The new streaming star is a TikTok multi-hyphen

I’m still watching

It’s been a brutal year for streaming platforms out there as losses have been weighed and staff cuts.

And yet, in July, streaming overtook cable TV viewership for the first time ever. And TikTok is playing in the background.

A decade ago, YouTubers and Vine stars were being billed as the new stars of Hollywood, but TikTok has been navigating its growth cycle at comparatively high speed. There used to be a YouTube-to-streaming pipeline for popular YouTubers, but TikTok is a little different.

Two of TikTok’s most-followed creators took to streaming last year: Addison Rae landed a lucrative Netflix deal, and Charli D’Amelio joined Hulu The D’Amelio Show. Other well-known creators like Enkyboys, Brittany Broski, and Nathan Apodaca have also branched out into TV and movies thanks to the app’s astronomical reach.

Amazon launched its own influencer program in hopes of getting TikTok and YouTube stars; Instagram is scrambling to engage with influencers and celebs as it predictably pivots to video. NBCUniversal launched a program giving 11 popular TikTokers the opportunity to showcase their own original series.

But TikTok’s growth has far outpaced YouTube (and Instagram and Facebook). And the pipeline has expanded. Can it still be a model for success to rip TikTok creators off the platform and turn them into classic TV or film stars?

Does Hollywood have to be the endgame?

Read the rest of our streaming series

The Pandemic Star

In May, TikTok released its first Showbiz roster, a presentation for 33 developers across 11 categories designed to signal who might be ready for the Hollywood leap. Catherine Halaby, head of entertainment partnerships at TikTok, says the list is meant to highlight creators who have “successfully found an audience.”

One of those creators was Madelaine Turner (@madelaineturner), who went viral in May 2020 with a Wes Anderson pandemic parody. When we spoke to her at the time, she told the Daily Dot that she joined TikTok out of quarantine boredom. Now the 28-year-old jokes that she “used TikTok to sneak my way into a career in the film industry.”

Turner, who now has more than 514,000 followers on the app, is working on a TV pilot as well as a feature film, although she can’t say much about either. She did a commercial for Dolby and one for last year Liquorice Pizza. She says for the latter, director Paul Thomas Anderson personally unsubscribed from TikTok after seeing her work.


preparing for my first day at Euphoria High

♬ Original sound – Madelaine

At the beginning of the pandemic, many creatives started joining TikTok and making their own short films or remakes to quell the boredom.

For her first TikTok, creator Julianne Chryst (@juliannesmovies) “found some props in my room and decided to start filming Rocky,‘ she tells the Daily Dot.

Her third video, a recreation of Nacho LibreShe was the first to go viral. Last September, Netflix invited her to LA to hang out Red notice typeset and create content with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. She has also created some content for Netflix Geek social networks.

Chryst, 26, now has more than 127,000 followers, and many of her more recent videos are breakdowns of Marvel shows like She Hulk, hawk eyeand Lokiwhich they think usually do well because they’re weekly shows.

“I love acting and I would like to do a TV show,” says Chryst. “That would probably be the number one dream. But I think almost any job on set would be really fun because when you make your own videos, you are your own director, producer, costume designer… and I love that process.”

Both Chryst and Turner are multi-hyphenated, and Chryst sees TikTok as a “living, breathing resume” for potential employers.

Is there a time when TikTok will be where we watch feature films and series?

“I think we always want our feature films to be big and immersive,” says Turner, “and I think what TikTok is really good for is that short, small, bite-sized content.”

The streamers bite

While most major streamers have a TikTok presence, Halaby says Netflix is ​​the one getting TikTok right. she quotes stranger things, I have neverand The Umbrella Academy than original shows that have gained traction on TikTok.

“I think Netflix just has so much to do, but they’ve also been really smart about how they appear on the platform,” she says.

His official account has more than 31 million followers and although the streamer lost 1 million subscribers in the first six months of 2022, stranger things Season 4 reportedly saved it from losing more. It brought two 30-year-old songs back onto the charts and made TikTok stars out of new characters. Other cast members, like Noah Schnapp, made content out of carefully timed controversy.

