Long before anyone heard of overused terms like “creator economy” or “influencers,” Dan Weinstein was at the forefront of the once tiny business of turning digital-native celebrities into household names.

If you remember early YouTube sensations like Fred Figglehorn or the Annoying Orange a decade ago, Weinstein played an instrumental role in their rise as part of Collective Digital Studio, a spin-out of a former Hollywood management powerhouse. Earlier this year, he reunited with his former Collective partners to launch a new firmUnderscore Talent, dedicated to discovering the next wave of emerging talent, albeit on a playing field very different than the one where Weinstein started.

“We’re lucky if they were earning a $1 million a year or $2 million a year, that was the top half of 1%,” said Weinstein on the latest episode of the Variety podcast “Strictly Business.” “Now you’ve got the top half of that same 1% earning $20, $30, $40 million and building companies that I think arguably could be the next unicorns. And that’s just a really exciting place to be.”

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