A group of young English people have lived for two weeks in a huge Alicante villa, located in the municipality of Jávea, with ten bedrooms, a kitchen and living rooms, palm trees, a swimming pool and a sort of bar in the garden. There are nine of them, they are in their 20s and together they have more than eight million followers on TikTok, the popular social network for short videos.
The house is called The Jet House and the number of followers was key to enter. “We chose those who had larger fan accounts,” explains Nick (@repnicktv), one of the promoters of the idea and a member of the collective. “This way we help each other and we can benefit more.” They hope to soon surpass ten million followers and become the largest TikTok mansion in Europe (in those terms).
The Jet House is one of the first collaborative houses of ‘tiktokers’ that were born in Spain. Their mission is to bring together content creators – mainly on this network, although they also upload videos to YouTube and photos to Instagram – and use the space to work together. “It’s very attractive to those of us who make videos on social media,” Nick continues. “For creators, it can be difficult to shoot every day. This covers a lot of things: you make videos, you make friends and you have the possibility of making more money. It’s a way of life. People come, have fun and work.”
The phenomenon has years, what has changed is the lifestyle: today they meet in mansions with swimming pools and gardens
The houses of ‘influencers’ – people with many followers on social networks and the ability to prescribe who make a living from it – are not entirely new.
“In social networks, especially on YouTube, collaborative videos in which several ‘influencers’ participate are very successful,” explains Patricia González, marketing director of 2btube, an agency representing digital talents. “A natural evolution has been for groups to live together, which makes it easy for them to record their videos. You have to understand that creating content is your job, so living with others is like living with colleagues. The phenomenon goes back years ago. What has changed is the lifestyle: the most recognized talents are grouped today in mansions with swimming pools, gardens and enough space for several ‘sets’ of recording “.
In Spain there is the case of September 13, a flat where the ‘youtubers’ Chusita, RoEnLaRed, Curricé, Rush Smith and JPelirrojo got together five years ago. In the world of eSports, the team houses are known Team Heretics or G2, the home where Ibai Llanos, the popular video game announcer (or ‘caster’, as they call themselves) lives. TikTok has only accelerated this trend: in The Angels several have been born in recent months and it was a matter of time before the idea was replicated in Europe. In the United Kingdom, it opened the first in the middle of a pandemic, in mid-April, under the name The Bytesquad.
Only English in the house of Jávea
Sitting on the round fuchsia sofa that decorates the Alicante mansion, Nick tells elDiario.es the origins and operation of The Jet House. “I have lived and worked in Mallorca, so when I had this idea I started looking for a house there. We looked for the biggest and cheapest one and we found this one on the peninsula. There are a couple of houses in the UK, but we wanted to differentiate ourselves, have an argument unique sale “, account. “It is the first house of English creators in Spain. We have sun, palm trees … It’s incredible. We love Jávea”.
The young man has 1.9 million followers on TikTok and has entered the house with his girlfriend Maddie (@maddiedavies) and his partner Charlie (@charliedavismagic), who does magic tricks. The rest of ‘tiktokers’ were chosen through a casting that they launched on the network.
“We received about 200 applications, but it was difficult to convince the candidates. The idea is not to come for a couple of months, but to stay here for a long time,” he continues. They have a rental contract until May 2021 and their plan is to look for another house in Spain afterwards (ideally in Mallorca, but they do not rule out staying in Jávea). In principle, they limit entry to English influencers. “We were thinking of expanding it, but we wanted to have some base. And our audience is still the UK.”
Unlike G2 or Team Heretics, in which a company or businessman hires ‘influencers’ to live there, in this TikTok mansion the rent is paid by everyone. Each one has its channels and income and they aspire to generate enough brand with the house so that money also enters there.
“The Jet House gains something from YouTube videos, but at the moment it is not much,” continues the founder. “The creators generate their own income and each pays their rent. We paid about 350 pounds (380 euros to change) to live … in a mansion! In London, my girlfriend and I paid 1,300 pounds for a studio. Here they are 350. And we have a pool, a bar, everything. We are living and enjoying ourselves; in the end we are just teenagers who have had a fun idea. ”
In this sense, his house is different from another born in Spain a few weeks ago: Hype’s house. Located in Marbella, there was a week-long ‘influencers’ contest sponsored by various brands. Among them, the house itself, a holiday accommodation that gave space.
“During the pandemic TikTok has exploded. I know of several projects where ‘influencers’ meet to make content. I decided to differentiate it and join several to make a ‘reality’ type format where they compete to be the ‘influencer’ of the summer”, says Stefan Toth , the Slovak living in Spain behind the idea. Toth brought together eleven young ‘tiktokers’ who participated at paid expenses but without receiving remuneration. The winner, Ely (@ ely.oficial), has won “a contract valued at 10,000 euros with La Casa del Hype,” explains Toth, which means that from the house they will provide brands for him to collaborate with, not that they give him 10,000 euros gross. They are already preparing the winter edition.
The Jet House’s future plans go through establishing its members in Spain, obtaining contracts with brands (they mention Krispy Kreme Donuts, an American chain) and, why not, an investor. “We want to stay for several years, so we are looking at how to get residency, open a bank account and so on,” says Nick. The parents of one of the participants have a house in Mallorca and know Spain, so they help them with all the legal paperwork.
“And there are already interested investors,” he says. “They would be good for us so we don’t have to pay to live here. They are entrepreneurs to whom we have sent our income forecast and they have been interested. They want to see successful projects. And we can put in money, but we could make even more money if we do crazy things. Like renting a helicopter for a day … Very visual things to show on video on TikTok and YouTube. ”
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