Overload of Content and its Implication on Creators
Every single day, 1 billion hours of YouTube content is watched, 500 million tweets are shared, 8.95 million photos and 1 billion stories are posted on Instagram, whilst the like button on Facebook is pressed 5.76 billion times. The list goes on and on for TikTok, Snapchat and all other existing social media platforms. In fact, as of right now — I mean right this second — 15.5 new users have just signed up for social media accounts. There is no break to social media interaction and content creation — not only is it constant, it continues to grow at an exponential rate.
It is impossible for people to keep up with the level of content published for us every day. I’m pretty confident I’m not alone when I say that it seems like with every breathe, there is something new posted, craving, demanding my attention.
With this overload of information, user attention towards content has become such a scarce resource in information-rich economies that its own economy is growing around it — simply named, the attention economy.
When there is only limited attention available to certain platforms it becomes increasingly difficult for creators to provide the right type of addictive content. Therefore, the more content is out there the better or the more differentiated new content needs to be to catch people’s attention. In fact, if you differentiate your content by offering value something quiet exciting happens…
People will pay for your content when you offer them value
The success of creator first companies speaks for itself. Patreon and Onlyfans are two examples of platforms which have enabled creators to make a living out of the content they post online. The platforms allow users to subscribe to profiles via a monthly subscription payment for unlimited access to their chosen creator’s content and have thus already paid out more than 2Bn USD to Creators each.
On Substack, for example, journalists can leverage their community following, providing them with the opportunity to receive a payment or subscription for their articles directly, rather than traditionally offering content via third parties like the Washington Post, Financial Times, etc. Such platforms give journalists the opportunity to build a business around their own brand, become self-employed, and potentially generate a larger income for themselves with uncapped upside potential than they would otherwise have had.
Since their foundation, platforms like Substack or Patreon have generated unprecedented value for creators by helping them monetize their “services” — fixing the creator economy. All of a sudden, the middle man (YouTube, News outlets etc.) is redundant, enabling followers or loyal fans to pay their favorite creators directly. Beyond payment, creators are able to create more audience-tailored content and engage with their community
(a win-win for both sides!).
The success of such platforms have proven justified a variety of reasons as to why users want to stay in closer, more direct, contact with their favorite trusted creators. Examples of the value for consumers include:
- Access to higher quality content
- Direct line to their creators
- Personalised content
- Connecting with like minded people on niche topics
- Stronger sense of community and belongingness
- Content curation they can trust
- Creator centric communities
- New, different or unique experiences
The need for such value when experiencing content overload through social media seems to be the obvious solution to the problem and will shape the next generation of social media platforms and content creation within it.
Content creators are the ones that are creating engaging communities around their brand and at some point, as with every business, they will start to maximize for profit. In their case, more and more content creators will start leveraging their audience directly and thus play an even bigger role in the future of entertainment and all things media.
“We’re all consuming more media, and there’s an increasing willingness to pay for high-quality content. The last year has also seen an explosion of great writers and analysts in the space — I believe we’re at the start of a creator breakout.” — Mario Gabriele from The Generalist.
As you have finished reading this article:
- 1,440,000 tweets were tweeted on Twitter
- 1200 hours of video content were uploaded on Youtube
- 238,800 photos were uploaded on Instagram
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Hey! if you liked this article, have different thoughts on the topic, or are an investor / researcher / founder / startup operator, please feel free to reach out via LinkedIn or firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to compare notes and discuss the future of this topic or related ones.
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