuickVid,” he said, referring to the open source DALL-E 2-like system Stable Diffusion. QuickVid is already testing Stable Diffusion for generating avatar pics.
Moderation and spam
Aside from the legal dilemmas, QuickVid might soon have a moderation problem on its hands. While OpenAI has implemented filters and techniques to prevent them, generative AI has well-known toxicity and factual accuracy problems. GPT-3 spouts misinformation, particularly about recent events, which are beyond the boundaries of its knowledge base. And ChatGPT, a fine-tuned offspring of GPT-3, has been shown to use sexist and racist language.
That’s worrisome, particularly for people who’d use QuickVid to create informational videos. In a quick test, I had my partner — who’s far more creative than me, particularly in this area —  enter a few offensive prompts to see what QuickVid would generate. To QuickVid’s credit, obviously problematic prompts like “Jewish new world order” and “9/11 conspiracy theory” didn’t yield toxic scripts. But for “Critical race theory indoctrinating students,” QuickVid generated a video implying that critical race theory could be used to brainwash schoolchildren.

Habib says that he’s relying on OpenAI’s filters to do most of the moderation work and asserts that it’s incumbent on users to manually review every video created by QuickVid to ensure “everything is within the boundaries of the law.”
“As a general rule, I believe people should be able to express themselves and create whatever content they want,” Habib said.
That apparently includes spammy content. Habib makes the case that the video platforms’ algorithms, not QuickVid, are best positioned to determine the quality of a video, and that people who produce low-quality content “are only damaging their own reputations.” The reputational damage will naturally disincentivize people from creating mass spam campaigns with QuickVid, he says.
“If people don’t want to watch your video, then you won’t receive distribution on platforms like YouTube,” he added. “Producing low-quality content will also make people look at your channel in a negative light.”
But it’s instructive to look at ad agencies like Fractl, which in 2019 used an AI system called Grover to generate an entire site of marketing materials — reputation be damned. In an interview with The Verge, Fractl partner Kristin Tynski said that she foresaw generative AI enabling “a massive tsunami of computer-generated content across every niche imaginable.”
In any case, video-sharing platforms like TikTok and YouTube haven’t had to contend with moderating AI-generated content on a massive scale. Deepfakes — synthetic videos that replace an existing person with someone else’s likeness — began to populate platforms like YouTube several years ago, driven by tools that made deepfaked footage easier to produce. But unlike even the most convincing deepfakes today, the types of videos QuickVid creates aren’t obviously AI-generated in any way.
Google Search’s policy on AI-generated text might be a preview of what’s to come in the video domain. Google doesn’t treat synthetic text differently from human-written text where it concerns search rankings but takes actions on content that’s “intended to manipulate search rankings and not help users.” That includes content stitched together or combined from different web pages that “[doesn’t] add sufficient value” as well as content generated through purely automated processes, both of which might apply to QuickVid.
In other words, AI-generated videos might not be banned from platforms outright should they take off in a major way but rather simply become the cost of doing business. That isn’t likely to allay the fears of experts who believe that platforms like TikTok are becoming a new home for misleading videos, but — as Habib said during the interview — “there is no stopping the generative AI revolution.”
QuickVid uses AI to generate short-form videos, complete with voiceovers by Kyle Wiggers originally published on TechCrunch
QuickVid uses AI to generate short-form videos, complete with voiceovers

