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Billion Dollar Boy launches FiveTwoNine, a membership community combining physical spaces and online educational resources to empower creators and brands

by | May 13, 2024

  • Global creator agency, Billion Dollar Boy, which this year celebrates its ten year anniversary, launches FiveTwoNine: The Creator Club, a private membership community dedicated to empowering emerging creators in the ‘Business of Being a Creator’
  • FiveTwoNine operates as a global platform providing educational resources and as physical spaces for key stakeholders in the creator economy to network and collaborate
  • The Club launches with free access for an initial four month pilot period in partnership with Founding Brand partner, Lipton, and six Founding Creator-entrepreneurs, three of whom will lead an ‘Operations Council’
  • FiveTwoNine’s launch is informed by new, independent research revealing that three quarters (73%) of creators want fast-track, affordable access to business coaches and consultancy, while half of all creators (50%) also want to attend creator-centric events

New York, USA, 13th May, 2024 – Leading global creator agency, Billion Dollar Boy, which this year celebrates its ten year anniversary, today announces the launch of FiveTwoNine: The Creator Club. FiveTwoNine is a membership community dedicated to empowering emerging creators in the ‘Business of Being a Creator’. 

FiveTwoNine operates as a global platform providing educational resources and as physical spaces for key stakeholders in the creator economy to network and collaborate – all designed to accelerate the growth of emerging creators’ careers and enhance brand partnerships.

The Club launches with its flagship headquarters in London for an initial four month pilot period in partnership with Founding Brand partner Lipton and six Founding Creator-entrepreneurs, representing a variety of backgrounds and expertise.

Access is free during the pilot phase, followed by a tiered pricing structure which will be introduced at flexible rates determined by the depth of resources and masterclasses creators wish to access. FiveTwoNine’s funding will be supported by Billion Dollar Boy and brand and strategic partners with a shared interest in the growing creator economy. The funding model is designed to optimize price fairness for increased creator accessibility.

Research reveals need for professional consultancy and community

FiveTwoNine’s launch is informed by new, independent research in partnership with CORQ, the only journalist-led influencer insights platform, which found that three quarters (73%) of creators want fast-track, affordable access to business coaches and consultancy. The findings are supported by qualitative analysis which found a mismatch in expectations between creators and managers, with creators often seeing managers as crucial for business support, while managers view creators as personally responsible for developing these skills.

Among the most popular consultancy services, financial support was identified as the top priority, including advice on pricing, fees and negotiations (73%), followed by:

  • Guidance on the latest trends and platform updates (53%)
  • Advice on how to diversify income (51%)
  • Business support; such as tax, pitching to VC’s and insurance (50%)

The results describe a lack of long-term planning in the industry and structural support for creators, which the research found can lead to a lack of investment in business infrastructure and practical skills, as well as a scarcity of brand partnership opportunities.

The research also highlights a creator population which can feel undervalued and experience loneliness, through a lack of networking and collaboration opportunities. Half of all creators (50%) revealed they want to attend creator-centric events. A further two in five want masterclasses from other creators (41%) and physical spaces to meet like-minded creators and host meetings (39%), validating the existence of a creator community and guiding the structure of FiveTwoNine.

The Founding Creators

FiveTwoNine is developed in collaboration with six Founding Creators whose expertise will help to design the suite of services, content of the educational resources and structure of the platform, ensuring the user experience is representative of the creator community, as well as determining the price point for accessibility.

The Founding Creators have been identified from the more than three million creators across the US and UK for their success as creator-entrepreneurs, including launching businesses. They showcase the recognition of Marie-Elise Droga, Head of Fintech at VISA, that “the creator economy [is] emerging as the digital equivalent of tomorrow’s small and mid-sized business segments — or the new breed and next-generation of SMB clients.” 

The Founding Creators include:

  • Food and beverage creators and founders of BOSH!, Henry Firth and Ian Theasby,  whose recipes have been viewed by more than 3.5 billion people, with over 1 million copies of their cookbooks sold, and products sold in major UK supermarkets
  • Joshua Temple ‘Slogo’, one of the UK’s biggest gaming creators with  11 million YouTube subscribers, and founder of media production company, Limax Studios 
  • Beauty and accessibility creator, disability activist, journalist, broadcaster and author, Lucy Edwards. Lucy brings a wealth of knowledge bridging the gap between the creator world and traditional broadcast media with her background in TV and journalism. She is passionate about educating brands and industry on accessibility 
  • Sophie Butler fashion, well-being and disability awareness creator, and founder of The Other Girls Club, an online community for like-minded young women. 
  • Jack Henderson, co-founder of about:blank; a  London-based contemporary streetwear fashion brand which  recorded 485% YoY growth in revenue between 2022 and 2023 and which ships to over 100 countries. 
  • Big Manny, the viral creator making science relatable and accessible to young people. He is also the author of children’s book ‘Science is Lit’, and has appeared on the much loved children’s television program CBBC 

Joshua, Lucy, Henry and Ian will sit on the Operations Council, a decision-making body of creators supported by industry leaders at Billion Dollar Boy including: Becky Owen, Global Head of FiveTwoNine, Sophie Crowther, Head of Creators for FiveTwoNine, and Thomas Walters, Europe CEO and founder of Billion Dollar Boy.

