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Underscore Talent’s Dan Weinstein: “The potential for the creator economy is unlimited”

Dan Weinstein is the co-ceo and co-founder of next-gen management company Underscore Talent, which represents a diverse list of top YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Twitch, Snapchat, games, culinary, lifestyle, fashion and podcast content creators.

Before co-founding Underscore, Weinstein was the co-founder and president of Studio71, a global multi-platform media company that produces and distributes original entertainment programming for multiple social platforms.

LicensingSource.net catches up with Dan to talk all things influencer, and how creator content has evolved from ‘nice to have’ to ‘must have’ for brands.

For those who aren’t familiar with Underscore Talent, can you outline what the company is and what it does?

Underscore Talent stands at the forefront of the dynamic world of digital creativity and talent representation. It’s a nurturing ground for content creators and digital talent, providing them with the tools and guidance they need to thrive across a variety of social platforms and beyond.

Underscore’s mission is to navigate the complexities of the digital sphere, from content creation and distribution to strategic brand partnerships, ensuring that the unique talents and visions of our hundreds of clients are recognised and valued globally.

DanWeinstein500x500In 2022, Underscore became part of TheSoul Publishing family [known for hit channels 5-Minute Crafts, Bright Side and more]. How does each company complement the other’s suite of services?

By joining forces, Underscore Talent and TheSoul Publishing create an exceptional synergy, blending Underscore’s expertise in talent management with TheSoul’s innovative technology, production strategy and creative content prowess.

This partnership equips Underscore with the tools to employ a more strategic, informed and efficient approach to content creation and campaign management. We can now offer a holistic service package that magnifies our clients’ voices, ensuring their messages resonate far and wide with measurable and impactful success.

How vital is the creator economy right now? Are digital creators the new superstars? Why are they so important for brand-building and fan engagement?

The creator economy has become a critical element of contemporary marketing and brand development strategies, signifying a shift in how brands engage with their audiences. Today, digital creators are at the forefront of cultural trends, building deep, genuine connections with their followers. These relationships are distinctive due to their depth and authenticity, fostering engagement that often translates into tangible actions.

For brands, tapping into these relationships offers a pathway to deeper loyalty and consumer engagement, making it an indispensable strategy for building and strengthening their presence in the digital world.

TLNTlogo500x500Are you noticing more brands making the first approach and embracing creators as a vital touchpoint in their marketing campaigns?

Nowadays, brands increasingly recognise digital creators’ indispensable role in their marketing campaigns. This evolution from ‘nice to have’ to ‘must have’ reflects a deeper appreciation for the unique value creators add, through driving brand visibility, audience engagement and conversions via their authentic platforms and voices.

This change also highlights a broader social acceptance of influencer collaboration as a vital component of modern marketing strategies.

Are there any particular influencers on your roster that you’d like to highlight?

At Underscore Talent, we’re proud to represent a wide-ranging group of creators across numerous platforms, each excelling in their niche – from fashion and lifestyle creators like Noah Beck and Vinnie Hacker to culinary geniuses Owen Han and The Korean Vegan, along with other iconic figures like Ashley Yi, The Undertaker, and the comedian Elyse Myers.
All of these individuals represent the ideal of what it means to connect and engage with audiences, demonstrating the transformative power of personal branding in the digital era.

Celina500x500Can you speak to the growth of the licensing space among content creators? Are there any examples/success stories from Underscore you’d like to share?

In recent years, the surge in content creator-driven brands, especially in the CPG [consumer packaged goods] sector, has been particularly noteworthy. Successes such as PRIME by Logan Paul x KSI, YouTube star Emma Chamberlain’s Chamberlain Coffee, and Feastables, the snack brand created by YouTuber Mr Beast, illustrate the power of leveraging a creator’s brand for market entry and revitalisation in even the most saturated of categories.

At Underscore, we’ve spearheaded significant licensing initiatives, including a toy licensing deal with YouTubers Vlad and Niki, a dog shampoo line with Brodie That Dood, a cosmetics launch with Celina Spooky Boo, and developing a strategic licensing approach with Grandbaby Cakes. These successes underscore the pivotal role that content creators play in introducing innovation and freshness into traditional markets.

Where do you see the creator economy headed in the years to come? What’s the potential?

The potential for the creator economy is unlimited. It stretches far and wide and continues to promise more intersections and crossovers between digital creators and more mainstream, ‘traditional’ celebrities. In other words, digital creators will inevitably move into the mainstream celebrity world, and mainstream celebrities will begin to play more and more in the digital realm.

The authentic and direct connection that creators foster with their audience stands unmatched and is foundational to genuine engagement in today’s digitally driven world. As the creator economy grows and matures, its impact on culture, conversation and consumer trends will further solidify. Underscore Talent is dedicated to elevating and amplifying these creative voices, shaping the cultural narrative and sparking discussions for the foreseeable future.

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