The rise of the creator economy

We’re now in the midst of a media transformation. With creators having direct connection to their audience they have the ability to directly source revenue. The audience is now their customer.

Alongside the proliferation of streaming TV we've seen a major societal shift in how creators have a direct connection with their audience.

In the traditional model, seen since the birth of mass media, delivery of content is handled by an intermediary partner such as a TV provider, newspaper, magazine etc.

In this model, the partner pays for content and sources revenue through advertising. In a challenging game of tug and war, the partner has to be both sympathetic to advertisers needs without compromising creators independence. The more attractive the audience in terms or size, segment or other, the more revenue opportunities exist. The model then pits the audience as the commercial asset... the sellable product.

Today, we're see the maturity of the creator economy with it becoming the chosen path for many independent creatives. A creator is empowered and no longer compromised with demands for page hits or video views. They can focus solely on creating good content knowing they will be rewarded with a passionate and paying audience.

Tools at their fingertips.

This transformation has sparked new technology platforms to help independents create sustainable businesses. Substack is energising a tribe of great journalists and writers to create revenue from newsletters. Gumroad helping creators of all types with a platform to sell courses, content, software and more. Patreon allows the ability to reward monthly paying customers at different levels and tiers.

Then there's Twitter. Just last month they announced a pending change to the platform introducing 'Super Follows'. The feature will allow users to charge fans for exclusive content.

Medium too has announced a pivot in its approach, removing its editorial arm. It has seen the successes of platforms like Substack and is moving back to a solely community editorial platform, paying commissions to creators from its membership base.

It's certainly capped off a big few months in the space with pressure on intermediary bodies as creator have huge incentives to go independent. May we see restrictions enforced by publications and studios limiting creators in their attempts to connect with their audience?

The creator economy is great for athletes too.

Will we see more elite stars, 'up-and-coming' rookies or brand savvy amateurs look to establish direct connections with fans? Athletes have a captive audience with their often large social followings. Whether it's post game email digests, training plans, insights and strategy, behind the scenes content, exclusive podcasts... the options are endless. With an audience as the customer athletes have the opportunity to be truely authentic!

As this shift, and the creator economy grows are we seeing the a realignment of media? Are audiences overcome with the constant barrage of display ads and spooky re-marketing tactics? Are audiences gaining appreciation and understanding that good content is not free?

Whatever it is and maybe it's all too early to tell but the continued rise of the indie creator is exciting to witness and something sport should take note.

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