Lights, Camera, TikTok
The recent double strike in Hollywood has inadvertently diverted the spotlight to an unexpected group: digital content creators.
The ongoing actors and writers strikes could set the stage for established actors to embrace platforms outside the traditional studio system, such as TikTok or Instagram (META). Meanwhile, to keep the content train rolling, studio heads and producers might look outside the unions to internet-savvy creators, blurring the line between traditional and digital fame like never before.
Previous major strikes in Tinseltown effectively rewrote the rules of the industry, giving way to the rise of reality TV. Is there another tectonic shift in the making?
Virality to Viability
Once upon a time, achieving viral status online was viewed as a stepping-stone toward a career in traditional TV or films. This narrative is changing.
Thanks to the lucrative prospects of sponsored content, merchandise sales, and monthly subscriptions, many creators are finding digital platforms a more reliable and rewarding medium than the Hollywood studio system and traditional entertainment.
The creator economy is forecast to expand from its current worth of an estimated $250 billion to a predicted $500 billion in the next five years. As it continues to thrive, the allure of Hollywood may be dimming.
The Creator’s Cut
The doors to stardom are open wider than ever to aspiring creators. Platforms like YouTube (GOOGL) took a battering ram to entertainment gatekeepers, leading to a flood of viral hits and lucrative marketing deals for emerging creators. This turned what was once a casual hobby into a revenue stream for many with no connections to the traditional studio system.
But producers are nothing if not hungry for the next hit. As the Hollywood strike persists, studios and streamers might be scrambling to fill their content calendars. Signing deals with influencers and online content creators could be a lucrative way to do so.
This represents a potential windfall for creators, but also a challenge, as they navigate the choppy waters of strikebreaking criticism and evolving storytelling styles. As the entertainment landscape evolves, it’s important to remember this isn’t a zero-sum game. After all, both traditional and digital entertainers are fighting for the same thing: a world where the creator is indeed the star.
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