The Streamy Awards Prove that Online Creators and Traditional Media Are Still Disconnected

Kristin Snyder

Kristin Snyder is dot.LA's 2022/23 Editorial Fellow. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

tiktok influencers around a trophy ​
Andria Moore /Charli D'Amelio/Addison Rae/JiDion

Every year, the Streamy Awards, which is considered the top award show within the creator economy, reveals which creators are capturing the largest audiences. This past Sunday, the event, held at The Beverly Hilton, highlighted some of the biggest names in the influencer game, chief among them Mr. Beast and Charli D’Amelio. It had all the trappings of a traditional award show—extravagant gowns, quippy acceptance speeches and musical interludes. But, as TikTok creator Adam Rose told The Washington Post, the Streamys still lacks the legitimacy of traditional award shows.


“There’s the Emmys, Golden Globes and Oscars for the mainstream entertainment industry,” Rose told The Washington Post, “but the people in this room are entertaining more people in the world than the people nominated for those other awards.”

Even with creators like Mr. Beast capturing millions of eyes, many influencers continue to seek success in mainstream entertainment. This could be passed off as creators being fame hungry after tasting the success that platforms like TikTok have brought them. But many creators recognize how fleeting internet success can be: with a few exceptions, the winners of most of this year’s top awards went to relative newcomers.

Which is why, if they want to build a long-term career, it’s not surprising that so many creators look to traditional media, like film and music, to solidify their success. Naturally, some have had better luck than others—Shawn Mendes and Troye Sivan—two singers that first found success on the video-sharing site—have since ditched the “YouTuber” moniker.

But in most cases, when creators snag a leading role or release an original song, few people take their efforts seriously. TikTok users lamented singer Gayle’s Grammy nomination last month. This is despite the fact that six out of the 10 nominations for Song of the Year went viral on TikTok, proving the platform’s impact on the music industry. Addison Rae’s film debut, “He’s All That,” has a 29% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. And in 2020, TikToker Dixie D’Amelio deleted a video teasing an upcoming song with Wiz Khalifa after people ridiculed the lyrics.

Traditional media has been at war with non-traditional internet stars trying to break into new fields since the latter’s inception. Industry powerhouses have long complained about how the influencer world is impacting their success. “You’re famous from TikTok,” Jennifer Aniston told Variety in June. You’re famous from YouTube. You’re famous from Instagram. It’s sort of almost like it’s diluting our actor’s job.”

Similarly, Gwyneth Paltrow has criticized influencers who seemingly become famous without creating something “meaningful and resonant.” But if a TikTok star is producing daily videos that consistently bring in millions of views, clearly that content is resonating with more than a few people.

That perceived lack of talent though is why critics believe online creators can’t bring quality performances. And they're not necessarily wrong—it can be hard to translate acting out a short, self-scripted video on TikTok into following a director’s cues.

But let’s not forget that plenty of actors have managed to bag both Golden Raspberry Awards, which nominate the worst performances of the year, and Oscars. Aniston herself has accrued six Razzie nominations.

If anything, traditional media needs to embrace influencers in order to stay alive. Internet stars are capturing the attention of the very people that traditional media has struggled to engage. In recent years, teens have swapped time spent streaming on Netflix with watching videos on YouTube. A September poll found that, in the U.K., teens spend more time on TikTok than watching TV. Even with its low ratings, “He’s All That” was viewed by 55 million households within the first month of its release—and that success has gained Rae a multi-picture deal with Netflix.

Once again, the Streamys reflects this disparity. The livestreamed award show has consistently grown its viewership, with a 43% jump from 2020 to 2021. Meanwhile, both the Academy Awards and the Grammys have seen viewership dwindle.

There’s clearly a disconnect: influencers control access to massive audiences, but many still crave the legitimacy of traditional media. Alternatively, Hollywood is still deemed the authority on what makes a true star but is increasingly struggling to court new audiences. Without embracing online creators, Hollywood risks alienating potential viewers. It’s not hard to imagine then that one day, a Streamy might be worth as much industry clout as an Oscar.
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LA Latino/a Founders On Why Authenticity Matters in Tech

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.

