How the influencer-marketing agency Mediakix unraveled

User not found pop-up on Instagram.
When directed to the Mediakix Instagram account, a “user not found” error pops up.

Hi, this is Amanda Perelli and welcome back to Insider Influencers, our weekly rundown on the business of influencers, creators, and social-media platforms. Sign up for the newsletter here.

In this week’s edition:

But before we get started, I want to first introduce a new reporter on the business of influencers team, Michael Espinosa!

Michael is based in New York City and you can reach him at mespinosa@insider.com and on Twitter @Michael__Esp. He will be covering the business of gaming influencers, esports, and livestreaming.

Send tips to aperelli@insider.com or DM me on Twitter at @arperelli.


Mediakix influencer marketing agency
Mediakix

The influencer-marketing agency Mediakix has lost most of its staff, missed some payments, and disconnected its phone

Mediakix, a prominent influencer-marketing agency, was acquired by Stadiumred Group in 2020.

But about a year later, Mediakix began to miss some payments to staffers and influencers, sources said.

Sydney Bradley reported that most Mediakix staffers have now left the company and its phone line is seemingly disconnected.

Insider spoke with 10 former staffers of Mediakix or Stadiumred; most spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Here are three takeaways from the investigation:

  • Starting as early as December 2020, influencers began posting to social media platforms like Twitter claiming they had not been paid by Mediakix.

  • Tweets posted by several influencers continued into 2021 through May, and agents and managers were talking about Mediakix, too.

  • Mediakix had about a dozen staffers in early 2021. But two sources said that all but one staffer had left Mediakix by the end of May.

“I had no power,” a former Mediakix employee told Insider. “And on top of being paid late, ethically, I wanted to leave.”

Evan Asano, who founded MediaKix in 2011, left the company in early 2021. He provided a comment to Insider about Mediakix, but did not substantially address specific details.

“I am frustrated and saddened by the recent media coverage reporting allegations that Mediakix is not fulfilling its contracts with influencers,” Asano wrote.

Stadiumred and its founder and CEO, Claude Zdanow, did not wish to provide any comment on the record.

Check out the full investigation, which outlines how Mediakix lost most of its staff, here.

Bryce Hall and Austin McBroom fight during LiveXLive’s "Social Gloves: Battle Of The Platforms"
Influencers Bryce Hall and Austin McBroom fight at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium during LiveXLive’s “Social Gloves: Battle Of The Platforms” on June 12, 2021.

Influencer boxing has meant big paydays for creators but challenges for broadcasters

Influencer boxing can be lucrative for creators, but can be a mess to run for event organizers.

Companies like Triller, Showtime, and LiveXLive are all vying to take control of the emerging category.

Dan Whateley wrote about how all three companies have run into hurdles as they’ve embarked on their first influencer fights.

Here are three key points:

  • Last week, Showtime had to issue refunds to some viewers of its pay-per-view fight between YouTuber Logan Paul and boxing legend Floyd Mayweather after they encountered technical issues with its stream.

  • Last month, Triller Fight Club, the boxing division of the short-form video app Triller, filed a lawsuit seeking millions in damages and claiming internet users illegally streamed and broadcasted its fight between YouTuber Jake Paul and Ben Askren.

  • Whether the category will end up being profitable for these companies is a big unknown.

While influencers aren’t professional boxers, they are masters at marketing – an asset for exhibitors looking to sell PPV fights.

LiveXLive said it’s already considering other ways to pit social-media stars against each other in live PPV competitions.

Read more on why influencer boxing can be lucrative for creators, here.

Preston - TikTok

How much money a TikTok star with 1.6 million followers makes, from brand deals to the ‘Creator Fund’

Preston Seo is a TikTok creator who films videos about personal finance and entrepreneurship.

Seo started posting videos earlier this year, and now he has about 1.6 million followers.

I spoke with Seo about how much he makes from affiliate links, sponsorships, and TikTok’s Creator Fund.

He earned more from affiliate links in 2021 than the other revenue streams he shared with Insider, which were verified with documentation Seo provided:

  • May: $13,644

  • April: $4,578

“What it comes down to, is your audience and numbers,” he said. “Understanding your metrics is super important when negotiating. Know your worth and stick to that.”

Check out how much he earned from the Creator Fund and brand sponsorships, here.

Kelly Stamps is a minimalist lifestyle YouTuber
Stamps has earned thousands of dollars from YouTube’s AdSense program since 2019.

How much a ‘minimalism-lifestyle’ YouTuber with 600,000 subscribers earns each month

Kelly Stamps is a YouTuber who films videos about minimalist-lifestyle and personal-development.

Stamps has 600,000 subscribers and last year she’d saved just enough money from YouTube to leave her family home and quit college.

Molly Innes spoke with Stamps about how much she makes per month from ads on YouTube.

Stamps broke down her monthly YouTube ad earnings for 2021 so far:

  • January: $11,134

  • February: $13,959

  • March: $15,562

“It’s still a challenge finding my niche,” Stamps said about her channel, which ranges in content from showing her minimalist belongings to personal-finance tips.

Read more about Stamps and how she approaches YouTube, here.


More influencer industry news:


TikTok star Addison Rae at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards
TikTok star Addison Rae.

JOIN OUR LIVE EVENT ON JULY 8: How TikTok has transformed the music industry

My colleague Dan Whateley is hosting a webinar featuring execs from TikTok, Universal Music Group, and UnitedMasters for a conversation about TikTok’s role in the music industry, and how social media is slated to make an even bigger impact on popular culture in 2021.

