re: Media 2020: Rise of the Renaissance Creator
Emerging content ecosystems
Hey Jarrod, thanks for writing this piece. I like your articulation of some of these points. In particular this part:
This is what I’m calling the age of the Renaissance Creator — the hybridization of the individual as both a creator and an entrepreneur. This development and definition of ‘creativity’ is one of the more interesting things happening today because it is contrary to the supposed logic for a creator to go independent. We like to say independence (see: passion economy) is valuable because it lets a creator focus on what they do best; create. But actually it’s the opposite. By going independent, the creator is aspiring to not only create, but willingly assume the management and business of their entire self. This acceptance of responsibility as a formula for success will dictate a creator’s desire to go independent and develop a micro-label or decide to limit duties and create within a larger media organization.
I want to be a creator. I want to be a business. I want to be a brand.
And I want to connect this to a thread from Patrick McKenzie:
And I think that many authors are going to find themselves in an inverted Goldilocks zone when they start out, where their existing audience affinity is large enough to get a meaningful amount of money but *not cover their BATNA* until they actually get serious about marketing.— Patrick McKenzie (@patio11) July 27, 2020
This age of substack and individual creator businesses causes:
- Marketers to gain an upper hand over content creators
Listen - the status quo, especially for journalists is not great. Low wages and uncertain working environments.
What does a media org do about this?
Some smart plays for a NYT / Vox /Washington Post:
- Replace their opinion section with a bundle of independent voices.
- Create a grant program to encourage journalism not content
Here’s the Times in 2020: it added 587,000 new subscribers in the first quarter. That’s almost three times the number of total subscribers to the Los Angeles Times. It’s more than 70 percent of the total cumulative subscribers to Gannett’s 260 media properties. The New York Times has more digital subscribers in Dallas–Fort Worth than the Dallas Morning News, more digital subscribers in Seattle than the Seattle Times, more digital subscribers in California than the LA Times or the San Francisco Chronicle.