“Content marketing is the only marketing left.” –Seth Godin.
Content is King! That’s the rallying cry in marketing today. Content producers make content revolving around products and services, hope something “goes viral” and reap whatever benefits they can from that. Companies are shelling out millions of dollars to agencies and content creators are getting paid some money to write articles or produce videos around a company’s products and services. For the company itself, there is a benefit to have their products and services promoted, however tangentially. But what about creatives that are producing content that is shareable and “upworthy” outside of the context of promoted or sponsored content?
How valuable can content be if the people making it and paying for it don’t own it? We live in a world where people “curate” material from artists and post it on their sites with impunity. The AV club didn’t make that video you’re watching. I should know. I made a video that just eclipsed 500,000 hits with no ad dollars behind it based on AV Club and Buzzfeed and Spin picking it up, writing some copy around it, “Curating it” and posting it to their site with only Buzzfeed attributing it as a creation by a person and not just this amorphous idea of “The internet” that AV Club attributed it to.
A website like Buzzfeed, or Huffington Post or The AV Club or Bleacher Report or whatever fly-by-night uncreative algorithm nerds can sit and see what’s trending, steal it, add some cheap copy and accumulate hits until they start the process all over again.
Where is the attribution? Where is the incentive for creatives? This is turning into a Napster-like world for content creatives getting hosed by nerds with marketing budgets and no real creativity.
The model needs to change. Just like it did for the music industry. Someone needs to stand for the creatives and take these neo-monoliths down, or at least have them start paying for the use of videos and content.
If you don’t own it, don’t post it. And if you can’t make it, don’t fake it.