Substack Creator Studio Bows with 10 Video Fellowship Slots

Substack is attempting to lure select TikTok posters to its publishing platform with the launch of Substack Creator Studio. Billed as “a fellowship for the next wave of video stars to turn their TikTok channels into Substack shows and communities,” the outlet says video-native creators will be able to forge a “more direct, intimate relationship with their audience” on Substack, while making money from subscriptions. Only 10 fellows will be initially selected, and given access to consulting and production support from Adam Faze’s Gymnasium short-form studio, producer of the TikTok series “Boy Room.”

In addition, the “10 winners will get white-glove technical support during their launch process, a robust marketing commitment, and a program-culminating event to celebrate their work,” Substack Head of Video & Podcasting Austin Tedesco wrote in a news post that cites a May 17 deadline and features a link to the application form.

Substack’s primary focus has been the written word and many of its writers have had success creating subscription-based followings “while maintaining ownership of their work and mailing list,” a model that “has proved to be a boon for independent writers who make up the backbone of this platform,” Tedesco says, emphasizing it has translated the model to audio and wants to up its game in video.

The Washington Post suggests “Substack is just the latest app seeking to cleave off some of TikTok’s user base as the app faces a possible ban in the United States if it’s Chinese owner declines to sell it.”

“Instagram announced last week that it would begin boosting creators who post original video content on the platform over pages belonging to those whose primary purpose is to reshare content, such as journalists, meme pages and news organizations,” notes WaPo.

Tedesco says the Creator Studio was not prompted by “panic over a TikTok bill or ever-changing algorithms,” but to help creators “get ownership, money, and peace of mind.”

Conceding ad-supported social platforms are “extremely powerful for building audiences,” he says they are ultimately poor homes, comparing them to bad landlords offering “rentals with unfriendly leases.”

“Substack has been pushing video features for a while, but the announcement is the clearest sign yet that it wants to expand its service to creators typically found on traditional social media platforms, rather than writers who may also dabble in video,” Engadget writes, noting that its Creator Studio fellows “can still post on TikTok, Instagram and other social channels but that Substack should be the ‘primary home base for free and premium content.’”

Substack Now Lets Writers Paywall Their ‘Chat’ Discussion Spaces, TechCrunch, 5/1/24
For Creators and Former Bloggers, Substack Offers a Renaissance, Glossy, 4/9/24
Substack’s Notes Feature Is Getting More Twitter-Like Capabilities, TechCrunch, 4/16/24

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