Eminem is sharing a 'personal' phone number with his fans. Here's the invite-only startup behind it that's betting texting celebs and influencers will be a big business.
The music artist Eminem has joined the text-marketing app Community, announcing to fans this week that they can text him at 313-666-7440. The rapper appears to be using Community to promote a new line of merchandise he's releasing to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his album "The Marshall Mathers LP." Here's what you should know about how Community works, and why the platform has taken off recently among celebrities and influencers alike. Click here for more BI Prime stories.
Meet the startup helping YouTube creators earn millions in extra ad revenue by reposting their content on Facebook and Snapchat — including $68,000 from a single video: Posting videos across YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, and Snapchat can be a headache for creators. Startup Jellysmack is trying to streamline the process. Marketers share what it's like to use TikTok's invite-only tool for finding the right influencers to hire for brand deals: TikTok is growing up as an influencer-marketing platform with the release of new audience-data tools for both creators and brands. Inside YouTube's secretive Google Preferred program, which can boost a creator's income and signal they've 'made it': Business Insider spoke to creators and individuals familiar with how Google Preferred works to learn more about YouTube's top-tier ad product. What influencers should know about Facebook's new app for video creators, Creator Studio: Facebook created a new mobile app version of its publishing and analytics tool, Creator Studio, as it continues to make moves to compete with YouTube. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Pathologists debunk 13 coronavirus myths
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Influencer-tech startup ChannelMeter is launching an app that lets YouTubers get paid early — and it's not the only fintech going after creators
Startups are eyeing social-media stars as potential customers for financial services products as the influencer industry...Startups are eyeing social-media stars as potential customers for financial services products as the influencer industry continues to grow. Last month, the fintech startup Karat introduced a custom charge card for influencers, looking at a creator's social metrics, like follower count and engagement rates, rather than their FICO score to assess whether they qualify for its card. This week, the influencer-tech company ChannelMeter is launching a cash payment app for YouTubers with the goal of eventually selling banking and other financial service products to creators. Subscribe to Business Insider's influencer newsletter: Influencer Dashboard. A new crop of fintech companies is raising capital and launching financial products aimed at YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram creators. Last month, the fintech startup Karat introduced a custom payment card for creators. The company, which raised $4.6 million in seed funding, looks at a creator's social metrics, like follower count and engagement rates, rather than their FICO score to assess whether they qualify for its card. And this week, the influencer-tech company ChannelMeter is launching a cash payment app, "Creator Cash," which offers YouTube stars a cash advance on their advertising earnings while they wait to get paid out by Google. ChannelMeter eventually plans to expand its payment app to support influencers who earn money from other sources, including Facebook and IGTV advertising, Instagram and TikTok brand deals, and Patreon memberships (though the company said some forms of income that aren't traceable through platform APIs will take longer to integrate into its app). Both Karat and ChannelMeter are dangling easy-to-use financial products in front of creators with the longer-term goal of building out a suite of financial products like banking and tax services designed for the influencer economy. "It's a Trojan horse," ChannelMeter's CEO Eugene Lee said of the company's cash payment app. "The goal is to provide true value first. Win their trust. And then deploy our next series of products." ChannelMeter said it expects to initially lose money on Creator Cash. The company isn't charging interest on upfront remittances, though it will pass on a 3% disbursement fee that its payment-processing partner Stripe charges for instant payments. App users have 30 days to pay back any upfront advances from Creator Cash, though the company said it expects that some of its early users won't be able to pay back in full on that time frame. In order to qualify for Creator Cash, a user must be a part of YouTube's partner program (meaning they have at least 1,000 subscribers and comply with Google's monetization policies). "This is not intended to be a revenue generator," Lee said. "In the event they can't pay back, we're very well aware we took the risk. We planned for this risk. We planned for these events. Obviously we want to minimize that as much as possible and we're going to do that with software and data, but, if a creator can't pay back, they can't pay back, and we're just going to be smarter about who gets advances." Founded in 2012, ChannelMeter's core business has been selling software to media companies, marketers, and brands for influencer marketing, digital rights management, and other forms of social-media monetization. After processing millions of dollars in creator payments through its various business lines (and hearing anecdotal demand from influencers for more financial services