The Value of Content Creators to Big Tech

In November, the company formerly known as Facebook announced that it would offer creators a platform that will allow them to work around Apple’s infamous 30% revenue fee. To go with this announcement, the tech giant has also unveiled a bonus program that promises influencers and content creators anywhere between $5 and $20 for each new subscriber through the end of 2021, as part of their $1 billion program designed to attract content creators to its platform. This comes on the heels of Tiktok announcing its own creator fund earlier in the year

What does all of this mean? Besides this being another in a sequence of moves to capitalize on creating alternatives to Apple’s notorious creator fees, this signals a significant shift in the digital landscape. The largest digital platforms and tech giants are validating influencers as an industry, and recognize just how lucrative the creator economy has become. All of the big names in digital media want to be the destination for the hottest and most popular digital video content, and they’re willing to bid big bucks to achieve that goal.

A Changing Digital Landscape

Media giants haven’t always valued the creators that make content for their networks. In many cases, such as Vine and the earlier incarnations of Instagram, these platforms gave creators few options to monetize their content in a meaningful way. Despite the numbers proving that these content creators – makers of everything from short 6 second funny videos to longer-form deep dives into special topics – drove massive amounts of traffic and eyeballs to their channels, these platforms didn’t offer many direct payment options or even ad placements for creators.

So what changed? When the pandemic happened, all eyes shifted to the internet. With millions stuck at home with nothing else to do, there was a sudden demand for massive amounts of content, especially for videos. With larger movie and television studios scrambling to adapt to social distancing and other roadblocks to creating their products, content creators for social media still had everything they needed to continue churning out the same videos they always have. As a result, the demand for video content on social media skyrocketed. 

Competition for Video Content

However, even as the world has reopened, those numbers have generally remained as high as they were during the pandemic. Circumstances have changed, but consumer expectations have not. We live in a world where Gen Z is more likely to stay home with friends and watch videos in their living room instead of going to the movie theater. Companies like Facebook and Tiktok have noticed that, and are angling to become the first thought in the average user’s mind when they want to watch engaging new content. 

However, Facebook and Tiktok are only the most recent platforms to promise funds to creators willing to make exclusive content for them. Pinterest has its own fund designed to highlight underrepresented creators. Snapchat pays out $1 million per day to its top creators and claims it has made many influencers on its platforms millionaires. Youtube has its Youtube Shorts Fund that is on track to pay out over $100 million over 2022-2023 to creators who make videos up to 60 seconds on their platform, in an effort to combat Tiktok and Snapchat’s dominance in the short video market. Instagram will be launching their own bonuses program soon, even though that will be invite-only (at least at first). 

What Does This Mean for Creators and Consumers?

All of this means that there are no shortages of opportunities for video creators looking to make money for their hard work. Look for companies to continue bidding and upping the ante to be the destination for the hottest new videos that Gen Z and millennials want to watch in their free time. In contrast, look for your favorite creators to move around the digital landscape to find the platform that makes the most sense for them as free agents – both artistically and for their wallet. 

It’s an exciting time to create videos, and a wide open market for viewers who just can’t get enough of them. Interested in seeing what these content creators can do to further your brand? Schedule a call with us today to learn more about how Sideqik can boost your marketing campaigns.

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