The internet has changed how people consume things, instead of watching the news every night people have news at their fingertips. Albums are rarely purchased from record stores, they are now streamed from Spotify or Apple Music.
An incredibly visual format, easy to grab the copies and make your own fan favourites of certain shows or characters. It is making popular television celebrities from vlogs or digital sketches, sports pundits are growing their own fanbases without the big paycheck from Sky Sports and they’re just regular folks like you and me.
We are now getting a lot of pirated videos from major production companies cropping up on the internet with ease, from full episodes to quick clips. Some of my favourites are fan clips put together to highlight particular things, i.e. “x being sarcastic for 4 minutes”.
This is also where the self-made pundits are coming up, there are some sports commentators that I watch more of on YouTube instead of pay-for-TV.
The big question that now arises though, should the production and media companies worry about these new media creators?
This brings me nicely onto the copyright strikes issue that YouTube has. I honestly didn’t think much of it until this week, when I saw a tweet from a popular rugby union vlogger.
So what made me pay attention to this copyright strike, over the other copyright strikes? The content. I’m a fan of this particular content, rugby as a sport isn’t watched massively in the UK even though it was considered the “national sport”. This type of content, much like parody accounts, brings in new fans and improves interest in the sport. The same would likely work for television shows.
How do I know this? I curiously kept an eye on the aftermath of the Squidge Rugby copyright strikes. Almost immediately after the news began to spread around, the damage the brand had was unbelievable. It was essentially like watching brand self-harm.
The internet isn’t going anywhere, neither will fan-made content. Marketers and businesses need to “be ready” for it and by “be ready”, I mean they should have been prepared for their content to go global through channels that weren’t their own.
Understanding and supporting creators outside of your production ecosystem will help your brand grow, it will give you free advertising and grow your follower-base.
I also understand that copyright is important for businesses, but with the right education and tools these new content creators can become important brand ambassadors.
The future of marketing, as I see it, isn’t a single entity pushing brand messages but a collaborative approach between brands and content creators to share messages and promotions together. Copyright strikes are important, but for those who care about what you do – there are better ways to nurture.