Ever wonder what it would be like to live in a McMansion in Los Angeles with 15 of your fakest friends, little to no furniture and have people incessantly shoving phone cameras in your face all day? You probably belong in a content house.
On August 11, beauty influencers Cole Carrigan and La Demi announced the launch of The Glam House Beverly Hills, the first beauty and glam content house ever. Per @theglamhousebh announcement on Instagram, the house, which was founded by La Demi, an LGBTQ+ trans activist with extensive experience in the beauty industry, is an inclusive space for beauty brands and creators to create “sickening content.”
In a post on his personal page, Carrigan elaborated on the new content house, writing: “In this this new chapter, we open the door to all genders, races, sizes, and sexual orientations wanting to create and collaborate with leading influencers, brands and innovative beauty creators! The Glam House is having a casting call for all innovative glam creators, beauty creators, hairdressers, fashionistas etc. to be part of the team and possibly move into The Glam House!”
But what exactly is a content house, and why the heck are they such a big thing on apps like TikTok? Also, do more than a dozen teen influencers *actually* live in them? Here, everything you need to know about content houses (because we know you’re wondering).
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First of all, what is a content house?
If you’re not familiar with the concept of a content or “collab” house, you’re definitely not alone. The term, like content houses themselves, is pretty new. In essence, these homes are a physical space for creators from YouTube, Instagram and TikTok to collaborate. According to YouTuber Brent Rivera, an A+ collab house “needs to be big, and the more amenities the better, like a pool, nice bathroom, nice lighting, big back and front yard, room for activities and fun stuff you can do inside or outside.” FYI, some of these homes cost BIG money to rent.
How did these content houses start?
While it may seem like snagging a spot in a collab house is the absolute minimum requirement for anyone creating content right now, the idea of content houses originated back in 2014 when members of an early collab channel called Our Second Life lived and worked together in a home they called the 02L Mansion. In 2015, almost all of the big names on Vine (R.I.P.) moved into a large apartment complex at 1600 Vine Street, according to the Times.
And in 2017, Jake Paul, a YouTube content creator and pretty controversial figure (he legit *just* had his home raided by the FBI), put the trend on the map when he bought the Team 10 House, a physical space for he and members of Team 10 to stay and create outrageous (and sometimes outrageously dangerous) videos. Started in 2015, Team 10—which consists of an ever-rotating group of YouTube creators—is an “incubator for aspiring social media influencers,” per the group’s website, and was the first collective and social media label created by talent for talent.
After purchasing the home, Paul and Team 10 members used the space to film videos of themselves doing super fun stuff like tossing furniture into a pool and lighting it on fire; behaviour that led Paul’s neighbours to describe living next to him to being in a “war zone” and “a living hell.”
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What’s the point of a content house?
The point of these houses is for creators to create content together and fuel their careers. While living with 18 of my closest friends sounds like a nightmare to me, according to the New York Times, these collab houses are beneficial to influencers in numerous ways, with living together allowing for more teamwork (which the outlet says means faster growth), and allowing the creators to provide emotional support to each other.
“It’s a brilliant move for power players on these platforms to lift each other up,” YouTuber Sam Sheffer told the outlet. “‘Elevate others to elevate yourself’ is a saying, and it really rings true with this new generation of TikTokers.” Not to mention, Sheffer said that “from a management perspective, it’s great. It just means all the kids will focus on content.”
And TBH, it kind of works. Since content houses have become a big thing, creators who have previously done stuff on their own have made the transition to being a part of these houses. In July 2020, Instagram influencer Teala Dunn announced that she was joining Clubhouse BH, a content creator house for women.
Dunn—who has 3.2 million followers on Instagram—has largely built her following on YouTube and Instagram, but recently made the transition to posting TikTok videos.
How many content houses are there?
Honestly, at this point, too many. The Glam House Beverly Hills is joining an ever-growing list of collab houses that include: Hype House, Sway House, The Clubhouse BH and The Fenty Beauty House (founded by Rihanna for the next wave of content creators), just to name a few.
How do you become a member of these houses?
Surprisingly, there are some pretty strict rules for getting in, and staying in, these content houses. Speaking to the New York Times in January of this year, Hype House founders Chase Hudson, a TikTok star, and Thomas Petrou, a YouTube personality, told the outlet than in order to be a part of the group, members have to churn out content daily. “If someone slips up constantly, they’ll not be a part of this team anymore,” Thomas said. “You can’t come and stay with us for a week and not make any videos, it’s not going to work. This whole house is designed for productivity. If you want to party, there’s hundreds of houses that throw parties in L.A. every weekend. We don’t want to be that. It’s not in line with anyone in this house’s brand. This house is about creating something big, and you can’t do that if you’re going out on the weekends.”
So essentially, you’re there to work? If work looked like goofing around to Jason Derulo songs with your BFF, that is.
And as for getting in? Hudson told the outlet that in addition to being young, you have to “have a lot of energy and personality and honestly [be] a little weird. The weird people get the furthest on the internet. You either have to be talented at something, or a weird funny mix, or extremely good looking.”
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Do all the influencers actually live in the content house?
Thankfully, not everyone that’s a member of each collab house actually *lives* in the homes; that all depends on the house and people in it. In her January 2020 article for the New York Times about the rise of content houses, journalist Taylor Lorenz delved into the inner workings of Hudson and Petrou’s Hype House, one of the most popular content creator homes and collectives for TikTok tween stars (among them, stars like Charlie D’Amelio and Addison Rae Easterling). Of the group’s then 19 members, Lorenz noted that only four of them lived in the house full time, with “several others [keeping] rooms to crash in when they are in town,” and a “stream of influential young internet stars” popping by throughout the day to, as she put it, “pay homage to the new guard.”
Mainly, the members of the house just use the space to create and film their content. (Don’t ask me why considering the homes are so poorly decorated, though.)
Are content houses lucrative?
In a word: Yes. Insofar as being a part of one and focusing solely on content *can* pay off. In August of this year, Forbes released a list of the seven highest-earning stars on TikTok, with Hype House member Addison Rae topping the list by bringing in an estimated $5 million in 2019. Which is *a lot* of money.
So our only question is: where do we sign up?