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.

Here’s what else we’re reading:

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