In my last piece, I proposed that the media companies of tomorrow should look like the record labels of today. In the music industry, talent is the driving force behind its business. Talent is the source of the reputation and the end of the line when it comes to driving financial returns. Without world-class talent creating great products, it doesn’t matter how well you promote or polish it — the results will be the same.
The “monetize the individual” disruption in media serves as an opportunity for business reinvention of companies who choose to recognize and react to this newly acknowledged trend forming. It’s not just about enabling and liberating talent, but more importantly about maintaining, supporting and growing that individual’s business better than they’re able to do on their own or elsewhere. The future media business will extend to newfound territory that fortunately for them, is right in its wheelhouse: Talent Management (Artists and Repertoire A&R).
Now if media companies are record labels then journalists are rock stars. And while media companies spend time working to restructure and focus their business on talent and become “the label”, we’ll see a lot of individuals exit the major “labels” and go independent. These creators will then structure themselves as independent media companies and develop micro labels themselves.
As these media companies and platforms start to become venues for creator operations and development, the individual’s brand becomes a business of its own. The journey someone takes to build their business is completely uncharted and adapts natively to their specific needs. That’s because this new world is one won by Janes of all trade. It encourages experiential nuance & a ‘build the plane while you’re flying it’ approach to entrepreneurship. What’s most often discussed are individuals who leave a media company to go and build a brand of their own. Their background is usually as a writer, designer, editor and they carry their individual reputation from a known publication or Twitter to their new independent business.
But the opposite is also happening; entrepreneurial minds who have built businesses at established companies or on their own are also choosing a path to become creators themselves. So unlike those who have built a career in…