Weekly Wrap: Creative & Freelance News

Mysterious Instagram Hacking... Actor vs. Freelancer ... On Demand Insurance for Photographers... AND MORE

YouTube Paying Creators to Promote Features

YouTube is paying stars tens of thousands, and in some cases, hundreds of thousands of dollars to promote new features, such as paid memberships and enhanced chat, reported Bloomberg.

As creator complaints rise and competition grows, YouTube is allegedly adding features to try to placate their stars.

One issue YouTuber’s have had with the platform is that there’s little opportunity to earn money apart from advertising. In response, YouTube has made it easier to sell merchandise and allows more users to sell monthly memberships.

The company also introduced Super Chat, which lets YouTubers charge a fee for fans to highlight their comments in live streams.

YouTubers who are being paid to promote these features can still post the same content elsewhere and make more money, but YouTube does prohibit them from posting content on competitors sites first.

See: How Much Instragrammers Make For Sponsored Posts?

Thrillist Journalists Vote To Strike

The Thrillist’s unionized staff have voted in favor of a strike amid frustrations over their union contract, or rather the lack thereof.

Thrillist’s workers voted to unionize in February 2017, but over a year later, they still haven’t been able to negotiate acceptable terms. On Monday, the workers decided they weren’t going to work.

Instead, they went to the Writers Guild of America East offices and voted to authorize a strike if contract negotiations don’t move forward.

Thrillist workers returned to work Tuesday, but now that they have an official strike authorization, they plan to keep that option on the table. This is the first work stoppage at a digital media startup, reported Vox.

The Thrillest is a New York lifestyle publication.

Conde Nast Turn-Around Plan Adds And Cuts Roles

Conde Nast expects to add 150 new roles over the next two years as part of its five-year turnaround plan. But those new opportunities will be preceded by layoffs this fall.

Plus, the company is trying to sell W, Brides, and Golf Digest, which you already know because you read the Weekly Wrap last week.

Conde Nast is to wean itself off money from print advertising and create more diverse revenue streams.

To accomplish that, they plan to focus on five new areas, which are video, creative services, consumer revenue, data licensing and events. The crux of the plan is the push into video with Condé Nast CEO Bob Sauerberg planning for short-form video to be the dominant content format for Conde’s brands.

If successful, the plan will position the company so that advertising only represents 50% of its revenue, down from 70% currently, reported DigiDay.


In Other News…

The New York Post reported that Conde Nast is combining the British and American versions of Traveler into a single editorial platform. That will bring the online versions together one website starting January 2019.

The company claims they are going to maintain separate ad staff and separate print editions, with the U.S. version publishing eight times a year and the British publishing 10 times a year.

The British editor-in-chief will lead this combined operation and the lead editor in the US will help with the transition then leave in December.

New York Magazine is For Sale

New York Media, publisher of New York magazine, confirmed they are exploring their options, including sale, reported the New York Post.

The company also own websites such as Vulture, The Cut, Daily Intelligencer, Grub Street, Science of Us and Splitsider.

“Given the growth New York Media has seen, it makes sense for us to evaluate the market for opportunities to continue to develop the business,” the spokeswoman said.

John Catsimatidis, a supermarket magnate, who considered buying the Daily News, has reportedly said he will look at the numbers and consider whether to buy the business.

BTW: Did you see the list of media jobs?

Spotify of Cookbooks Coming Soon

CKBK markets itself as the Spotify of Cookbooks. For $8.99 a month, users will get access to over access to over 500 cookbooks and 100,000 recipes,  when the service launches. And that’s expected to happen in October or November, says Publisher’s Weekly.

CKBK launched a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of raising $25,000, and They’ve already raked in over $55,000.

People who pledged $59 or more will get early access to the service in September.

CKBK has struck licensing deals with major publishers, including Simon & Schuster, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Workman, and Rodale. Authors who are already slated to be showcased on the platform include Tyler Florence,Rose Levy Beranbaum and Thug Kitchen. The platform will also include extensive crosslinks and content such as the Oxford Companions to food and wine.

Netflix Announced 2nd Comic Book

Netflix will release the Prodigy comic series in digital and paper forms on December 5.

It’s about a character named Edison Crane, the world’s smartest man, who is driven to solve problems for governments around the world. The comic is the work of Mark Millar and the artwork is by Rafael Albuquerque.

This summer Netflix launched its first comic book series, The Magic Order, which is also written by Millar but has art by Olivier Coipel. That series is about five families of magicians who protect the world from dark forces.

Netflix purchased Millar’s Millarworld publishing and also plans to make shows and films based on his work, says Engadget.

 

Hackers Targeting Instagram Accounts

Since the beginning of the month, hundreds of Instagram users have suddenly been locked out of their accounts thanks to hackers, Mashable revealed.

