See how we lured you in with the title?
Welcome to THE CULL the Magic news site with perspectives on things other than David Blaine (we love him though).
Today we examine the reason 98% of magicians hate the internet and why 37.2% of magicians have Go Fund Me Pages. Tik Tok has proven to be a valuable tool to easily get millions of views.
You can think of Tik Tok kind of like Bitcoin. There is a finite amount of available resources, so the powers at be are really just sharing different cuts of the pie that change in value over time. Conversely Tik Tok celebrates autonomy. Every Tik Tok gets pushed out to a sample audience which grows bigger and bigger based on factors like watch time and clicks.
This creates an interesting situation in which small "creators" hit the jackpot getting 1,000,000,000 views on a dog video. However this creates two fallacies that keep the perpetual treadmill that is Tik Tok turning.
I can do that again , I did it once! In general your chances remain the same. When under 1000 followers everyone's content has a fair chance of getting that coveted push by the algorithm. Every video has the same statistical chance of popping off, the only variable is the content. Statistically speaking "I did it yesterday, so if I post three today I should get 3x the views" will not work.
If I make enough videos I can monetize it and make cash! This is genius, so strap in. Youtube pays you a pay/click rate for ADs usually a fraction of a cent, increasing/ subscriber. Because you need 1000 followers on Tik Tok to access their "Creator Fund" the goal of making money on Tik Tok is a hazy one. As discussed above the arbitrary nature of the algorithm is not conducive for building a following. If a video of a horse eating an ice-cream cone went viral, people will watch because it is cute. Those same people (audience) don't want their feed to be filled with horse videos. Because of this short, viral, and palatable format, it encourages views while dissuading followers.
Why is this important?
Because Tik Tok is making it hard to get followers and easy to get massive views it become a content pit. It literally becomes a lottery with millions of people doing LITERALLY the EXACT SAME THING, hoping their x-factor (variable) catches the right eye and makes them go viral.
This is crazy. That's like expecting a modeling contract because you are walking down a street in your new jeans.
Yet, people do it, every day.
Consider an equation:
Slow follower gain= High Monetization Standards x Content Upload Minimum= High Views and Activity/Low Chance of Pay
In other words: a free, diverse and self sustaining content ecosystem full of people counterintuitively begging to make more content.
So what does this mean for magic?
Most Magicians will tell you that "They don't do Tik Tok". However, Tik Tok may be the wrong tool for you... how you are using it. Instead of trying to be the lifestyle influencer magician, maybe the answer is to fuck the Creator Fund and use your best magic to rack up those easy views. A view is 1 real person, we forget they are views. People don't go on Tik Tok for Ads, but hey... no one watches the Super Bowl for Ads.
Ok, that's a bad example.
What we mean is, find a way to integrate your logo, website or social info in your Tik Tok videos. We specifically mean IN the videos.
We can see that people with 1 million Tik Tok followers have less than 2000 Instagram followers. We almost said "real followers". However that is a point in itself.
Tik Tok users do not have the same purchasing power. They are young and usually consuming while moving or away from a credit card. For that reason, don't try to sell. Don't try to get them to buy tickets for your show on Tik Tok. Use it to get eyeballs on something you need noticed, use it to show the views as a proof on concept to someone who you want to start making magic product videos for. Use your Tik Tok to promote the fact that you have 1,000,000 views DESPITE only having 1000 followers. Use it to build a brand.
Here are two magicians building a brand in an interesting way:
Dustin Dean Magic : 3.6 Million Likes, 300k+ Followers| NY
Typically 10-30% of people engage with a video they like, so it is safe to assume Justin has has 30-100 million views as of the last day of 2020.
What Does He Post?:At the beginning of quarantine Dustin went hard consistently posting relatively original magic. However Dustin began to shift after discovering that he could carve a chunk out of skeptic Tik Tok being the amazing Randi for a new Generation. He often finds videos of people doing admittedly deceptive faux-psychic feats and replicates them busting in the process. Many people think "IHAVETOPOSTVISUALMAGICORELSE".
Dustin found an idea (among others) that works for him, and it is well deserved as one of the hardest working guys in magic.
Jeff Newman: 1 Million Likes, 62k+ Followers| CAN
They really should call him Drake with all of his Canadian views. Jeff is an interesting case that follows a format that we listed above. At the beginning of quarantine Jeff started asking his sickeningly patient wife a riddle/joke every day. At first it was a question of how long he was going to keep this up. At this point we are wondering what the final joke on his gravestone will be; because Jeff will most likely do this forever. BUT, we cant stop watching them.
With the simple format "Hey Hannah" and a (sometimes) simple joke ,Jeff attempts to stump his partner Hannah at the most inopportune times, a niche he carved with true consistency. Now, Newman averages 2-10,000 views / post, not bad for a magician (and mentalist) who is performing virtually no magic.
But that's because he doesn't have to. He has found an outlet to advertise his shows without performing.
But let's be honest, Hannah is the real star of the show.
It is a shame that it took 100% of the world being inside for magicians to finally convert to a more efficient type of magic (though we all miss the stage). We will have to wait and see just how valuable Tik Tok is to the live performance culture.
All we can say is, it is MUCH harder to catch up than it is to start now.