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.
This fundamental principle of collaboration has been key to influencer marketing, and social media marketing (and expanding ever outward, you could argue for a great deal of success in life in general), since the beginning.
You scratch my back I scratch yours.
Going back to the late 2000’s we first saw this tactic brought to life with the YouTube community in the form of The Station. The Station eventually morphed into Maker Studios, which went on to be acquired by Disney for nearly a billion dollars.
The Station started as a loose federation of YouTubers who came together in the summer of 2009 to share resources and collaborate on content creation in the form of a collective sketch comedy channel.
Working out of a few Venice Beach, CA homes, the groups was affectionately dubbed, A Modern Brat Pack of YouTubers, TheStation was comprised of Shane Dawson, Kassem G, Phil DeFranco, Dave Days, Shay Carl, Lisa Donovan, with cameos from other YouTubers like iJustine.
Before a video was ever launched, their collective YouTube channel, was among the 25 most subscribed channels across all of YouTube. By winter 2009, after only a handful videos had launched, The Station had become second most watched web series.
Eventually, several creators from the original crew parted ways, but LisaDonovan, ShayCarl, Kassem and a handful of others soldiered on. The team moved into crappy offices above a Taco Shop, rebranded into Maker Studios, raised money, became an MCN, began signing YouTube channels to power that MCN, and by 2012 were generating over a billion views a month.
In 2014 Disney came knocking and acquired Maker Studios for $550 million dollars, with benchmarks, that if hit could bring the total earn out to close to a billion dollars.
This isn’t to say that absolutely the Hype House of today will follow a similar path, but I certainly believe that it is possible.
In its infancy YouTube was filled with silly dance and lip sync videos, which made the whole phenomenon easy to discount. In many ways it mirrors the common perception of TikTok today.
However, as the saying goes, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”