The 30-minute chat is scheduled for July 8 at 1 pm ET/10 am PST. If you’d like to submit a question to be answered, please fill out this brief form.

Sign up for the event here.


creatorscape 2021

CreatorScape 2021

Influence.co published its 2021 CreatorScape, a comprehensive breakdown of the creator economy including categories like link in bio, crypto, fintech, newsletters, and audience building.

Check out the full map here.


Creator economy hires, signings, and launches:

TikTok creators Josh Richards and Griffin Johnson first rose to fame by posting fratty videos while living in Sway LA, a TikTok content house. But the pair, along with some of their TikTok friends, have spent the past year building up businesses outside of social media.

Recently, they launched a venture fund called Animal Capital. And this week, the duo announced they’re partnering with Hawke Media’s Erik Huberman to start a boutique marketing agency focused on Gen-Z consumers dubbed “HawkeZ.”

On Monday, Richards tweeted that the agency’s first client was Crocs.

Every week, Insider gives a rundown of news on hires, promotions, and other creator economy announcements. This week includes promotions at A3 Artists Agency, new gaming creator signings at WME, and former NBA star Magic Johnson joining Cameo’s board.

Read the full rundown of creator industry moves, here.


Kim and Kourtney Kardashian
Kim and Kourtney Kardashian.

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Instagram unveiled new features aimed at helping creators earn money

Instagram and Facebook's Creator Week
Adam Mosseri and JoJo Siwa speak during Instagram and Facebook’s Creator Week.

Hi, this is Amanda Perelli and welcome back to Insider Influencers, our weekly rundown on the business of influencers, creators, and social-media platforms. Sign up for the newsletter here.

In this week’s edition:

Send tips to aperelli@insider.com or DM me on Twitter at @arperelli.


A screenshot of Mark Zuckerberg announcing new Instagram features.

Mark Zuckerberg unveiled 3 Instagram features aimed at helping creators earn more money

On Tuesday, Instagram launched its first-ever “Creator Week,” a three-day virtual event.

To kick it off, Mark Zuckerberg unveiled new tests and features aimed at helping creators earn money.

Sydney Bradley broke down some upcoming tools Zuckerberg announced.

Here are three key takeaways from Instagram’s livestream:

  • Instagram will start testing native affiliate-marketing tools for creators. Brands will be able to set their own commission rates, Zuckerberg said.

  • There will be more tools for creators selling their own products and merchandise. Creators with their own products will be able to link to their shops in their personal profiles.

  • Creators will be able to earn extra money through tips. Instagram and Facebook are adding tipping features that allow fans to pay creators.

“Our goal is to be the best platform for creators like you to make a living,” Zuckerberg said on the livestream. “And if you have an idea that you want to share with the world, you should be able to create it and get it out there easily and simply – across Facebook and Instagram – and then earn money for your work.”

Check out the full story on new tools Instagram is releasing for creators, here.

How much a YouTube creator with 1 million subscribers earns

Nate O'Brien

Nate O’Brien is a YouTube creator who films videos about personal finance.

O’Brien started posting videos on YouTube in 2017. And in 2019, he decided to drop out of college to focus on YouTube full time.

Now, he has about 1 million subscribers.

I spoke with O’Brien about how much he makes on YouTube from ads per month:

  • February: $39,200 (1.7 million views)

  • March: $31,500 (1.6 million views)

  • April: $25,700 (1.2 million views)

“I don’t think it’s ever really too late to start,” he said of building a YouTube career.

Check out the full story for a breakdown of O’Brien’s influencer business, here.

A new report from a ‘Gen Z’ influencer agency breaks down 4 strategies for fashion brands seeking to go viral on TikTok

Emma Claire attends the boohoo Black Friday gifting suite on November 27, 2020 in Sydney, Australia.
Brands like Boohoo have found success on TikTok

Fashion content is a popular category on TikTok, where users post outfits and buy featured items.

Molly Innes wrote about a new report from the Gen-Z influencer agency Fanbytes that breaks down how fashion brands can go big on TikTok.

Here were three key takeaways:

  • Gen-Z consumers are looking to incorporate sustainable fashion into their wardrobes.

  • Fanbytes found that “#haul” and related hashtags saw a 28.9% increase in views between January and April 2021.

  • The #designerfashion hashtag amassed 31 million views in the year to April 2021, and an engagement rate of 11%, according to Fanbytes.

Check out more on how fashion brands can go viral on TikTok, here.


More influencer industry news:


Creator economy startup moves of the week:

Dispo, a photo-sharing app that went through a leadership and investor shake-up earlier this year following Insider’s investigation into the conduct of its cofounder David Dobrik, confirmed it had closed a Series A round. The round included investors Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six, Unshackled Ventures, Annie Leibovitz, and Raven B. Varona.

The company’s CEO said its team wants to be deliberate in how it builds its product to avoid some of the pitfalls other tech startups have faced.

“The early days of social media were all about ‘move fast and break things,'” Daniel Liss told Fast Company. “Our thought is, ‘move fast and build things.’ How can you create something that is additive and not just destructive for the sake of growth?”

Every week, Insider gives a rundown of news on hires, promotions, and other creator company announcements. This week includes new hires at Snap, Fanbytes, and FaZe Clan’s latest signing.

Read the full rundown of creator industry moves, here.


Foryoupride

TikTok’s top trending hashtag of the week:

Every week, we highlight a trending hashtag on TikTok, according to data provided by Kyra IQ.

This week’s hashtag: foryourpride

  • The percentage uptick for the last 7 days: 4,715%

  • This uptick is centered around Pride month starting and creators celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community.


Black influencer

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