The Daily Creator Roundup

3 must-reads from the week

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Hi everyone.

I’m trying something new today.

Instead of breaking down a concept, below is a roundup of a few interesting things I read this week related to the creator economy and broader digital media business.

My thinking:

I spend significant time each week keeping up with the creator and digital media industry. I want to help you stay informed while saving you that time.

Let me know if this is a useful service.

If enough of you like it, I’ll start doing this each week.

If not, this will be the last time I do it :)

Weekly Creator + Digital Media Roundup

Three interesting things I read this week:

Interesting take here on a trend in the creator space. Instead of trying to amass millions of followers, many folks with niche skills and expertise are building businesses teaching their skills.

Think of a great accountant, wealth advisor or math teacher. Everyday people can now build audiences and businesses teaching the skills gained in their jobs (and make far more money than they would in their jobs).

I’m a huge believer in this trend, with companies like Maven providing the technology to make nearly anyone an online teacher. If you have some kind of expertise and ability to communicate, the upside is enormous.

I’m fascinated by what’s happening with Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) deals and college athletics.

I was a Division I athlete, and it was against the rules to have a hamburger paid for. Now, college athletes are signing 7-figure brand deals. It’s wild how much has changed so fast.

At almost every Division I school, college football and men’s basketball supports the rest of the athletic department. Most college sports programs are subsidized by these two giants.

We’re now in an era where an athlete in an “unprofitable” program can make 7-figures per year, like LSU gymnast Olivia Dunne. How does that shift the dynamic of these programs? How do the economics of college athletic programs change?

It’s too early to tell, but this is a huge creator market that’s just beginning.

BuzzFeed — the digital media company known for viral quizzes and listicle content — has been hammered like many other digital media businesses over the last several years.

But that changed overnight, literally.

The company’s stock rose by 120% on Thursday after it announced it would be integrating “AI-inspired content” into its business. It’ll use OpenAI’s tools, the company behind ChatGPT.

Let me translate what “AI-inspired content” means:

“We’re going to use AI to create loads of new content at a fraction of the cost of humans.”

Two thoughts on this:

  • The digital media business model is still fundamentally broken. It’s a race to the bottom for ad impressions. AI will only continue that trend if it doesn’t somehow change.

  • That said, the creative possibilities of leveraging AI alongside a skilled content creator is exciting. We’re not going backwards.

BuzzFeed’s CEO explained his vision for using AI more here.

Please send me feedback on today's post.

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Have a great weekend.

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