The Hidden War: Platforms vs. Their Emerging Celebrities

Hey. It’s me. Gary. I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention, but if you’re not reading what I’ve been putting down, then you’re behind on one of the biggest points of friction that will affect us from 2016 through 2020. Two things are up against each other. One, platforms are now making it easier than ever for people to become famous. Two, those platforms are trying to figure out how to effectively monetize.

I’ve said for a long time that the internet has squeezed the middle; that includes the dynamics between the platforms that distribute content and the people who create it. Television networks and movie studios never had to deal with anything like this. Because of their stronghold on the distribution of storytelling in our society, there was no room for anything else on the same scale they possessed.

But social has changed all of that. Now we are able to witness a scenario wherein an internet celebrity can jump from being famous on Instagram to being famous on Snapchat. The nimbleness of the creator to go from platform to platform is a now more of a reality than we have ever seen before.

To put it in TV terms, this would be to have a celebrity not only excel at acting in their show, but also lots of other shows because of that initial success. It’s jumping from ABC to NBC to ESPN. It’s owning the game.

This is what is causing the friction. The big personalities can over monetize on a channel outside of the initial platform they got their fame on, so platforms are having to find ways to keep more of the action in their world. It also bleeds itself into the third party of this equation, the middle man or middle woman. The agents and managers who take a part of the arbitrage of the celebrities value to the end consumer.

This is all colliding over the next four to five years, and there will be enormous upside and change a decade from today.

As someone who runs an agency that represents talent, does content, creative and strategy for brands, and is officially a D-list celebrity, I am in the perfect place to watch all of this and understand how it is happening. I’m being pulled in all these different directions. So at some point, I’ll have to break.

I am a fan of meritocracy, and I’ll be watching this whole thing play out, eating popcorn with a big smile, because I know that no matter what, I’m going to adjust. I’m worried for those of you that won’t.

Thanks for reading! Do me a favor? Pass this along to someone you think might find it interesting.

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