Fan campaigns and film criticism also flourished. Original film this summer purple hearts went viral mostly because of TikTok, though more because of the love story between leads Sofia Carson and Nicholas Galitzine than the pro-military message.

“There’s always the X factor of talent on the platform,” Halaby says of Carson, who previously had millions of followers on TikTok purple hearts.

A decade ago, channels like AwesomenessTV featured teenage YouTube stars in original series. Smaller platforms like Verizon’s ill-fated go90 emerged a few years later, and the second half of the 2010s was populated by comedy-centric platforms like Seeso and Super Deluxe.

But TikTok and the rise of streaming platforms fused with media have created a very different landscape.

Ryan Detert is CEO of Influential, an AI platform that connects influencers with brands. He’s not directly working on bringing influencers to TV or streaming, but he does see a shift.

“You see a change in where people’s screens are,” he says. “They spend time on social media and spend less time watching linear TV. So we see that these creators are actually more famous and better known to their audiences than linear, regular TV stars.

“We are seeing a reverse shift. It was: You’re famous, get followers. Now it’s like: you have followers, let’s make you linearly famous.”

TikTok had an interesting function as a springboard for summer movie trends: Top Gun: Maverick went viral via TellerTok; Baz Luhrmann used TikTok to advertise elvis; and Minions: The Rise of Gru got a bump from the #gentleminions trend.

Ditto for television: three stars from Riverdale have a joint TikTok account where they show popular dances or trends on set. A January Tiktok by euphoria‘s Angus Cloud smashing a bottle over co-star Jacob Elordi’s head has more than 48 million views and euphoria Memes dominated TikTok earlier this year. the talk around The White Lotus Season 2 made a noticeable switch from Twitter to TikTok. dahmer and Wednesday both saw a boost thanks to the app.

Some streamers may fear that TikTok will replace streaming, but Sylvia George, who does marketing for AMC, told Vox that users often sign up for streaming services because of a TikTok ad or promo, and that this doesn’t pose a threat to streaming Services like this many thought it could.

The expanding pipeline

Starring in TV shows or movies isn’t the only end goal: Reece Feldman (@guywithamoviecamera) offers his followers a behind-the-scenes look at his job as a production assistant and has become known for essentially doing his job. Feldman has more than 1.4 million followers.

@guywithamoviecamera if anyone has romantic interest in “Jewish Linguini” please lmk 😗 #ratatouille #halloweekend ♬ Original sound – Random Memes and Stuff

He and other creators have been hired to create content centered around this year’s Oscars, and he also hosted the 2022 Emmys red carpet. But Feldman is known for behind-the-scenes content posted from the sets of Hulu’s Not okay, Amazon’s Wonderful Mrs. Maiseland the upcoming Paramount+ Scream Consequence.

He has a keen eye for pairing popular stars with TikTok trends that are about to hit, and routinely gets millions of views on his videos.

“It’s nice when studios can hire me and openly admit that they don’t always fully understand this ‘TikTok thing,'” Feldman, 24, told the Daily Dot. “And so are willing to let me experiment and create content that I not only want to make, but content that I would love to see as a movie lover. I have found that the partnerships that allow me creative freedom result in the most successful videos and social campaigns.”

Feldman says he enjoys acting – he appears briefly as himself Not okay— but that’s not his “priority” right now: “My immediate goal is to write and direct my own stories.” He was announced in October as part of NBCUniversal’s Creator Accelerator Program.

“While TikTok hasn’t changed the definition of ‘success’ in the industry,” Feldman says, “it changed the way I thought I could achieve it.”

That’s clearly the case for many YouTubers: TikTok is now an important step in the star-making process, but TV and film doesn’t have to be the end game. They can be a multi-hyphen in different genres. The fundamental problem, however, is that while developers want to make the leap to streaming, potential viewers aren’t watching traditional TV or streaming — they’re watching TikTok.


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Jaclyn Diaz

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