Meet Christine — the ex-corporate lawyer buying stakes in YouTubers

I’M WALKIN’ HERE WITH

Hey! Welcome to the Creator Economy NYC newsletter — the premier place for all things creator economy in the Big Apple.

It’s been a long week recovering from all the Drake and Kendrick beef, Met Gala outfit critiques, and Apple’s latest ad. Can’t catch a break.

But at least it’s been a beautiful past few days in the city, with yesterday as a preview of the sticky summer heat that’s upon us.

In this week's spotlight, I’m featuring Christine Moran, a leader in our NYC creator economy who's currently shaping the future of our industry through creator partnerships and strategic investments.

Let’s get into it.

Other stops along the way:

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PARTNERED WITH THE INFLUENCER MARKETING SHOW

Come connect with the brightest minds in the creator and influencer marketing community from around the world in NYC June 3-4.

The Influencer Marketing Show is a day-and-a-half conference filled with insights and debate, alongside an unrivaled opportunity to meet the smartest brands, creators, agencies, and tech that drive the creator economy forward.

PLUS, I’m also moderating a panel there with some of our very own in the NYC community focused on where influencer marketing fits in the media mix.

Just for our community — get $50 off on tix with the promo code CENYC50. Hope I’ll see ya there.

CITY SPOTLIGHT

Meet Christine — the ex-corporate lawyer buying stakes in YouTubers

With a rich background that spans from corporate law to major media partnerships, Christine Moran’s journey into the creator economy is as intriguing as it is inspiring.

Christine began her career as a corporate attorney, specializing in aircraft and energy project financings at a top-tier law firm, with aspirations toward international affairs. However, her passion for media and storytelling, as powerful tools for bridging cultures and communities, steered her towards a different path.

This shift was catalyzed by a role that opened up at CBS Local Digital Media, where she led the Business Development team. Here, Christine was pivotal in launching CBS’s podcast network, Play It, which included securing a deal with influencer Amber Rose for the "Loveline Live with Amber Rose" podcast.

Podcasts were the perfect intersection of emerging tech and evolving media (their network was one of Spotify’s first partners when they launched podcasts). It was exciting for Christine to see firsthand how individuals could develop engaged fan bases on social platforms outside of traditional media outlets and parlay that into media deals.

Since then, Christine has navigated through significant roles at VERO, a privacy-first social network, and Amazon’s former live audio app, Amp, focusing on content acquisition deals and marketing partnerships. These experiences have deepened her understanding of the value of community and collaboration within the creator space, helping her to foster the growth and evolution of creator-led businesses.

Now, at Electrify Video Partners, Christine leads initiatives to empower creators to become global media powerhouses by providing strategic and operational support to established YouTube-first creators who are creating informative and inspirational content. This includes support in areas like scaling production and introducing new revenue streams.

With Electrify’s robust $85M backing, they’ve made 7 investments to date that collectively reach 37M subscribers and 12B lifetime views, including Veritasium (15.5M subs), Simple History (5M subs), and Astrum (2M subs).

Christine’s work is vital to redefining what creators can achieve in today’s creator economy.

Expert Q&A: navigating creator partnerships and strategic investments

During our conversation, Christine shared with me her expert insights into the strategic aspects of creator partnerships, the evolution of content creation, and the innovative financial models that are reshaping how creators engage with media platforms and audiences.

Electrify Video Partners adopts a unique investment approach by acquiring stakes in YouTube-first creator-businesses (channel and all other business extensions like consumer products, licensing, sponsorship sales, etc.). What are the key factors you consider when deciding to invest in a creator and their business, and how do you assess the potential for growth?

We consider a variety of factors, including: number of subscribers, number of lifetime views, last twelve months revenue of the business, breakdown of revenue (e.g. Adsense v sponsorships v affiliate marketing v consumer products v content licensing), overall historical financial and channel performance, how dependent the content is on the creator as the key talent, type of content (our focus is on informative and inspirational content like STEM, history, food, travel, DIY, and the like), views and revenue trends, and what the creator’s vision for the business and brand is going forward.

Could you share specific examples of how your investments benefit a creator's channel and business growth? What do they do with the investment?

