Since the content creator is King, do distributor platforms even matter anymore?
The battle between content creators and content distributors to be named King of the market can be deemed a Game of Thrones episode by itself. While those burning the midnight oil to create high-quality content will argue that there is no case made without their efforts, distributors of the same will claim that without their role in pushing that content through the right avenues, it will remain unnoticed and washed over.
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However, a good look at the digital market today seems to be tilting the odds more in favour of the content creators. This is because people have begun to equate quality with brand value, without the platforms being a deal-breaker.
To explain this, let’s take the example of a popular name in the Indian food market – Sanjeev Kapoor. When Kapoor first entered the food industry as an amateur chef, he had to rely on the channels which had signed him up to be the face of their brand to popularise his recipes and videos. For instance, when he started Khana Khazana in 1993, it was followed more on the basis of its distributor Zee Network than on Kapoor himself. However, the name Sanjeev Kapoor has now become a brand in itself, and with a Twitter following of 1.26 million users, it can be safe to say that his original content is now being consumed for him and not for who puts it out on a channel.
On an international scale, let’s take a look at the controversial content put out by President Donald Trump through Twitter and otherwise. Like it or not, the man has a follower base of 26.5 million followers on just Twitter alone. And tomorrow, if he shifted his platform for his rants to another social media forum, we’d all probably be following that, too. The reason for this is the fact that what Donald Trump says matters more than the platform through which he pushes it.
Similarly, the Kardashian sisters can own all the social media platforms and even have networks clamouring to broadcast their shows, because people followed them as a trend, without caring all too much about their distribution model. Kim Kardashian herself has an explosive following of 28 million on Facebook, 50 million on Twitter, and 91.7 million on Instagram, which also points to the importance of image versus textual content, at least in the case of the Kardashians.
As for the brand values of companies, a changing trend of excess favour towards quality over quantity has been seen. A case in point is the Indian dairy brand, Amul. Amul is known to release the most intelligent ads relevant to the times. Be it through hoardings on the road, spaces on the lower half of newspapers or through a 50 second TV commercial, these ads have a ready audience whatever their form.
In recent times, we can even take the example of news producer and reporter Arnab Goswami. Goswami, who used to host the infamous Newshour debate on Times Now, had one of the highest TRP ratings among his contemporaries. As a result of this, the network Times Now would also receive a higher share of all-round views, on the basis of this one show. When Goswami turned in his papers a few months ago and set forth to create his own channel, Republic TV, a large chunk of his followers who were subscribed to Times Now, un-followed the network and turned its interest towards Goswami’s newest venture instead. This is because it was Goswami’s content on the Newshour that spoke to them more than the network which was carrying it.
The reason for taking these radically diverse individuals or organisations as examples was to prove that they all have one thing in common – a following based on the content they produce by virtue of their independent brand values, rather than that of their distributor channels or models. While both are important in its own space, it can be suggested that while the content distributor can be named a crowned prince, it is the content creator that holds the title of King.