An interview with TikTok star Addison Rae, gamblers eye esports, and the future of 'paused' brand deals

aperelli@businessinsider.com (Amanda Perelli)
·6 min read
Addison Rae
Addison Rae

Bryant

Welcome back to this week's Influencer Dashboard newsletter!

This is Amanda Perelli, writing to you from home, and here's an update on what's new in the business of influencers and creators.

This week, I spoke to TikTok star Addison Rae Easterling on her rise to success online and how she plans to expand her business. 

Easterling has over 33 million followers on TikTok and is one of the platform's most popular creators. 

She began posting videos in July 2019 for fun and by December she decided to go all-in, left college, and moved out to Los Angeles from Louisiana.

"I remember that's when it changed for me," she said. "I knew I wanted to take it more seriously and expand it to other platforms. I uploaded a video to YouTube and got really active on Instagram."

Dancing has always been a huge part of her life, she said, and she started dancing competitively when she was six years old. 

Her popular dances caught the attention of celebrities, like when Mariah Carey liked her dance to "Obsessed," which helped boost her budding fame. And she's made videos with stars like Kourtney Kardashian and her son, and with YouTubers like David Dobrik and James Charles.

As for her business, she will be launching merchandise soon with the popular influencer e-commerce company Fanjoy, which handles merch sales for top creators like Dobrik, Jake Paul, and Tana Mongeau.

She's also planning to expand her business by becoming more involved in the beauty and hair space, she said, and brand herself beyond being "just an influencer." (Read the full interview here.)

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Esports is attracting major attention from the sports-gambling world, but there are big hurdles to taking bets on pro video game matches

G2 Esports
G2 Esports

Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games

With most live sports suspended during the coronavirus pandemic, esports has been attracting attention from the sports-betting industry and gambling world.

My colleague Kevin Webb wrote that although esports betting is nascent in the US, fantasy contests have been happening for years, and some companies like DraftKings have seen a major boom in esports contests.

DraftKings told Business Insider the number of customers playing daily esports contests increased by 20 times the usual total in March, and the platform is seeing 50 times the usual number of fantasy esports entries.

But taking wagers on pro video game matches is a different business and has its own hurdles for betting operators.

Read the full post on how esports is garnering more attention from the sports-betting industry during the coronavirus pandemic, here

'We really need to adapt if we want to survive': Influencers and marketers break down how ad spending has changed and the future of 'paused' brand deals

JJ Yosh, outdoors and travel influencer
"Even if brands aren't willing to purchase endorsement deals right now, we still need to be able to sustain ourselves," said JJ Yosh, a travel and outdoors influencer based in Colorado.

Jordan S. Singer/JJ Yosh

Many advertisers have recently paused influencer marketing campaigns to save on costs, retool messaging, and make adjustments to sponsored content that previously required travel or on-site production.

My colleague Dan Whateley spoke to influencers and marketers on what it means for a campaign to be "paused" and what they think the future looks like for the industry.

"In some cases, it means that it is postponed until the third or fourth quarter, but that can also be a nice way of saying this campaign is not moving forward but there may be another opportunity in the future," said Joe Gagliese, the CEO of the influencer marketing agency Viral Nation. 

One influencer marketer said that they'd seen a few brands ask to extend the number of days that they have to pay for a campaign from 30 to 45 days. Another marketer said they'd seen a large range in client payment terms in contracts, with some making full payments up front and others asking for 120-day payment deadlines. 

Read the full post on what it means for a brand campaign to be 'on pause,' here.

The top 19 talent managers and agents for TikTok influencers who are helping build the careers of a new generation of digital stars

power list of the top talent managers and agents for TikTok 4x3
power list of the top talent managers and agents for TikTok 4x3

Shannon Wachtell; Alexandra Devlin; Ray Ligaya; Tim Armoo; Ruobing Su/Business Insider

These past few months, talent managers and agents have been at war over who will sign TikTok's roster of up-and-coming stars. 

Dan and I wrote about the 19 top talent agencies and management companies that are helping to shape the careers of TikTok stars in 2020.

These agents and managers come from a variety of backgrounds, with some having experience working with other social-media creators or Hollywood talent, and others entering the talent management space for the first time with the arrival of TikTok. 

Agencies that have worked with traditional Hollywood stars for decades like WME and UTA have been scooping up TikTok talent in recent months. And they're not the only players in the game.

Talent management upstarts like The Fuel Injector, Amp Studios, and Sadowski Enterprises were some of the first to see TikTok's potential and set up management deals with its stars.

Check out the full power list, here.

What else happened this week on BI Prime:

Here's what else we're reading: 

Thanks for reading! Send me your tips, comments, or questions: aperelli@businessinsider.com. 

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