Last year, celebrity Twitch streamer Imane “Pokimane” Anys launched her own talent management agency, RTS. Today, RTS went public with the signing of its first three streamer clients, giving the company a long-awaited opportunity to showcase its creator-centric approach.
In addition to Anys, RTS’ expanded talent roster now includes well-known Twitch streamers Jeremy “Disguised Toast” Wang, Niki “Nihachu” Nihachu and Albert “BoxBox” Zheng, who together have over 26 million followers across all major social media platforms. RTS has been working behind the scenes with all three creators for several months but has not announced the signings to date.
In addition to securing brand partnerships and job opportunities for its talent, RTS plans to provide its creators with the branding, marketing and business know-how needed to follow in the footsteps of Anys and grow their following into full-fledged businesses that can thrive in today’s increasingly competitive creator economy.
To learn more about the strategy and future plans of RTS’ talent management business, Digiday spoke to Sue Lee, RTS vice president of talent management and former longtime Twitch contributor.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
How does RTS’ approach differ from other talent management companies in the digital creator space?
Many companies in this space are currently doing a great job as it seeks to generate new revenue and branding opportunities and sponsorships. We really wanted to focus on being a kind of 360 degree administrative service that encompasses everything from handling and organizing finances – all the fun stuff that developers don’t like to think about, whether it’s taxes, financial planning, retirement planning and similar acts. We also organize things like bookkeeping, bookkeeping, invoicing. We also focus on brand deals after they are signed.
This allows agents to really focus on what they do best, which is looking for additional opportunities and revenue streams. Once the contracts are signed we can take over and make sure everything is organized for the creator. They know exactly what their results are; We ensure that all the information is provided to them in an easily digestible way and we also take care of all kinds of B2B conversations that need to take place.
A growing phenomenon in the industry is creators starting their own full-fledged business – your business is a great example. Can RTS also support this effort?
Absolutely. With all of our developers, our priority is to first and foremost ensure we meet their immediate needs, and once those are taken care of we can start those more macroscopic conversations – “Now that your business is set up and smooth sailing, what are some ideas you always wanted to implement? And of course things to do will always be a part of the conversation.
Disguised Toast and Pokimane have been friends for years. How important is it for a company like RTS to people like you and Pokemon having a network of personal friendships and connections beyond business partnerships?
Having worked at Twitch for as many years as myself, I’ve built an amazing network of creatives, and that was part of how I was able to start conversations with Toast about collaborating.
It can be an advantage in a way because this industry is so small – you meet as people and very quickly get a sense of whether it makes sense to work together or not. So I wouldn’t say it’s “important,” but that it was an advantage to have had these relationships with many of these people. That gives you a kind of speed boost I would say.
How integrated is RTS’ talent management and brand consulting?
While we don’t typically have a direct overlap, I regularly attend meetings with them to give them advice from my point of view to understand the content creator realm. It often happens that they need to put together a pitch or deck that involves some level of influencer marketing and then they call me to use my expertise to talk about what top creators are open to, which top Creators have done in the past, what resonated, what really did the best job. So that was usually the way we work together and can work together.
I’ve noticed that all of the creators RTS has signed so far are either women or people of color, which isn’t exactly representative of the prototypical gamer. Was that on purpose?
It was not. I think a lot of that just happened naturally because of the relationship I had with the creators when I was on Twitch. But as our industry continues to mature, this is a personal focus of ours. I think all of us at RTS are aware of that kind of relationship with how things have happened in the past and we always want to empower and support underrepresented groups where we can. So it wasn’t on purpose, but I guess it just happened.