Twelve Labs lands $12M for AI that understands the context of videos

To Jae Lee, a data scientist by training, it never made sense that video — which has become an enormous part of our lives, what with the rise of platforms like TikTok, Vimeo and YouTube — was difficult to search across due to the technical barriers posed by context understanding. Searching the titles, descriptions and tags of videos was always easy enough, requiring no more than a basic algorithm. But searching within videos for specific moments and scenes was long beyond the capabilities of tech, particularly if those moments and scenes weren’t labeled in an obvious way.
To solve this problem, Lee, alongside friends from the tech industry, built a cloud service for video search and understanding. It became Twelve Labs, which went on to raise $17 million in venture capital — $12 million of which came from a seed extension round that closed today. Radical Ventures led the extension with participation from Index Ventures, WndrCo, Spring Ventures, Weights & Biases CEO Lukas Biewald and others, Lee told TechCrunch in an email.
“The vision of Twelve Labs is to help developers build programs that can see, listen, and understand the world as we do by giving them the most powerful video understanding infrastructure,” Lee said.
A demo of the Twelve Labs platform’s capabilities. Image Credits: Twelve Labs
Twelve Labs, which is currently in closed beta, uses AI to attempt to extract “rich information” from videos such as movement and actions, objects and people, sound, text on screen, and speech to identify the relationships between them. The platform converts these various elements into mathematical representations called “vectors” and forms “temporal connections” between frames, enabling applications like video scene search.
“As a part of achieving the company’s vision to help developers create intelligent video applications, the Twelve Labs team is building ‘foundation models’ for multimodal video understanding,” Lee said. “Developers will be able to access these models through a suite of APIs, performing not only semantic search but also other tasks such as long-form video ‘chapterization,’ summary generation and video question and answering.”
Google takes a similar approach to video understanding with its MUM AI system, which the company uses to power video recommendations across Google Search and YouTube by picking out subjects in videos (e.g., “acrylic painting materials”) based on the audio, text and visual content. But while the tech might be comparable, Twelve Labs is one of the first vendors to market with it; Google has opted to keep MUM internal, declining to make it available through a public-facing API.
That being said, Google, as well as Microsoft and Amazon, offer services (i.e., Google Cloud Video AI, Azure Video Indexer and AWS Rekognition) that recognize objects, places and actions in videos and extract rich metadata at the frame level. There’s also Reminiz, a French computer vision startup that claims to be able to index any type of video and add tags to both recorded and live-streamed content. But Lee asserts that Twelve Labs is sufficiently differentiated — in part because its platform allows customers to fine-tune the AI to specific categories of video content.
Mockup of API for fine-tuning the model to work better with salad-related content. Image Credits: Twelve Labs
“What we’ve found is that narrow AI products built to detect specific problems show high accuracy in their ideal scenarios in a controlled setting, but don’t scale so well to messy real-world data,” Lee said. “They act more as a rule-based system, and therefore lack the ability to generalize when variances occur. We also see this as a limitation rooted in lack of context understanding. Understanding of context is what gives humans the unique ability to make generalizations across seemingly different situations in the real world, and this is where Twelve Labs stands alone.”
Beyond search, Lee says Twelve Labs’ technology can drive things like ad insertion and content moderation, intelligently figuring out, for example, which videos showing knives are violent versus instructional. It can also be used for media analytics and real-time feedback, he says, and to automatically generate highlight reels from videos.
A little over a year after its founding (March 2021), Twelve Labs has paying customers — Lee wouldn’t reveal how many exactly — and a multiyear contract with Oracle to train AI models using Oracle’s cloud infrastructure. Looking ahead, the startup plans to invest in building out its tech and expanding its team. (Lee declined to reveal the current size of Twelve Labs’ workforce, but LinkedIn data shows it’s roughly 18 people.)
“For most companies, despite the huge value that can be attained through large models, it really does not make sense for them to train, operate and maintain these models themselves. By leveraging a Twelve Labs platform, any organization can leverage powerful video understanding capabilities with just a few intuitive API calls,” Lee said. “The future direction of AI innovation is heading straight towards multimodal video understanding, and Twelve Labs is well positioned to push the boundaries even further in 2023.”
Twelve Labs lands $12M for AI that understands the context of videos by Kyle Wiggers originally published on TechCrunch
Twelve Labs lands $12M for AI that understands the context of videos

Is MrBeast actually worth $1.5 billion?

