Shots Studio Cofounder John Shahidi: The big business of being a social media star

  • Shots Studio does 5 things: (1) A production company that creates videos. (2) A management company. (3) Music Label (4) Touring and Live Shows 5) Create products like merch, beauty, food, and beverage.

  • The precursor to Shots Studio was the Shots app: Shots was a selfie app. We wanted to find up and coming social media stars. Then we would create original content that would live inside the Shots app. The content moved to YouTube and found a much larger audience.

  • How do you think about distribution: We want to be where our audience is. We make content for Instagram and YouTube. But our audience is also on Netflix. So we will supply Netflix with content too. We have the best mobile creators. Mobile video consumption is growing. 13 to 24 year old are watching content on their phone, not a TV.

  • Instagram is the most powerful platform: It is our secret weapon. It is a lead generator for anything with a link. Putting links in bio and swipe up on stories is very valuable.

  • There has to be proper evolution: The artists signed to Shots were all on Vine. They were doing 6-second videos. We didn’t jump from 6-second vines to a 30 minute Netflix show. We went from 6 seconds on Vine to 30 seconds on Instagram. Then Instagram extended the video length to 1 minute. Then we expanded to YouTube. The first YouTube videos were 90 seconds to 2 minutes. Then we started making longer videos. This evolution will continue to longer formats like feature-length movies.

  • Full podcast here.