Big Manny, Sophie and Jack will appear on the Community Committee, a cyclical group of creators nominated to host events, and provide insight and feedback on FiveTwoNine that will contribute to the Operations Council’s decision making process.

FiveTwoNine: The physical space

FiveTwoNine’s physical spaces launch at the Club’s flagship headquarters in London, offering creators, brands and strategic partners access to an exclusive, multi-functional space at Bedford House, 21a John Street, London, WC1N 2BF. 

The physical spaces have been designed based on creator feedback and feature sound-proofed rooms, a podcast studio, and meeting spaces. These are tailored for hosting, networking and in-person educational events. For example, the following modules from the ‘How to Launch Your Own Brand’ series which will be delivered as live, in-person events throughout June, during the pilot period:

  • “Launching a Fashion Brand” with CORQ, the only journalist-led influencer insights platform
  • A ‘fireside’ conversation hosted by creator-entrepreneur, Jack Henderson at the London HQ, exploring how he launched his clothing brand, about:blank
  • A business model design masterclass in partnership with a finance consultancy
  • A social commerce workshop with a platform partner

Memberships include on-demand, flexible access to these collaborative spaces and are also available to member brands and strategic partners, including platform representatives, venture capitalists, investors and more.

Following a successful pilot period, FiveTwoNine will expand its physical presence to new international locations, starting with a US expansion scheduled for 2025.

FiveTwoNine: The platform

FiveTwoNine’s global online platform launches in Autumn 2024, offering all creators remote worldwide access to educational resources. 

This will include masterclasses and bespoke educational content pooled from industry experts and leading creators with the aim of upskilling creators in essential business skills, improving career success and building brand partnership potential. 

Official invite-only FiveTwoNine launch events will also take place in New York, USA, co-hosted by Snapchat on May 16th and at the London HQ on May 23rd. Register your interest in attending future events, learn more about FiveTwoNine and explore membership options for the pilot programme at: http://fivetwonine.com/

Becky Owen, Global Head of FiveTwoNine and Global CMO of Billion Dollar Boy, comments:

“As Billion Dollar Boy celebrates its ten year anniversary, we wanted to give something back to the creators who’ve made our success possible.

“That’s why we’re investing in this growing market to facilitate the sector’s professionalization and also to discover the next mega brand born from the creator economy.

“FiveTwoNine is designed to help empower emerging creators in the business of being a creator, with a collaborative space to communicate with brands, find support and advance their development through curated and centralized education resources.

“The Club’s creator-led Operations Council is crucial to meeting our vision for a healthier, more sustainable creator economy, ensuring it’s made by creators for creators with accessible pricing and real life, physical connections and a community at its core.”

Sophie Crowther, Head of Creators for FiveTwoNine, adds:

“When you’ve been working with creators for 10 years, and even some of your best friends are creators, it’s impossible not to see the gaps in our industry that affect them every single day. Over the last few years it’s become more and more obvious to us that something was missing; we just needed to spend the time and do the research, to uncover exactly what that was.

“What we found was that a lack of structured support for creators can often leave them feeling isolated, burnt-out and experiencing financial unpredictability. This instability limits content quality, stifles professional growth, and can be counter-productive to creating and sustaining healthy brand partnerships. FiveTwoNine is all about giving creators the respect they deserve for their craft and recognising them as the entrepreneurs that they are.”

FiveTwoNine Founding Creator, Joshua Temple ‘Slogo’, says:

“The market and industry has grown rapidly, widening the gap between those at the top and bottom ends of the scale. It’s meant that while it’s never been easier to start out in the industry, it’s also never been harder to succeed.

“Equally though, now that there are more viewers and creators, and there’s less focus on the size of the creator, everyone is on a more level playing field; everyone has something to share and learn; and collaboration is needed more than ever for the industry to learn and evolve.

“FiveTwoNine re-orientates collective thinking towards working together, creating a more open and transparent environment for creators with different backgrounds to share content, cultures and ideas.

“Overall distributing wealth and opportunities more equitably will benefit the creator economy, contributing to its growth.”

