Tumblr CEO David Karp on How The Microblogging Site Helps Its Content Creators Monetize


More than ever, content creators have access to an abundance of tools and platforms to distribute and monetize their content online. Platforms like YouTube are great for all forms of creators in industries that include music, beauty, film, dance, comedy and fashion. With Google investing millions of dollars in acquiring content for YouTube, the war for online content continues amongst the major content platforms. How many platforms should creators use to build and engage with their fanbase? Will the engagement and appeal of video content slowly replace other traditional forms of content?

David Karp, founder and CEO of Tumblr, was on stage today at the PaidContent Live conference run by GigaOM. Tumblr currently has over 90 million posts created per day on the platform and has a library of over 45 billion posts. “A lot of top YouTube creators are also leveraging Tumblr not just as a creative tool but also to build an audience,” Karp said. When asked about how monetization on Tumblr compares to YouTube, Karp voiced his concern that YouTube seems to be over-monetizing its user base. Back in 2002, Karp mentioned that there was a huge diversity of content through Google blogs, but stated that when Adsense came along in 2005, “the blogosphere started to homogenize, and creators started to line up behind Adsense and it was all about getting a buck.” He mentioned a lot of creators can’t control the types of advertisements on their YouTube videos. “We don’t want to be too prescriptive at Tumblr.” According to Karp, the Tumblr platform is different. “We want to keep the network wide open to let creators do whatever they want.”

Karp also revealed impressive statistics on the monetization that had gone on behind the scenes at Tumblr: over the last couple of months, there have been a total of 70 book deals through content on Tumblr and three TV development deals. “Tumblr monetizes all the engagement that creators are bringing in,” said Karp. Although the company is not yet profitable, he firmly stated that profitability was not an important milestone for them.

It will be interesting to watch how the Tumblr monetization strategy evolves over time. While the YouTube partner program has allowed over 30 thousand channels to make meaningful incomes, Tumblr has yet to reveal statistics on how much their content creators are making from its platform.

About the author: Derrick Fung is the co-founder and CEO of Tunezy – a website where fans can gain access to exclusive experiences with their favourite YouTubers. Derrick is a top 20 under 30 entrepreneur named by Profit Magazine and a former investment banker.

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