We’re active investors in that we not only provide capital to the creator but also real resources (people, processes, expertise, data science analytics) for the day to day of the business. Overall, our creators have continued to grow their channel audiences, engage their communities (e.g. we’ve since refreshed Astrum’s Patreon account and tripled paid membership), and increase in revenue from us optimizing video production on the channel, and introducing new commercial revenue opportunities (e.g. like books, memberships, and podcasts), and optimizing sponsorship sales by taking this on for the creator and bringing on new brand partners.

With Veritasium, which was an already impressive channel to start, we’ve been able to build up the content production team (more thumbnail designers, editors, animators), increase content output, and introduce (slowly) new on-screen talent, all while maintaining the very high quality of the content and engagement with the audience. The channel has continued to grow (from 13.5M subs when we invested in it to now 15.5M subs) and continues to have major views. We’ve also grown the sale of Snatoms, a molecular modeling kit that Derek Muller (Veritasium creator) launched.

In your role, while success is often quantified through growth metrics and return on investment, how do you measure the success of a partnership and your own contributions? Are there intangible outcomes that you value just as highly?

Other outcomes we’re proud to see is the community and sharing we’ve nurtured among our creator partners. All our creator partners are in Slack with us and day to day we see everything from celebrations of milestones and achievements (views hit on a video, welcoming of new hires, subscriber growth) to knowledge sharing of best practices or testing we’re doing with content.

We do two offsites a year and our creator partners join for these, which has been great to again reinforce in person our efforts together as a team. So much of creating can be lonely for creators so community is something we’re proud of building and supporting. The trust we’ve earned from our creator partners is also incredibly rewarding - we recognize how hard it is to let someone into the business, so it means a lot to see continued growth and ease of working with our partners as they often shift from being solo-preneurs to business partners.

Throughout your career, you've negotiated numerous deals with creators and media brands. What are your top tips for creators or operators when negotiating with potential partners or investors?

It’s important to have a clear sense of your business and the direction you’d like to take it. Where are you generating most of your revenue currently, and what are you interested in expanding into and why? Every creator has their own path and reasons for partnering — is it because you want to double down on content production and build a media brand that way or are you thinking of a 360 brand that has content, consumer products, experiences, and more.

There’s no right answer but you have to have a view of what you’d like to do going forward to determine what type of partnership you’re looking for. It’s also important to know what your limitations have been to date at growing your business and what competencies you don’t already have. Be honest about what the bottlenecks or roadblocks are to your future plans for yourself and the business so you know what resources and competencies you need in a partner you’d be working with.

What career advice would you offer to those in our community who aspire to or are currently in roles similar to yours in creator partnerships?

Of course, consume a lot of content on the platform(s) you’re focused on to understand trends, stay on top of industry news since things are changing all the time, stay curious (not transactional), connect with other folks in the creator community, and take the time to really listen to creators - their painpoints, motivations, and aspirations.

This landscape is unique in that it’s changing at breakneck speed compared to the rest of media, which means there’s always something and someone new to learn about. My go-to sources are (no order): The Information’s Creator Economy newsletter, Tubefilter, Publish Press newsletter, Colin & Samir, Axios Media newsletter, the Creator Upload podcast, and The Creator Economy NYC newsletter.

Also, really distill for yourself why you’re interested in this space - is it because of the creativity and storytelling, the innovation in tech, the evolving business models, or something else? Identifying that motivation will help you define your POV and how you want to add value (for me, I am passionate about how content fosters connection).

Reflecting on your recent thoughts during AAPI Heritage Month, how has the increasing visibility and representation of AAPI creators, executives, and changemakers influenced your own career motivations? What impact do you hope to have in fostering an inclusive environment and advancing AAPI representation in the broader creator economy?

It’s honestly been exciting and a relief to see more AAPI creators and creator economy professionals swell the ranks. When I started in this space, there were not as many AAPI players - very rarely did I come across counterparts or fellow teammates who were AAPI (let alone also women) and therefore who would share the same experience or appreciate how our point of view would be missing from certain narratives and situations.

I’m a firm believer that representation in media matters - content touches hearts and minds, shapes cultures, and educates - and so I’m encouraged to see more creativity, storytelling, and perspectives through an AAPI lens and experience being shared. It’s particularly telling that AAPI creators today are across so many different verticals and showcase different personalities so AAPI aren’t seen as a monolith.

