3 min read

Play9 Co-Founder On Building A Content Studio With World’s #2 Youtube Star

On this episode of The Rough Cut, Storyhunter co-founder Alex Ragir travels to Rio de Janeiro to speak with João Pedro Paes Leme, the…
Play9 Co-Founder On Building A Content Studio With World’s #2 Youtube Star

On this episode of The Rough Cut, Storyhunter co-founder Alex Ragir travels to Rio de Janeiro to speak with João Pedro Paes Leme, the co-founder of content studio and influencer marketing agency Play9 (filmed before the Coronavirus pandemic spread to Brazil or the US). Last year, João Pedro founded Play9 with Felipe Neto, the second-biggest YouTube star in the world. Play9 manages some of the biggest influencers in Brazil, like soccer icon Marta, influencer Bruna Gomes and Final Level, an online gaming hub. Alex and João Pedro discussed Joao’s transition from director of sports journalism for media conglomerate Rede Globo to combining entertainment with e-commerce. They also talk about the rise of TikTok, and what it means to live in “The Age of Authenticity”.

On the go? Listen to the full interview on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, and wherever you listen to your shows!

Below are edited highlights of the conversation:

Learn From Other Players In Your Space

“Alibaba is doing something very interesting. They’re either buying things while people are online, doing some kind of live content, and they just sell stuff. And they’re also doing very big shows to sell specific products on specific dates. Google was talking to me to find out something different to do on Black Friday and I thought, ‘let’s try to do something like they’re doing’.

In November we did something very special, where for the first time, Black Friday in Brazil was matched with something that could be entertainment and ecommerce at the same time. We did a show called The Black Friday Show, where we put eighteen influencers together here in Rio and brought in a pool of 18,000 red balls, and had our six sponsors and their websites linked to the video. And we’re already hired to do the same thing this November.”

TikTok is the New YouTube

“I’ve seen social video become even more important than it was even three or four years ago. Platforms are coming and going, and TikTok is potentially becoming the YouTube of the new generation. So we’re investing in bringing ‘TikTokers’ to Play9. When you see Felipe, you probably compare him to what he was like 10 years ago as the first big YouTuber in Brazil. I don’t see Felipe, or anyone of this kind of of magnitude becoming a major ‘TikToker’.”

We’re Living In The Age of Authenticity

“You have to be yourself. If you’re not happy with your job, quit. If you’re not happy with what you’re doing, change. Go sell coconuts on the beach. Do whatever makes you happy, otherwise you’re not going to make anyone happy. And the audience will understand that, feel that and notice that.”

Take A Chance On Up-And-Coming Strategies/Media

“It was a challenge for me to even present him to the other directors, because I was 38 years old. That’s young for a director. And I had to convince these people that a YouTuber would be something that could be useful, and help us. We have this huge operation, a massive conglomerate, but we saw that things aren’t going that well. Felipe even told me he thought he would never ever get close to this kind of achievement.”

Branded Content vs. Content Branded

“Our company is based on branded content. But there is also this other concept called content branded. It’s the same thing but there is a tricky way of doing it, not interrupting the storytelling which is something that people are not big fans of. Instead you do the opposite and put, in a very organic way, the content inside a brand. So we didn’t have a problem saying ‘This is a program and we want to make the best show ever, but we are also selling many things. This is a promotion.’”

Click here for all previous episodes of The Rough Cut.

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By Jake Watkins, Head of Stories