A new startup wants to build a network of houses for influencers across the US to film in and record podcasts

Note House Nashville_Owners Katy Shah & India Mayer (Photo by Emily Dorio)

Summary List Placement

As the influencer industry has grown into a
multi-billion dollar
marketing category, interest in
non-celebrity, lower-follower-count creators has
exploded
.

These “micro
and
mid-tier
influencers often have just a few thousand fans. But
they can still earn a full-time living (or run a
lucrative side business
) by posting sponsored content on apps
like Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. And unlike Hollywood stars,
they often live in cities and towns across the US – not just in
the entertainment hub of Los Angeles.

This group of less-famous creators is precisely who the startup
Of Note hopes to serve with the
launch of its new influencer coworking space and content studio,
Note House.

Located in East Nashville, Tennessee, Note House is a
professionally designed space for local influencers to visit (not

live in
) and create content.

Of Note charges a $75 monthly fee for members to work at the
house, film in its Instagram-ready rooms, and use its production
tools like a podcast studio. Of Note also offers a $25 per-diem
option for creators who just want to visit the house once or twice
a month, and businesses can rent out the entire house for a flat
fee on select days.

The Note House is located in East Nashville, Tennessee.

The house, which opened on November 30, includes a white-box
photo studio and an audio recording space for members who want to
record a podcast (an
increasingly popular medium
among internet stars). These
features offer members access to equipment that a part-time creator
may not want to invest in themselves.

Read more:
Some brands are hiring influencers as a ‘one-stop shop’ for video
and animation as production studios shut down — and finding
they’re a lot cheaper

But the company said one of the main draws of Note House is its
showroom-quality living room, bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom spaces
— key set pieces for lifestyle influencers that want to promote

bedding
, bath products, food items, and other at-home brands on
their Instagram accounts.

The living room at the Note House.

Of Note isn’t the first company to design a camera-friendly
space for influencers.

The influencer agency Village Marketing launched its own
influencer facility, “Village
Studio
,” in New York in 2018, expanding to Los Angeles shortly
afterwards.

But Of Note’s plan to focus on servicing influencers who don’t
live in coastal cities is one of its differentiators. India Mayer
and Katy Shah, who cofounded and self-funded the business, told
Insider that they’re eyeing Texas as their next Note House
location. Whether they will have the funding to expand into other
locations will depend on how 2021 goes, they said.�

The Note House's kitchen.

“Our goal is not to have a Note House in LA or New York,” Mayer
said. “Our goal is really to focus on other markets throughout the
US that are not necessarily focused on as much. They’re a little
bit harder to access by brands.”

Other creator-house businesses have recently sprung up in cities
outside of Los Angeles. Eight members of a TikTok collective,
THNAF,
moved to Las Vegas
 last summer,
telling Insider
that living in the city was less expensive than
moving to LA. And two influencer houses, Collab Crib and Valid
Crib,
recently launched in Atlanta
with the goal of creating new
opportunities for some of the city’s top Black creators. 

Sharing a space could help online influencers feel less isolated

When Mayer and Shah decided to start Of Note, their original
goal was to create a communal space for influencers who typically
“are living on their own digital island,” Mayer said. 

In addition to being a content studio, Note House was planned as
a coworking space for influencers — an idea that
WWD dubbed
as a WeWork for local content creators. The
Nashville house has an office space and offers coffee, water, and
on-site management. And Mayer and Shah said they’re working on
introducing some WeWork-style services like educational workshops
for members.

But due to social-distancing restrictions
associated with COVID-19, the team hasn’t focused much on coworking
since the house’s launch. The property’s main value for creators
has been its faux home spaces where creators can shoot branded
content for their social-media accounts. 

The coworking space at the Note House.

“We don’t have presentation rooms and phone booths,” Shah said.
“Instead we have exactly what the influencers need, which is a
podcasting studio, a bedroom suite, and full bathroom and bedroom
setup so influencers can shoot a home setup.”

The Note House bathroom.

The company said it worked with brands like H&M, Joe’s
Jeans, Mary Kaye, and L’Oréal to pre-stock the house with
clothing, furniture, and other decor. Its early partners “gifted”
items to the house (an influencer marketing structure in which
brands donate items for free in exchange for social promotion). The
house features a styling room and lending closet with off-the-rack
clothing options for members. Of Note said it’s now starting to
charge for product placements in the house, with brand activation
packages beginning at around $500. 

The styling room and lending closet at the Note House.

By offering temporary space rather than live-in houses, Of Note may
avoid some of the drama that’s plagued other creator house
businesses 

While it’s still very early days for Of Note — the company
said it has 35 paying members (and a growing waitlist) thus far —
the opportunity to build a business in the creator industry is
ripe. 

Of Note is one of many upstarts that have looked into finding
new revenue streams outside of pure marketing services (though they
also offer those) in the
influencer industry. Other companies have built businesses around

direct-to-consumer merchandise
, monetizing
interactions with fans
, and even developing
financial products and banking services
for creators.

And creator content houses have taken off in recent months as a

wave
of TikTok stars have moved in together to make videos and
cross-promote each other’s accounts. But running a creator house as
a business
can get messy
when creators live on-site, something that Shah
and Mayer hope to avoid by running their house more like an office
space. 

“India and I worked together at a traditional public relations
and marketing agency here in [Nashville],” Shah said. “We were
sensing, and it seems like a lot of our peers in the industry felt
the same way, that people wanted more physical touchpoints,
especially influencer communities living their career online.”

“We’re catering to a little bit different customer,” she said.
“Our influencers aren’t going to live there. It’s definitely not a
party scene.”

For more stories on creator-focused startups, read these
other Business Insider stories:


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Source: FS – All – Entertainment – News
A new startup wants to build a network of houses for
influencers across the US to film in and record podcasts