tailored to the creator industry), the company decided to raise a $4 million round of financing this year to launch Creator Cash and lean into fintech. Lee believes ChannelMeter's background in influencer software offers a strategic advantage over traditional financial institutions that haven't worked as much in the creator space. "A lot of these creators are credit thin," he said. "They're underbanked. As these creators grow, they're going to need the support of financial institutions. They're going to need the support of someone like a bank who can help with capital. Who can help with credit. Who can help them grow and really put fuel in the fire of their business." For more stories on how influencers are turning to startups and tech platforms to grow their businesses, check out these other Business Insider posts: Fintech startup Karat has launched a new charge card designed for YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok stars that looks at social-media engagement rather than credit history: Business Insider spoke with Karat's cofounders Will Kim and Eric Wei to learn more about their plans to build a financial-services brand for creators. Influencers describe what it's like to use Community, the invite-only marketing app that lets them text message with their fans: Business Insider spoke with influencers testing out Community's app to learn more about the invite-only platform. Meet the startup helping YouTube creators earn millions in extra ad revenue by reposting their content on Facebook and Snapchat — including $68,000 from a single video: Posting videos across YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, and Snapchat can be a headache for creators. Startup Jellysmack is trying to streamline the process. Marketers share what it's like to use TikTok's invite-only tool for finding the right influencers to hire for brand deals: TikTok is growing up as an influencer-marketing platform with the release of new audience-data tools for both creators and brands. What influencers should know about Facebook's new app for video creators, Creator Studio: Facebook created a new mobile app version of its publishing and analytics tool, Creator Studio, as it continues to make moves to compete with YouTube. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: How waste is dealt with on the world's largest cruise ship
A new survey of 389 influencers shows how much engagement on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok has increased in recent weeks
As consumers spend more time online during the coronavirus pandemic, engagement and views on social-media platforms...As consumers spend more time online during the coronavirus pandemic, engagement and views on social-media platforms have jumped. Influencers are seeing dramatic increases in engagement across platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok, according to a new survey of 389 digital creators run by the influencer-marketing firm Influence Central. 26% of respondents reported seeing an increase in views and engagement on Instagram, 9% saw an increase on TikTok, and 37% reported a jump on Pinterest. 33% of influencers surveyed said they've had a boost in views and engagement on their personal blogs. Click here for more BI Prime stories. As more people spend time at home in an effort to curb the coronavirus outbreak, engagement and views on social-media platforms are spiking. In a new survey of 389 digital creators conducted by the marketing firm Influence Central, creators reported seeing increases in audience engagement across social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Pinterest, and their personal blogs. Influence Central's survey focused on the period of time from mid-February to mid-March when states and local governments first began implementing stay-at-home orders in response to the pandemic. 26% of respondents reported seeing an increase in views and engagement on Instagram, 9% saw an increase on TikTok, and 37% reported a jump in engagement on Pinterest. 33% of those surveyed said they've had a boost in views and engagement on their personal blogs. Other influencer marketers have also seen engagement bumps in recent weeks, especially on sponsored posts. The influencer marketing agency Obviously told Business Insider that it saw a 76% increase in daily accumulated "likes" on sponsored posts for its influencer campaigns on Instagram in the first half of March. The company also observed a 27% increase in engagement on sponsored posts on TikTok between February and March. Engagement on TikTok is calculated by combining likes, comments, and shares and dividing by total views. "On the influencer side, on social content, what we've seen is they're hitting upwards of 25% more views than they normally would," said Vickie Segar, the founder of the influencer-marketing firm Village. "We're seeing an extreme increase on the consumption of social content." The recent spike in social-media views and engagement hasn't necessarily translated into more earnings for influencers, however. Many digital creators have lost revenue this month as travel and events-based opportunities are shut down and brands cancel sponsorship deals as they attempt to cut costs during a slumping economy. Influencers are interested in posting 'feel good' and 'philanthropic' content on social media For influencers who are able to continue to earn money from sponsored content, many are looking to work on campaigns that are positive in tone and tied to charity and relief efforts related to the pandemic. 