How Digital Content Is Raising The Bar In Entertainment
According to entertainment industry expert Jordan Galen, “The massive growth in the creator economy is slowly creating massive penetration into the Hollywood establishment.:
Presented by Luke Lintz
Not too long ago, many kids wanted to be Hollywood stars, professional athletes, astronauts, and doctors, but ask the kids today, and a stunning percentage of them want to be YouTubers, paid influencers, and content creators. According to a study from MSNBC, 86 percent of young people want to post social media content for money.
That seems a bit too high and might not be an accurate representation of the numbers when we consider the study’s sample size. Still, it does highlight a heavy tilt towards paid influencing among the younger generations.
In our current entertainment landscape, Kylie Jenner is more recognizable to younger generations than many celebrities on the silver screen. Tiktok and Instagram are churning out music artists in the hundreds, and their songs are amazing.
According to Jordan Galen, founder of Los Angeles based Talent Agency, Limits Group Talent Agency, “The massive growth in the creator economy is slowly creating massive penetration into the Hollywood establishment and constituting a healthy competition with more traditional forms of media.”
The Allure of Independence
As massive as Hollywood is, it is a highly regulated industry more or less controlled by six companies and a small number of gatekeepers. We now effectively live in a time when kids can become online celebrities using their smartphones in their bedrooms.
Jordan Galen, a former Senior Talent Manager at Faze Clan, one of the world’s biggest esports organizations, identifies the yearning for independence as one of the most alluring factors pulling more people towards content creation. In his words, “A strong desire for independence is drawing many people towards content creation. People are seeing the tremendous success that countless digital creators have experienced over the last five years and are deciding to take a chance on themselves; they are skipping out on college or leaving their corporate jobs to become content creators and are embracing the independence that comes with being creative on their own terms.”
As one of the foremost Talent Agents in America, Galen has built an impressive roster of over 40 digital creators and talent’s under his Agency, Limits Group, and continues to scout for some of the most promising talents who can benefit from the creator economy. Limits Group boasts clients from different verticals; from professional gamers and content creators to models, Skateboarders, and most recently-influencer boxers. Galen insists that the creator economy is growing way faster than anticipated and does have the potential to rival traditional content and entertainment sources.
Real Entertainment Value
The entertainment value in the creator economy has been steadily improving over the years, but in the last five years, it has probably skyrocketed even faster. For instance, most of the Fortnite world cup seems to have gone unnoticed by the establishment media, but that hasn’t slowed down its growth.
Galen has worked as both an agent and a manager for some of the most recognizable gamers in the world of esports, from Frazier “Kay” Khattri (FaZe Kay) to Jarvis Khattri (FaZe Jarvis), FaZe Sway, FaZe Dubs, FaZe Megga, and Charlotte Parkes, amongst many others and has seen firsthand the interest in the esports industry as well as its potential.
“The Fortnite World Cup in 2019 attracted over 40 million gamers, competing for a share of the $30 million prize money. You cannot sweep such high participation numbers and high stakes under the rug. The Fortnite World Cup has helped numerous 15-18-year-olds become millionaires by playing video games and creating content around the game.”
As if the participation stats were not attractive enough, Epic Games, organizers of the Fortnite World Cup, revealed that they sold out the tickets for the 23,700 stadium venue and attracted a concurrent live viewership of over 2.3 million people on Twitch and YouTube.
Another fast-growing entertainment-based industry within the creator economy is the Influencer boxing space. When Logan Paul stepped into the ring to face Floyd Mayweather, influencer boxing went from being a welcome distraction to becoming one of the primary sources of drama content. While Floyd Mayweather didn’t have to move out of second gear for the eight rounds, it still made for fantastic viewing, bringing in more than 1 million buys on pay-per-view.
Galen worked to get professional Gamer, Faze Temperrr, his controversial fight against UK YouTuber King Kenny. Galen was also largely responsible for organizing the FaZe Jarvis vs Micheal Le fight at the Social Gloves: Battle of the Platforms event. Galen recognizes “immense potential” in the influencer boxing space.
“At Limits Group, we’re incredibly bullish on the influencer boxing space and are working closely with top-tier talent and promoters to build it out, formalize it and lock in a larger pool of talent to work with,” Galen explains.
“Not only is it new and exciting for fans to watch their favorite influencer jump in the ring for the first time, but the talent are loving it too since these events have immense earning potentials for the fighters as well as incredible opportunities to work with major brands. These events are attracting really impressive viewership online and offline. With the right pool of talent, structure, and promoters, we feel influencer boxing can potentially become as big as some of the other major fighting organizations such as the UFC or WWE. Limits Group is currently working on bringing in close to 8-figures in contracts to various talent for Influencer Boxing events taking place over the next 3-4 years. That’s how big this is.”
The attention these events have garnered suggests that traditional media content may be up for a real fight in the next ten years should this trend continue. Even the music space is set for massive disruption, with artists like JVKE, Ckay, and JAX constituting an array of breakout Tiktok music stars in the last few years, creating songs on social media that have gone on to receive massive airplay and fanfare.
Is This Just a Gen Z Phase?
“This is not just a phase, there is nothing within the industry that suggests that” is Galen’s response to those who argue that the creator economy will dwindle as the creators get older.
Galen explains, “our roster at Limits Group currently spans talent from the ages of 13-40. As a manager, I have given 15-year-old millionaires media training for their first interview and advised more seasoned creators on how to most effectively rebrand themselves to shift the type of content they create for their channels and fans. This industry effectively cuts across from Millenials, Gen Z’ers and Generation Alpha. As the creators grow older, the content that they create will inevitably change as well and that’s simply part of life. It’s also just as likely that their fans, along with their content preferences, are changing too as they grow older, but there is no proof that creators are leaving the creator economy anytime soon.”
With the amount of attention that creators are currently getting and the earning potential that comes with YouTube or Twitch ad revenue, brand partnerships, and influencer boxing events, it is unlikely that we will see a dwindling number of creators in the future. However, it does seem that the creator economy still has something to worry about; Hollywood’s resources are vast, and if earning potential is the appeal, the chances of a mass crossover are relatively high.
A feature in a Hollywood project is still viewed as the ultimate accomplishment for many social media creators. A movie feature, a song feature, or being signed by a record label are still viewed as massive achievements, and why shouldn’t they? Hollywood and traditional media still have access to a bulk of the resources available in entertainment. This tends to counter the narrative that the creator economy is set up as a rival to Hollywood, It is more than likely becoming an exciting division of the industry and a unique pathway into it. By all accounts, the creator economy seems to have penetrated Hollywood in a positive way.
Entrepreneurs like Galen are invested in this industry and are working diligently to build the necessary structures to see the creator economy thrive. Maybe in 1O years, we will have a clearer picture, but for now, we can only take a seat as we enjoy the immense talents that the creator economy is churning out.