FiveTwoNineFounding Creator, Lucy Edwards, says:

“I feel so excited that I can use my expertise to be a founding member of FiveTwoNine. Education and guidance wasn’t there for me, but I want it to be there for other creators when they’re just starting out.

“It’s so daunting not knowing what an industry is going to give you and how you’re going to be viewed within an industry. You also have to wear many hats to be a creator. You’ve got to be your own everything: editor, producer, director, business owner. It’s about educating people on the hard side of it.

“But, equally, it’s now a really exciting time in this space, people are increasingly recognising social media as a place where you do put your ad spend; where there are meaningful conversations that are going to get real results for your brand or your business. So many people are now using social media, not just content creators, to expand their personal brands. I just can’t wait to be at the forefront of this amazing industry and really shine a light on how amazing it is.”

FiveTwoNine Founding Creator, Henry Firth and Ian Theasby, BOSH!, add:

“Content creation is an art form that thrives on expression, yet many creators lack the spaces and support needed to flourish. Reflecting on our own journey, we recognise the importance of fostering creativity in conducive environments. By providing access to premium creator spaces and taking a community-driven approach that will help creators thrive together, FiveTwoNine addresses this need.

“We share FiveTwoNine’s commitment to empowering talented creators and are excited to share our insights and lessons learned.”

FiveTwoNine founding creator, Sophie Butler, adds:

“In an industry which can be very hard to navigate, it’s important that creators support each other and be transparent. There is so much potential in the industry, but without education, creators are not reaping the benefits of their talents. And unless they have a strong network or are fortunate enough to get linked with a very good management team, then a lot of the creator talent goes untapped. In a very lucrative industry – it’s important that the talent is getting their fair share of that pie.

“I’m excited to see the potential talent that really flourishes from FiveTwoNine. I think we all work better when we’re supported, and I know there are so many creators who will really take this opportunity and be able to apply it to go that step further with their goals.”

Victoire Binet, Global Digital Marketing & Brand Engagement Director of Pepsi Lipton, comments: 

“By providing creators with a better support network, brands can empower creators and build trust. We’ve found that the more trust is baked into our creator relationships, the better the output is – for both parties. Yet platforms, brands and agencies often don’t take the time needed to nurture these relationships, as the myriad of daily urgencies tends to take over. That said, developing strong relationships with creators yields strong ROI, and creates the ultimate foundation for creators’ partnerships to thrive.

“At Lipton Ice Tea, we take pride in our legacy of supporting creators and we are delighted to be the Founding Brand partner of FiveTwoNine. We recognise the amazing ability of creators to reach audiences in entertaining and innovative ways that we simply cannot replicate. We share FiveTwoNine’s ambition to set a new and improved standard for creators.”

Research methodology

Research involved a survey of 126 creators across the UK and US and in-depth interviews with 21 creators and ten industry experts working across management, human resources, occupational health, finance and wellness

About FiveTwoNine

FiveTwoNine is a global platform with local spaces, made to support the business side of being a content creator. The private membership community provides educational resources, physical spaces for collaborations, filming podcasts, events to enhance industry knowledge, and a way to connect creators and brands.

The name ‘FiveTwoNine’ represents those early morning or late night hours that many creators dedicate to pursuing their passions outside of their traditional 9-to-5 jobs. The goal of FiveTwoNine is to empower these creators to turn these hours into their primary source of income by equipping them with the necessary support and resources needed to build and grow their creator careers.

About Billion Dollar Boy

Billion Dollar Boy (BDB) is a global creator agency, using industry-leading tech solutions to deliver integrated, creator-led advertising and end-to-end campaign management. 

Founded in 2014 by Edward East, alongside co-founders Thomas Walters and Permele Doyle, Billion Dollar Boy was among the first global influencer agencies and now has offices in London, New York and New Orleans. 

Since its inception, BDB has partnered with some of the world’s leading brands – including Heineken, King, Nintendo, PepsiCo and L’Oréal – connecting them with more than 10,000 vetted content creators.

BDB client campaigns have been awarded at the Cannes Lions, Influencer Marketing Awards, Webby Awards, Shortys, The Drum Awards and Adweek

About Lipton

With more than 125 years of experience, Lipton is one of the world’s great refreshment brands, with tea-based drinks including leaf tea, ready-to-drink iced tea and infusions. Fun facts, Lipton is the No1 Tea brand globally, and Lipton is the 2nd most consumed beverage brand globally! Lipton is driven by positivity and passion to bring the natural goodness of great-tasting teas and ice teas to as many people as possible. For more information, please visit www.lipton.com

Bulldog Reporter
Bulldog Reporter is a leader in media intelligence supplying news, analysis and high-level training content to public relations and corporate communications professionals with the mission of helping these practitioners achieve superior competitive performance.

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