89% of respondents to Influence Central's survey said they wanted to work on "feel good" brand campaigns and "philanthropic efforts," a desire that falls in line with how brands themselves are approaching influencer marketing during the coronavirus crisis. Last week, the backpack company JanSport ran an influencer-marketing campaign focused on its charitable giving to the nonprofit World Central Kitchen. In other categories of advertising like traditional TV commercials, brands like Toyota have been leaning into "feel good" messages of unity in place of more transactional messaging. "Influencers are really talking about the relationship they have with a brand," said Daniel Schotland, the chief operating officer of the influencer firm Linqia. "It's more than a sponsored post. [There's] some sense of common value or bond and pride in working together at this time." Most digital creators are talking about coronavirus and the 'stay-home' economy Creators who responded to Influence Central's survey also said that they aren't shying away from speaking about the current public health crisis in their social-media posts. 73% of respondents said they have "addressed COVID-19 and the new 'stay-home' economy" instead of just focusing on their regular content. The United Nations recently encouraged creators to post about the public health crisis in an open brief, asking influencers to "use any creative medium" to educate followers on topics like the importance of physical distancing and hand washing. "We're watching influencers live their daily lives like we always do and that includes now working out from home and eating at home," Segar said. "They're not pretending like this isn't happening." Here is the full breakdown of what influencers are seeing in terms of increased engagement and views across digital platforms, according to Influence Central's survey: Pinterest: 37% of respondents saw an increase in views and engagement in the month leading up to March 18th when the survey was conducted. 18% of all 389 respondents said that increase was "dramatic" (15% or higher). Instagram: 36% of respondents reported an increase in views and engagement. 12% of all respondents said that increase was dramatic. Facebook: 35% of respondents reported an increase in views and engagement. 11% of all respondents reported a dramatic increase. Personal blog: 33% of respondents reported an increase in views and engagement. 11% of all respondents said the increase was dramatic. Twitter: 22% of respondents reported an increase in views and engagement. 6% of all respondents said the increase was dramatic. YouTube: 12% of respondents reported an increase in views and engagement. 4% of all respondents said the increase was dramatic. TikTok: 9% of respondents reported an increase in views and engagement. 3% of all respondents said the increase was dramatic. For more information on how brands, creators, and marketers are adjusting to new consumer behavior during the coronavirus outbreak, read these Business Insider Prime posts: 7 key lessons for brands that want to run sponsored social-media posts during a crisis without appearing tone deaf, according to an influencer-marketing exec: Business Insider spoke with the influencer agency Linqia about how the firm was guiding brands and digital creators during the coronavirus pandemic. JanSport hired a Gen-Z 'think tank' to help launch a TikTok influencer campaign during the coronavirus pandemic without appearing tone deaf: The backpack brand JanSport hired 10 TikTok creators to generate buzz around its donations to the nonprofit World Central Kitchen. A top social-video data firm made a 22-page report on how the coronavirus has changed viewer habits on YouTube and other platforms. Here are the 5 takeaways: Tubular Labs put together a 22-page report on YouTube and Facebook video consumption during the coronavirus outbreak. Influencer marketers say sponsored Instagram posts have had views, likes, and comments sharply increase the past 2 weeks: As the coronavirus outbreak increases social isolation, influencer marketers are seeing greater user engagement on apps like TikTok and Instagram. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns explains why country music is universal
Some fitness influencers say a surge in sales of direct-to-consumer workout services has protected their incomes, as brand deals slump amid the coronavirus pandemic
As more people seek at-home workout alternatives amid the coronavirus pandemic, fitness influencers on Instagram and...As more people seek at-home workout alternatives amid the coronavirus pandemic, fitness influencers on Instagram and YouTube have seen a spike in engagement and in direct-to-consumer sales. These membership-based programs don't require fancy equipment and are offered in the form of an app or virtual program online. Business Insider spoke to some top fitness influencers on how their businesses have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Click here for more BI Prime stories. Fitness influencer Katie Dunlop — who created the at home-workout program and app, Love Sweat Fitness — has been filming live content on Instagram for her 392,000 followers almost every day this past week. Usually, Dunlop only goes live once or twice a month, she told Business Insider. But as more people seek at-home workout alternatives amid the coronavirus pandemic, fitness influencers on Instagram and YouTube like Dunlop have seen a huge increase in demand for their services. "There's been a really interesting shift with people being forced to workout at home who maybe aren't used to it," she said. "We've seen a huge growth in the consumption of our content, downloads of our mobile app." Dunlop's program has always focused on workouts you can do anywhere, with a YouTube