Influencers Say No

Over the last month there have been a flurry of stories denouncing influencers as everything from amoral, ineffective, overrated, and even responsible for one company’s disastrous IPO’s.

Headlines like ‘The Dishonest and Wasteful Practice of Influencer Marketing’ paint influences with a broad brush as money grubbing and eager to take any brand deal coming their way and sell out their audiences along the way.

That’s just not true and doesn’t accurately reflect the majority of my experiences in nearly 15 years of influencer marketing.

Influencers say no and fight for work they believe in.


The Original Hype House

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Collaboration is, and will always be, a tool to drive growth and build an audience online…  rising tides lifts all boats.

The Hype House is an LA mansion TikTok stars formed in December of last year to live and collaborate. 

These TikTokers are co-creating content, featuring and promoting one another in an effort to cross-promote one another and collectively grow their audiences. The ideal outcome is an ever expanding audience.

Influencer A has X audience and Influencer B has Y audience. The two promote one another to capture both X & Y audiences and (ideally) capture additional followers in the process.

If history is any indication, the Hype House could be the start of a massive business that may change the course of media.


How The Influencer Ecosystem Evolved in 2019

I recently took a look back at my 2019 predictions for the influencer space.

My thoughts boiled down to two key predictions, They were that creators would:
1) Invest far more in their own brands (beyond outside of ad revenue)
2) Look to build communities independent of social platforms (ie email, etc)



Twitch, is a massive streaming video platform best known for video game broadcasts. It’s also one of the most buzzed about social networks. 

In this article I plan to provide a ‘Twitch 101’ – covering why Twitch is important for advertisers, how it works, and the advertising opportunities on the platform.


What the hell is happening to YouTube comments?

A few weeks ago I noticed in the YouTube app that comments had moved. The comments section was directly under the video player – typically the comment section sits below the recommended videos, which requires a fair amount of scrolling (see below).

YouTube comments under video
Typically comments are below recommended videos.

Why would YouTube be exploring moving the position of comments and what does this mean?


Thoughts On Brat Network

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Fast Company about Brat, a teenage focused media network on YouTube.

Brat creates original scripted programming catering to teenage girls. The company has shown explosive growth – in just over a year they’ve generated over 22 million views and three million subscribers. Brat has grown, at least in part, due to its regularly featuring popular influencers such as Anna Cathcart, Addison Riecke, Francesca Capaldi, and Emily Skinner.


VIDCON 2019: 5 Trends & Takeaways

Photo Cred @Buzzfeed

The tenth, US based Vidcon, has come to its conclusion.

The conference has grown dramatically, from its humble beginnings – a few hundred people in LA – to tens of thousands of attendees filling the Anaheim Convention Center.

I’ve been to every Vidcon that’s been hosted in the US and its crazy to look back and see how much it has grown.  Brands now flock to Vidcon, and whole industries have been built upon the influencer economy.

This year I identified five overarching trends that really dominated Vidcon.



In November of 2018, Facebook quietly released Lasso, which a spokesperson described asa new standalone app for short-form, entertaining videos — from comedy to beauty to fitness and more.”

The app is strikingly similar to the wildly popular app, TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese tech company, ByteDance. TikTok has grown incredibly quickly, with hundreds of millions of active users worldwide, and is increasingly perceived as a threat to Facebook amongst the youth market.


2019 Predictions

I’ve been scratching my head about what the big trends within the digital video and influencer marketing space will be in 2019. I have some theories…or one overarching theme rather.

Overall, I think 2019 will be a year of ‘Direct To Consumer’.

I’m not just talking about the rise of Direct To Consumer brands (which has already been a big trend over the last few years), but also Direct To Consumer when it comes to community building.


The Moves Traditional Media Made In Digital Video This Year

One thing a lot of people didn’t see coming in 2018 (or at least something I didn’t anticipate) was all the investments traditional media companies made into the social video ecosystem. We saw Viacom, ATT, and Ziff Davis (to name a few) make major investments and virtually overnight become serious players this past year.

One traditional media company in particular stands out – Viacom. Viacom has a long, storied history with the space; they’d been suing Google over alleged copyright violations on YouTube from 2007-2014. As part of that suit Viacom had been seeking $1 billion dollars in damages, but was awarded no money as part of a settlement in 2014.