Whenever YouTube superstar MrBeast crops up in business or tech headlines, you’re guaranteed to find a slew of bewildered comments: Who is this guy, and why is a YouTuber such a big deal? Am I old if I don’t know who this is? Why is he younger than me, yet makes so much more money? Is this dude actually giving people free islands, or is he full of it?
If you don’t know who MrBeast is, that’s fine. That just means you probably aren’t on YouTube that often, or that you’ve never wondered what happens if you put 100 million Orbeez in your friend’s backyard. But let me ask you this: Have you heard of Cribl, Snapdocs, Sayo Bank or fabric? I haven’t either, those are just some names of companies worth more than $1 billion that I pulled off Crunchbase.
According to Axios‘ sources, MrBeast — the 24-year-old whose name is Jimmy Donaldson — is trying to raise $150 million for his business, valuing it at $1.5 billion. It might seem hard to imagine how a content creator’s business can be worth that much, but the North Carolina resident has built an impressive empire. With 109 million YouTube subscribers, MrBeast runs the fifth most subscribed channel on the platform, and he’s the top earner among U.S. YouTubers. Across his five other channels, he’s amassed another 82 million subscribers — and that’s not even counting his three Spanish language channels, which have about 33 million subscribers combined.
YouTube is one of the most profitable platforms for creators, because you can earn 55% of ad revenue as a member of YouTube’s partner program. But MrBeast has expanded his business beyond the realm of social media — he has leveraged his brand to open up MrBeast Burger, a ghost kitchen food chain, and a snack company called Feastables, which raised $5 million this year at a $50 million valuation from 776, Shrug Capital and Sugar Capital.
But MrBeast’s business model isn’t as straightforward as making videos and raking in ad revenue. His uploads, which center on extreme stunts and competitions for cash prizes, cost an obscene amount of money to make. Last year, his 25-minute “Real Life Squid Game” video required a whopping $3.5 million to produce, including more than $456,000 in prize money. For comparison, the nine-episode “Squid Game” series cost Netflix a total of $21.4 million, averaging out to about $2.4 million per hour-long installment.
A few weeks ago, MrBeast said that he spends $8 million per month on his businesses. Just last September, MrBeast told the creator-focused YouTube channel Colin and Samir that he spent $4 million every month. That’s a big jump.
Some companies reach unicorn status (a valuation above $1 billion) before even turning a profit. Yet Forbes estimates that MrBeast made $54 million in 2021, so he’s already proven to VCs that they can bet on him to return their investment.
“The videos get views even if I don’t upload, so if I really wanted to, I could just live off of the money that the views made,” MrBeast told Insider. But if the 24-year-old wants to grow even more quickly and turn a larger profit, then venture capital funding might actually make sense.
MrBeast has already taken funding on a smaller scale from companies like Jellysmack and Spotter. Jellysmack uses AI to maximize top creators’ cross-platform growth in exchange for a revenue cut; Spotter gives YouTubers large sums of upfront capital in exchange for revenue from their back catalog. But as one of the most successful content creators in the world, MrBeast can go even bigger with venture capital.
But is going bigger always better? MrBeast’s business model is like a snake eating its own tail — no one is making money like he is, but no one is spending it like him either. He described his margins as “razor-thin” in a conversation with Logan Paul, since he reinvests most of his profits back into his content. His viewers expect that each video will be more impressive than the last, and from the outside looking in, it seems like it’s only a matter of time before MrBeast can no longer up the ante (and for other creators, this has led to disaster). So, if MrBeast’s business really is a unicorn — I’d wager it is — then he has two choices. Will he use the cushion of $150 million to make his business more sustainable, so he doesn’t have to keep burying himself alive? Or will he keep pushing for more until nothing is left?

MrBeast explains YouTube’s algorithm

MrBeast’s ‘Real Life Squid Game’ and the price of viral stunts

Is MrBeast actually worth $1.5 billion? by Amanda Silberling originally published on TechCrunch
Is MrBeast actually worth $1.5 billion?