Creator & Small Network Power: Where the YouTube Ecosystem is Going [GUEST POST]

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For the individual creator, “software eating the world” will bring about some changes in how they interact with the ecosystem. Creators will be more powerful than ever before. They’ll have access to enterprise level tools for 10-20 bucks a month, meaning less and less of them will rely on networks for these services.

The downside of a plethora of software of course is the learning curve and the administration. Creators need to do what they do best: create. This creates one big opportunity that revolves around the creator: there will be an increased emphasis on specialization and management.

First, specialization means that creators will interact with a variety of different firms. Optimization, user engagement, ad monetization, brand deals, sponsorships, website building, social, etc. will all become categories that users will have to interact with (if they don’t already). This is on top of all the tools that creators have to deal with: YouTube analytics, Saas apps, Photoshop, Google analytics, SEM, etc.

Second, to deal with this breadth in landscape, creators will increasingly need managers who are apt in traversing around these firms, getting the “other” things done, so that the creator can make videos.

This trend is eerily similar to the early days of TV where the “studio system” dominated the market. For about 40 years, these studios “owned” the stars, along with everything else, like the modes of production. This vertically-integrated model got to a point where antitrust suits broke them up and a “star-driven system” came about. This shift gave birth to a whole new industry that served the star — talent agencies, managers, etc.

It may have taken 40 years for the studio system to transform, but we all know technology tends to move things a lot faster in the modern age.

About the Author: Jimmy Chen is a Manager at Venture Chimp, a talent management firm run by nerds. Contact him: jimmy[at]venturechimp.com

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