Those who were affected say they went to access their account and found they were logged out. When they tried to log back in, their username, password, profile picture, and the Facebook account linked to Instagram was changed. Their email had also been altered to one with a .ru Russian domain.

It’s unclear why the hackers are targeting the accounts. Other than changing the bio information and sign-on details, they don’t appear to be using the accounts to post and they don’t delete the existing posts.

As of Monday, 899 Instagram accounts were reportedly mentioned on Twitter as experiencing the problem over a seven-day period. Instagram denies there’s a rise in hacked accounts, but Mashable says data, such as the number of times “hack” was used in messages sent to Instagram suggest otherwise.

But even if Instagram denies a surge, the company says they have a process in place to help users recover their account. However, many users aren’t impressed with it.

Accidents Linked to Waterfall Pics Rising

Three travel YouTubers, a photographer, and two teenage boys have died trying to take waterfall pictures in Canada and New York since 2016, says Insider.

One of the latest incidents happened last month when a trio of YouTube and Instagram vloggers were at Shannon Falls in British Columbia. They slipped and fell into a pool over 98 feet below.

They were part of High On Life, an extreme travel video collective.

Then, there are the serious accidents where, luckily, the story ends with survivors. In November, a freelance photographer named Michael Lane lost his footing at Albion Falls in British Columbia and died. Two of his friends were rescued, and their incident was one of four rescue efforts at those falls in 2017.

The Kaaterskill Falls in New York also bears the memory of a photo-related death, and Insider says this week they instated new rules, including bans on alcohol, loud music near the falls, and going within six feet of most cliff edges hoping to improve safety.

Verifly Launched On-Demand Insurance for Freelancers

Verifly is offering  liability insurance that freelance photograhers can purchase for each project, reports PetaPixel.

You can get policies for up to $2 million for time frames ranging from an hour to a month. The insurance is provided through Markel, and you can get a certificate to show a client or venue.

Many people reportedly buy the insurance on-site because you can get it in 30 seconds. But if you buy it in advance and the project falls through, the company allegedly offers a full  refund up to one hour before the start time.

It’s currently available in 31 states, and the app is available for Apple and Android users.

Actor Pleads Not Guilty to Harassing Freelancer

Actor Liev Schreiber plead not guilty to second-degree harassment in a case where freelance photographer Sherwood Martinelli claims he was attacked.

According to, Martinelli, he was trying to take photos of Schreiber while he was filming for the series “Ray Donovan” in Nyack, NY.

Minneapolis Official Accused of Trying to Swipe Blogger’s Brand

John Edwards has used “Wedge Live” to blog and tweet about politics in a Minneapolis neighborhood known “the Wedge” for nearly four years and he has thousands of readers and followers.

When a member of the Minneapolis Board of Estimate and Taxation named Carol Becker decided to sue the Mayor Betsy Hodges, Edwards believed Becker was just pulling a political stunt so he decided to run make a statement by running against Becker’s seat.

He lost.

Last week, he also found out Becker had filed paperwork to conduct business under the name WedgeLive.

Edwards claims she’s trying to silence him. “To try to take somebody’s platform away — I just think it shows really bad judgment, and that she’s really not fit to serve as an elected official in Minneapolis,” he told the Star Tribune.

Becker says she wasn’t targeting Edwards. She says she was planning to start a national podcast focusing on divisive topics, or “wedge issues.”

She claims the whole matter has been blown out of proportion. But in the wake of social media outrage and a post written by an independent journalist, she withdrew the application for name rights. However, she warns that  if no one files for the name in six months, she may reapply.

The Briefs

Vimeo joined the legion that has pulled the plug on Alex Jones. Apparently, Jones released some videos on Vimeo last Thursday and Friday after other sites wiped him off their platform. But Vimeo wasn’t having it, claiming  the content reportedly violated their rules on discrimination and hateful material, said the New York Post.

Then, Twitter, suspended Jones’ account for a week and also suspended “most functions” of his InfoWars account during that time. According to CNN,  the suspensions were prompted by a video in which he said, “Now is time to act on the enemy before they do a false flag.”


And while we’re on the topic of conspiracy theorists, YouTube started adding fact-checking links to Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Britannica and placing information boxes under videos that “attract false theories” in an effort to fight misinformation, reported Slate.


If your MacBook Pro makes a crackling noise, you’re not alone it seems. There’s a growing number of complaints about noise that occurs when users play audio, and it’s affecting 13-inch and 15-inch 2018 models.

According to Fortune and other media sources,  Apple has yet to issue a statement or offer a fix.

So folks, that’s your Weekly Wrap. If happy hour calls, please answer responsibly.

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