At an age when most are consumed with after-school activities, 17-year-old Braden Blacker is consumed with generating a billion-views a month. The entrepreneurial high schooler is disrupting the creator marketing industry, helping manage staggering monthly viewership for top influencers like The Botez Sisters and Sketch, across platforms like YouTube and Twitch. Listen to Braden to understand how to maximize visibility and influence in the digital media world.

And in an almost impossible feat, Evan Shapiro has corralled the comparative sizes and revenue of every media entity onto a single sheet of paper, making this cartographer a media maven about where the money is and where it may be going. Listen to Evan to learn about CTV (connected TV) and the where ad money is coming from… and going to — like YouTube and Amazon — in the streaming world.

In this must-listen episode, you’ll first hear from media maven Evan, on some key shifts in the streaming and connected TV ad landscape, why “interoperability” is essential for CTV platforms looking to compete with giants like Google and Amazon…and he describes the influx and opportunities around ad dollars from small and mid-sized businesses into CTV … IF traditional media companies innovate and collaborate around data to enhance user experience.

If you want some of the retail media budget on connected television, you have to move fast. Collaboration around data is key to improving user experience. — Evan Shapiro

The conversation then pivots Braden, who explains how being the child of successful entrepreneurial media executives — Andy Blacker and Liz Sarachek Blacker, and nephew of Peter Blacker — sparked the same spirit in him by age 8!  He went on to be a viral marketing entrepreneur himself, while still juggling classes. Despite his young age, Braden offers profound insights, stressing passion and tireless effort as nonnegotiable:

Stick to the path, keep working hard, and you can’t give up. What if Mr. Beast gave up when he was making zero money? There were years when Mr. Beast didn’t make any money. So if you haven’t put in your time, if you haven’t put in your college tuition, which is like your two to four years of really sitting down and grinding at it, then don’t complain. That’s my biggest thing. Don’t complain unless you’ve felt some pain, you know? — Braden Blacker

As a true digital native, Braden understands the keeping tabs on trends and trying and revising assets to see what resonates.


For anyone looking to understand streaming’s future, influencer marketing’s evolution, and the mindset driving Gen Z’s brightest stars, this is an episode packed with invaluable insights.

Key Moments:

01:47 Media Cartographer, Evan Shapiro on Securing the CTV Future

05:40 Meet Braden Blacker: The Teenage Media Prodigy

08:31 Braden’s Journey: From Childhood to Media Management

14:01 Building a Career in Social Media and Influencer Management

17:40 Insights and Advice for Aspiring Creators

23:36 Advice on Digital Marketing Best Practices from a Digital Native


Follow Evan Shapiro on LinkedIn and check out his cartography:

Follow Braden on LinkedIn  and on Instagram at @ItsBAEBAKR

Connect with Insider Interviews:






(And you can support this free podcast at or )