Content Creators Should Take A Cue From Artists And Take Back Control
Musicians and other content creators are being taken advantage by big tech, writes Rally co-founder Mahesh Vellanki .
Op-ed Mahesh Vellanki, Co-Founder/Head of Growth at Rally
Content creators are the cultural catalysts of the 21st century. They are pioneering a new medium of social connectivity and hyper-fandom. They are inspiring artists and other creatives with their unique visuals and production styles. Yet, for most creators, the path to any level of success is challenging. They are forced to homestead on big tech social platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitch, who control every aspect and take the lion share of the multibillion dollar value generated by these creators.
Simply put, creators are being taken advantage by big tech.
Bad Economics – Despite building highly engaged communities and driving enormous views to social media platforms, most creators earn very little. While it varies by platform, one thing is very apparent – big tech companies take the lion’s share of the profits.
No Say – Big Tech controls all aspects of their platforms, leaving creators with no voice or say in platform rules, product or algorithm changes. A creator’s content can be removed or demonetized at any time and with little or no explanation.
Imagine if we took Big Tech policies for its creators and applied them to Hollywood…
- Actors like Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio wouldn’t receive a dime from the studio and only be paid a small fraction of the total box office. Instead of starring in one or two pictures a year, they would need to increase their output exponentially to turn even a modest profit.
- Monumental films like “Parasite” and “Moonlight” could be arbitrarily demonetized or even banned for violating algorithmic policy violations.
In the last 15 years, new advances in technology have radically changed the entertainment industry. Long-held economic models that profited corporations, but trapped creatives, are being challenged and toppled. Creators should learn from artists, filmmakers and other creatives to break the shackles and pioneer new economic models for success.
Artists and musicians faced similar challenges.
Think back even 20 years ago…the goal for most artists was to sign a deal with a major record label because it was the only viable option to get their music heard. Just like creators homesteading on Big Tech now- artists were forced to sign bad deals with major labels for higher production values, distribution and marketing.
With the rise of DIY recording, new distribution platforms like Spotify and Soundcloud, artists are finally able to reach a global audience without label support. Without having to incorporate feedback from the labels, more artists are creating music in their own unique style and voice; not a slickly produced single that fits the top 40 trend of the day.
Instead of building their entire business on social media like content creators, artists are strategically leveraging these platforms as a marketing vehicle to build a global fan base. We’ve already seen a ton of artists like Billie Eilish, Lil Nas X and even Justin Bieber achieve massive success independently and then have strong negotiating power to join a major label on their own terms.
No one expects Big Tech to change. But there needs to be smart alternatives that offer creators much needed new monetization opportunities that allows them to own their own destiny.
Blockchain technology offers a powerful solution.
Our forthcoming blockchain project, Rally, will soon offer creators their own custom-branded cryptocurrency that represents their own personal brand to provide real value and utility to their fans. Unlike big tech economics, Rally will always stand for content creators owning 100% of the economics (no fees), control and community just as Bitcoin and other pioneering crypto projects have trailblazed.
We’ll be sharing more details soon. In the interim, we’d love to hear from creators and artists who want to learn more. You can reach as at email@example.com.
I’ll be presenting at Vidcon on July 22 at 2pm PT and invite you to attend to learn more about our first product, Taki, a personalized video platform, where creators and artists are already earning thousands of dollars by creating personalized videos for their fans.
An expert in ecommerce and marketplace growth, Mahesh Vellanki is Co-Founder and Head of Growth for Rally @mvellank