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How a New Breed of Content Creators are Thriving in the Collaborative Economy

Content creators have never had it so good.

Sure, there’s an unprecedented amount of content being produced, which means greater competition in the marketplace, but there is also a huge amount of demand for great video content, and a myriad of ways to monetize that content, thanks to the collaborative economy.

The concept of the collaborative economy is simple. People are able to get what they need from each other rather than getting it from large companies. And according to a recent study by Price Waterhouse Coopers, entertainment and media is where we are engaging in the collaborative economy the most, thanks to iTunes, Amazon, Vimeo, YouTube and the myriad of VOD platforms where content creators can sell their content directly to their audience.

So how do content creators prosper in the face of this Tyrannosaurus Rex sized disruption that is changing the way people purchase and consume content? First of all, let’s look at a few, key principles to consider when looking for opportunities to capitalize on the shifting sand of the entertainment industry.

Niche is the new mass – Evan Shapiro




No, that is not Nietzche spelled wrong. Niches are the lifeblood of content creators. Gone are the days of spending exorbitant marketing budgets on content that is thrown into the void, hoping to find a market. Smart content producers can now start with an audience who share an interest in what they are passionate about. According to Matt D’Avella, the director of the hit indie documentary Minimalism, opportunities lie in collaborating with existing communities, and helping them tell their story.

“I’m now realizing this is a really great way for filmmakers and other creatives to utilize their skills and talents without a following,” Matt reflected during our recent conversation, “because I don’t have a big following, but by collaborating with Josh [Fields] and Ryan [Nicodemus] who have a massive following in the Minimalism movement, I was able to add real value to what they were doing, and they brought a passionate audience to the film.”

Minimalism, the documentary, has enjoyed stellar success because it was made with key founders of a niche movement, yet had universal appeal due to an appealing message of simplifying your life and focusing on what is most important.

The decreased number of sales that can come from the specificity of the subject matter can be offset by an increased profit margin due to eliminating traditional distribution partners, advertising and PR. Not to mention an audience for your material who are likely more passionate, and willing to engage, share and talk about your film.

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