To have creators from Zach King, NileRed, Cassey Ho, Joanne Molinaro, Ashley Alexander, Kelly Wakasa, Allan Chow, MrWhosetheBoss, Ali Abdaal, Mark Wiens, and Chloe Ting now add to the OGs like Lily Singh and Michelle Phan is fantastic. And also now to see more community leaders like Asian Creator House and Goldhouse on the scene support the AAPI creator community feels like we’re gaining more visibility and support to ensure continued advancement and development for this community.

I’m always thinking about how to contribute to advancing AAPI and other creators and creator economy professionals of color, through my work and volunteer work (I’m also on the Board of the Alliance for Women in Media, which works to advance women in the media industry through programming, scholarships, networking, and industry awards like the Gracie Awards), via partnerships, connections, potential investments, and knowledge sharing.

NYC’s influence: how the city shapes Christine’s vision and ventures

Christine's journey from Hong Kong to NYC at age nine profoundly shaped both her personal ethos and professional trajectory.

NYC's unmatched diversity and creativity have deeply influenced her, fostering a curiosity and openness that have been instrumental in her career. Now, as the Head of Creator Partnerships at Electrify Video Partners, Christine credits the city’s energy for continually inspiring her to explore new opportunities and seek out more.

An enthusiast of NYC's food scene (who isn’t?), Christine enjoys venues like Pig & Khao, Sugarfish, Thai Diner, Fishcheeks, B’artusi, Charlie Bird, and Dante, along with the tranquility of Central Park. For Christine, New York is more than just a home — it's a catalyst for innovation and connection in her life and work.

Finally, if you have a creator you’d suggest for Electrify, share an interest in advancing inclusivity in the creator economy, or just want to learn more about what Christine is doing at Electrify, DM and connect with her on LinkedIn!

CITY HAPPENINGS

We have a few sponsorship slots open for our upcoming events, so if you are interested in getting your brand involved, please reach out here.

Content Creation Workshop and Mixer - May 21, 6:30PM-9:30PM

Join us for an exclusive Content Creation Workshop and Mixer on May 21st focused on "Leveling Up Your Production with B&H," where you'll have the opportunity to connect, collaborate, and learn with others in our community.

After the workshop, you’ll get hands-on with gadgets available for you to test and create content with — plus two big giveaways. You could be the lucky winner of a $100 B&H Gift Card or a Sennheiser mobile mic kit ($200 value).

🎟️ Here’s how to enter our giveaway:

  1. RSVP and attend our upcoming event. 

  2. Follow @CreatorEconomyNYC, @BH.Creators, and @Whalar on Instagram.

  3. Post content about your experience at our event on Instagram (and/or LinkedIn), tagging @CreatorEconomyNYC, @BH.Creators, and @Whalar. You can choose any format you like — stories, a general post, or a reel.

*Winners will be chosen at random from among all eligible entries after a week. One winner will receive a $100 B&H Gift Card, and the second will win a Sennheiser Mobile Mic.

Expect food and beverages! A special shoutout to Whalar for their continued partnership and support. Space is limited, so RSVP to secure your spot.

We’re excited to partner with beehiiv (the ultimate newsletter platform, who just raised a $33M Series B) for an awesome event during NYTechWeek. This will be well worth taking the morning off for…

Kickstart your day with enriching insights and convos over a taste of New York with bagels, coffee and mimosas alongside fellow leading content creators, digital media experts, founders, marketers and investors.

Space is filling up FAST, so RSVP to secure your spot.

We’re excited to partner with Creator Economy Live for an exclusive summer mixer and live podcast recording at the Mariott Marquis in the heart of NYC. RSVP early to secure your spot.

COMMUNITY CALLOUTS

COMMUNITY PICKS & PERKS

  • Conference: Connect with fellow influencer marketers, creators, and brands at the Influencer Marketing Show, which will take place HERE in NYC June 3-4. Save $50 with the promo code CENYC50. I’ll be moderating a panel there — come hang!

  • Newsletter: Enjoy 20% off your first 3 months on any beehiiv paid plan. This comes after a complimentary 30-day free trial, exclusively for our community members! Snag it here.

  • Link in Bio: Get 3 months FREE on the Linktree PRO plan using the code creatoreconomynyc.

  • Travel and Lodging: Enjoy 12.5% off the best available rates for business and personal travel at any CitizenM Hotel location. Just use code CRMY1!

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Thanks so much for reading! Let me know what you thought by replying back to this email!

See you next week,

Brett

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