The Creators of Today Are The Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow
People might say that it’s too late to become content creators because of saturation, but the reality is that it’s just the beginning. We are on the precipice of a massive transformation that will define our society for many years to come. While not everyone will reach the massive levels of popularity and income as some of the biggest names out there, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the rest of us won’t be able to capture value in the market anymore.
“Forget squeezing millions from a few megahits at the top of the charts. The future of entertainment is in the millions of niche markets at the shallow end of the bitstream.” -Chris Anderson
In 2004, WIRED Magazine editor Chris Anderson published an article detailing the inevitable rise of the Long-Tail Economy. In essence, it means that contrary to what our hit-driven culture leads us to believe, there are true alternatives other than what’s marketed to the mainstream. There are actually a wide array of niches containing an unlimited number of audiences that are interested in consuming products, services, and content related to their needs. Anderson argues that this type of economy gives creators in particular the ability to market their customized content to very small, yet specific and highly engaged audiences.
Back then, businesses were forced to focus on ‘best sellers’. Customer acquisition methods were limited to print ads, TV spots, and radio features, all of which were forms of mass media. Thus, consumption data was also heavily skewed during that period. Because we now have the means to distribute our content digitally, we no longer have to worry about the limitations of covering various markets due to inefficient distribution via physical stores. Anderson predicted that the emerging digital economy would be more personalized and geared towards more passionate communities.
True enough, our economy has indeed shifted. We now have a strong digital infrastructure where advertising platforms are using nuanced targeting based on demographic, psychographic and behavioral data. What’s more is that it’s no longer just physical products that are being marketed. Online entrepreneurs can sell digital products such as exclusive content, subscriptions, and more recently, NFTs.
Interestingly, since this was written, a lot has changed. Whereas the world had more siloed cultures merely two decades ago, today, entire cultures are defined by trends on the internet. From the clothes we wear to the jokes with the people we interact with, they’re all somehow based on what we’ve seen or heard online. This is perhaps the most noticeable difference in the entertainment industry. We are living in a time where certain individuals wield more power than even some of the most established celebrities do.
The figure above represents the vibrant Creator Economy landscape. It depicts the availability of many different resources that makes life easier for anyone aspiring to become a full-time content creator. The cost of tools are significantly lower which makes them accessible. Platforms have developed technology to identify and reach markets for niche products. Search engines have powerful algorithms that make it easy for consumers to find content best suited to their tastes. Creators simply need to choose what to use depending on their needs and get started as soon as they’d like to. As Jack Conte of Patreon puts it, what we’re seeing now is the “LEGO-lizing” of creative businesses.
The landscape has changed so much over the course of the years. So much so that content creators are now becoming much more than just entertainers, but actual entrepreneurs in their own right. The booming industry means that it has the potential to become a viable career path which teaches individuals various skills. Creators must juggle different tasks such as coming up with ideas, identifying audiences, researching algorithms, and using the right combination of tools to aid their growth. There is also a high interdisciplinary learning curve for production, scriptwriting, distribution, and many more. Most importantly, creators who are serious in their craft will know that going down this path means that they have full accountability for the success of their work.
The ecosystem for creators is growing at a rapid speed and content creation is generating compounding interest within the long-tail economy. We are living in times where professional creativity will become the norm and platforms are competing for the best way to compensate creators. At BitFans, we are aiming to be one of the many companies ushering in a new era for the Creator Economy. Our technology goes beyond simple fan interactions. We allow anyone with access to an audience to tokenize their brand and design their very own digital ecosystem. This alongside full transparency gives creators an unprecedented level of ownership over their audiences with less creative restrictions.
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