LA Latino/a Founders On Why Authenticity Matters in Tech
Decerry Donato

As one of the most diverse cities in the world, Los Angeles is home to almost 5 million people who identify as Hispanic or Latinx. Yet, many feel they still lack representation in the city’s tech space.

“I can safely say that last year’s LA tech week hosted all of the events on the west side, and very few were focused on telling Latino and Latina entrepreneurial stories,” said Valeria Martinez, investor at VamosVentures. “We wanted to change that this year.”

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Evan Xie

L.A. Tech Week has brought venture capitalists, founders and entrepreneurs from around the world to the California coast. With so many tech nerds in one place, it's easy to laugh, joke and reminisce about the future of tech in SoCal.

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LA Tech Week: Female Founders Provide Insights Into Their Startup Journeys

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.

LA Tech Week: Female Founders Provide Insights Into Their Startup Journeys
Decerry Donato

Women remain a minority among startup founders. According to Pitchbook, even though women-led startups in the United States received a record $20.8 billion in funding during the first half of 2022, U.S. companies with one or more female founders received less than 20% of total venture funding in 2022. U.S. companies solely led by female founders received less than 2% of the total funding.

The panel, titled Female Founders: Planning, Pivoting, Profiting, was moderated by NYU law professor Shivani Honwad and featured Anjali Kundra, co-founder of bar inventory software Partender; Montré Moore, co-founder of the Black-owned beauty startup AMP Beauty LA; Mia Pokriefka, co-founder and CEO of the interactive social media tool Huxly; and Sunny Wu, founder and CEO of fashion company LE ORA.

The panelists shared their advice and insights on starting and growing a business as a woman. They all acknowledged feeling pressure to not appear weak among peers, especially as a female founder. But this added weight only causes more stress that may lead to burnout.

“The mental health aspect of being a founder should not be overshadowed,” said Kundra, who realized this during the early stages of building her company with her brother..

Growing up in Silicon Valley, Kundra was surrounded by the startup culture where, “everyone is crushing it!” But she said that no one really opened up about the challenges of starting your own company. .

“Once you grow up as a founder in that environment, it's pretty toxic,” Kundra said. “I felt like I really wanted to be open and be able to go to our investors and tell them about challenges because businesses go up and down, markets go up and down and no company is perfect.”

Honwad, who advocates for women’s rights, emphasized the value of aligning yourself with people with similar values in the tech ecosystem. “[Those people] can make your life better not just from an investment and money standpoint, but also a personal standpoint, because life happens,” she said.

Moore, who unexpectedly lost one of her co-founders at AMP Beauty, said that entrepreneurs “really have to learn how to adapt to [their] circumstances.”

“She was young, healthy, vibrant and we've been sorority sisters and friends over the past decade,” she said about her co-founder Phyllicia Phillips, who passed away in February. “So it was just one of those moments where you have to take a pause.”

Moore said this experience forced her to ask for help, which many founders hesitate to do. She encouraged the audience to try and share their issues out loud with their teams because there are always people who will offer help. When Moore shared her concerns with her investors, they jumped in to support her in ways she didn’t think was possible.

Kundra said that while it is important to have a support group and listen to mentors, it is very important for entrepreneurs to follow their own thinking and pick and choose what they want to implement within their strategy. “At the end of the day, you really have to own your own decisions,” she said.

Kundra also said that while it is easy to turn to your colleagues and competitors and do what they are doing, you shouldn’t always follow them because every business is different.

“When I was in the heat of it, I kind of became [a part of] this echo chamber and that was really challenging for us,” Kundra added, “but we were able to move beyond it and figure out what worked for us [as a company] and we're still on a journey. You're always going to be figuring it out, so just know you're not alone.”

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