channel (573,000 subscribers), mobile app, and website. Traffic and views have surged this month across these platforms, said Katie's husband Ryan Dunlop, chief operating officer and cofounder of Love Sweat Fitness. "I would say website traffic has been up over 50% since this started week-over-week," Ryan said. "We are growing a lot on Instagram right now, and we are seeing organic views of all of our content and engagement on our content up a lot right now." Fitness creators are an anomaly in the influencer business right now, as they often focus on direct-to-consumer services that can directly benefit from the increased demand. Other categories, like fashion and travel, have seen their businesses upended as brand partnerships and paid events have been canceled. Fitness-related brand partnerships have declined as well, Ryan said, but since they are supported by DTC revenue, the overall business model hasn't been impacted as much. "We don't have to do some crazy shift in our business to make it work right now," Katie said. Hanna Coleman has seen a 62% spike in sales for her $30.00 at-home workout guide During the coronavirus pandemic, the Dunlops have offered a free 30-day trial of their mobile app online. The app is free to download, and the premium version costs $13.99 for one month, $35.99 for three months, and $99.99 for a yearly subscription. "We've seen thousands of sign-ups for that app, which has been driven off of [the free trial]," Ryan said. The Dunlops aren't the only ones to see an increase in demand. Hanna Coleman, an Instagram and YouTube influencer based in New York City who shares fitness tips with her followers, said she's seen a 62% spike in sales for her $30.00 (usually $60.00) at-home workout guide this month. "I put my guide on sale so it's more accessible to everyone," she said. "If anyone donates — even $1 — to any foundation helping the coronavirus or the people affected, and sends me a DM @hanna.coleman, I send them a 50% off code on top of the general discount of the guide." Due to popular demand through direct messages on Instagram, Coleman said she's releasing an "at home plant-based cooking guide" in April on what to cook and how to eat healthy while under quarantine. Tobi Pearce, the CEO of the at-home fitness program Sweat, told Business Insider in an emailed statement that the program had seen a spike in app membership across countries like the US, UK, Italy, Brazil, Portugal, Spain, and Greece in the past few weeks. The app costs $19.99 monthly and $119.94 annually. "It's definitely caused a massive surge in my seven-day free trial offer," said Melissa Wood-Tepperberg, a fitness influencer on Instagram who runs the account Melissa Wood Health with 344,000 followers. "I'm sharing as much free content as possible [on Instagram]." Her online fitness program costs $9.99 a month and $99.99 for a yearly subscription. More free content, discounted programs, and extended free trials With this spike in interest, fitness creators are offering more free content to followers, and they are discounting paid programs and extending free trials. For instance, Wood-Tepperberg said she's been sharing workouts and meditations for free on her website and sharing content for free on IGTV. "Showing everyone that even with 20 minutes you can shift your mindset exponentially by adding some movement and mediation into your day," Wood-Tepperberg said. Influencers who create content for the Sweat program — which has over 150 weeks' worth of content available across its five at-home programs within the app — have taken steps to provide minimal-equipment alternatives, knowing many people don't have access to basic gym equipment, Pearce said. The fitness influencers also said that, throughout this month, they had been mindful that their businesses were surging as other influencers categories — and business categories generally — were hurting. "It's a weird feeling when people ask us how the business is doing," Ryan said. "It's a weird thing to say actually, it's doing great. It's awful what is going on and I think our only intention was to try to find out ways we could help." Sign up for Business Insider's influencer newsletter, Influencer Dashboard, to get more stories like this in your inbox. For more industry updates on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, check these posts on Business Insider Prime: Rihanna's Fenty Beauty house, where 5 TikTok stars were staying and making videos, is shutting down temporarily due to the coronavirus pandemic: Rihanna's new TikTok collab house is temporarily closing out of caution due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a spokesperson. An influencer-marketing agency made a 68-page report on how the coronavirus could change the industry. Here are the 5 key takeaways.: The average cost of sponsored content may drop, according to a recent report, depending on the length of the coronavirus and its overall impact. Instagram and YouTube stars are shifting strategies as some influencer-marketing sectors hit a 'standstill,' focusing on income streams like directly selling products and online coaching: We spoke to several influencers and industry experts about the impact of the coronavirus on the industry and what new strategies they are applying. Coronavirus is 'impacting all talent' on Instagram as brands cancel influencer-marketing deals and paid events get put on hold: We spoke to several bloggers, travel influencers, and industry experts about the impact of the coronavirus on the influencer industry. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: A top economist has a radical plan to change the way Americans vote: weighted voting