The Multi-Billion Dollar Battle for Content
It’s a good time to be a creator.
The major platforms have clearly decided that the one that’s able to attract the most creators will be the one that wins the battle for dominance.
This week Facebook announced that it is launching a program to pay $1 Billion over the next year to people who are posting on Instagram, especially focusing on high-performing reels content. This comes off the heels of TikTok’s $2 Billion investment, spread over three years, to compensate creators. Not to be outdone, Snapchat has quietly been cutting cheques totalling as much as $1 million per day.
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Instagram’s mountain-of-cash announcement is not surprising when you consider that TikTok just became the only non-Facebook app to cross 3 billion downloads worldwide as it continues to mount its charge against the social media juggernaut.
In one way, the platforms are competing against brands, as the creators can only accept cheques from so many people at once, and they may be less likely to promote a product when they can just take Zuckerberg’s cash in exchange for posting what they want. At the same time, where there’s demand, supply is sure to follow. With as many as 30% of kids answering “Youtuber” when asked what they want to be when they grow up, and a world that’s getting more news and entertainment from individuals than from networks, there is sure to be no shortage of people for brands to work with to tell their stories.
The net result is most definitely going to be more diffusion in the media landscape, and when there isn’t a small set of media companies controlling which messages get to which audiences, inevitably the brands with the best stories will be the ones that succeed.
Every one of us needs to be looking at our own content and media plans and asking ourselves whether we’re set up for a world where individual creators attract the greatest share of our audience’s attention.