Event: How the Creator Economy Is Empowering Artists and Changing Hollywood

Sam Blake

Sam primarily covers entertainment and media for dot.LA. Previously he was Marjorie Deane Fellow at The Economist, where he wrote for the business and finance sections of the print edition. He has also worked at the XPRIZE Foundation, U.S. Government Accountability Office, KCRW, and MLB Advanced Media (now Disney Streaming Services). He holds an MBA from UCLA Anderson, an MPP from UCLA Luskin and a BA in History from University of Michigan. Email him at samblake@dot.LA and find him on Twitter @hisamblake

Event: How the Creator Economy Is Empowering Artists and Changing Hollywood
Photo by David Ruano

Investors, influencers and entrepreneurs mingled and chatted about the creator economy as a robot served cocktails.

dot.LA's inaugural, in-person summer series event sought to bring some understanding to the creator economy and the myriad ways it's shifting power relationships in Hollywood.


The new model is already upending traditional advertising, spurring a slew of startups from old school talent agencies to AI-platforms aimed at boosting influencers' reach and giving once overlooked artists a bigger voice.

"Talent are [now] able to do much more than just brand deals," said Jake Webb, who runs talent management company Slash Management. Webb was on dot.LA's panel on Thursday night. He counts among his clients, Loey Lane, an influencer who with the help of Wheelhouse has leveraged her hundreds of thousands of followers. "They're able to create productions, create ventures."

Lane now has a Spotify podcast hit.

Lane built her social media following primarily on Instagram and TikTok by focusing on body positivity. She later expanded her brand to also include paranormal ghost-hunting, which she initially pursued largely on YouTube. Wheelhouse, one of many agencies in Hollywood that have thrown their resources behind influencers, helped her and her co-host spin their show into a Spotify podcast – exemplifying the enduring allure of "traditional media."

Loey Lane shares her perspective on content creation and engaging with her audience.

She's hardly the only one who is using her social media celebrity to clinch deals. Brands from Dunkin' Donuts to Crocs rely on celebrities to drive interest in their products. And Hollywood is even scouting on social media.

"It goes both ways," said Wheelhouse digital executive Avi Gandhi. While influencers like Lane who've built a following on social media may seek to migrate into more established entertainment pathways, the reverse is also happening. Noah Schnapp is a case in point, Gandhi said; the child actor leveraged his success on Netflix's "Stranger Things" to build a big social following of his own.

Gandhi, who helps creators build their brand, said aspiring influencers need to spread their presence across numerous platforms.

"If you want to grow your business you have to be in as many places as possible, because there is money in all of those different places if you approach it right. And different content works in different places," Gandhi said.

The company is currently helping the influencer group Hype House launch a show on Netflix.

So where does he spend his free time? Online, of course.

"I watch TikTok when I'm bored and only have my phone; I listen to podcasts when I'm in my car; I watch Netflix on Friday when I just want my brain to shut off," Gandhi said. "They all coexist and I don't foresee any of them going away."

dot.LA's inaugural, in-person summer series was hosted Thursday night by dot.LA's Kelly O'Grady.

It was presented in partnership with Wheelhouse.

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Office Hours: MyFitnessPal CEO Tricia Han on How to Reboot a Business

Spencer Rascoff

Spencer Rascoff serves as executive chairman of dot.LA. He is an entrepreneur and company leader who co-founded Zillow, Hotwire, dot.LA, Pacaso and Supernova, and who served as Zillow's CEO for a decade. During Spencer's time as CEO, Zillow won dozens of "best places to work" awards as it grew to over 4,500 employees, $3 billion in revenue, and $10 billion in market capitalization. Prior to Zillow, Spencer co-founded and was VP Corporate Development of Hotwire, which was sold to Expedia for $685 million in 2003. Through his startup studio and venture capital firm, 75 & Sunny, Spencer is an active angel investor in over 100 companies and is incubating several more.

Tricia Han
Image courtesy of Tricia Han

On this episode of Office Hours, MyFitnessPal CEO Tricia Han discusses her role revitalizing the company and redefining its mission during a time of uncertainty for the company.

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Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

LA Tech ‘Moves’: Harbinger Taps Tesla Exec, REAL Messenger Gains Meta Director
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“Moves,” our roundup of job changes in L.A. tech, is presented by Interchange.LA, dot.LA's recruiting and career platform connecting Southern California's most exciting companies with top tech talent. Create a free Interchange.LA profile here—and if you're looking for ways to supercharge your recruiting efforts, find out more about Interchange.LA's white-glove recruiting service by emailing Sharmineh O’Farrill Lewis (sharmineh@dot.la). Please send job changes and personnel moves to moves@dot.la.

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Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

This Week in ‘Raises’: Bionaut Labs Grabs $43M, Embodied Lands $19.2M
Modified by Joshua Letona

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