The Creator’s Power Shift – From Platform Dependency to Platform Indifference

For years, creators have flocked to platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok, drawn by the allure of high engagement and monetization tools. These platforms have positioned themselves as modern day patrons of the arts, providing the tools and audience to turn hobbies into careers. But with such support comes a precarious form of reliance—platform loyalty—that can tether a creator’s livelihood to the fickle nature of platform policies and revenue sharing models.

The peril of this reliance has been starkly illuminated by recent events where creators find themselves restricted, demonetised or banned from platforms—deplatformed—for being on the wrong side of opinion or content guidelines, often with little explanation or recourse. The message is clear: build your house on someone else's land, and you risk being evicted at a moment's notice. 

The message is clear: build your house on someone else's land, and you risk being evicted at a moment's notice.

But content creators are pushing back, not content to stay as just presenters signed to someone else’s brand, at their whim and mercy; they are becoming savvy entrepreneurs following a framework of their own making.

The paradigm of platform indifference

A subtle yet profound transformation is underway, one that might escape notice in the frantic pace of digital change: the migration from platform dependency to a resilient digital sovereignty—platform indifference—. The indicators of this shift are nuanced but telling. Creators are steering away from the conventional trajectory of on platform revenue sharing and even shunning brand deals choosing instead to establish and nurture their own brands, by dispersing their audience, encouraging reposts and fan interactions such as reactions, and edits, creators can simultaneously build a strong community and an immunity from deplatforming.

This new dynamic brings its own set of complications, notably in the realm of content attribution. The lack of transparent licensing agreements puts those who share and modify content in an uncertain legal position, unsure of what is permissible. Clear licensing and attribution protocols are crucial to maintain the ecosystem's integrity and its long term viability.

The ILO is supporting platform indifference with the introduction of a new license targeting creators —The Open Media License— which builds on our Open Software License but covers any media and does not restrict the activites of the licensee, requiring them only to attribute in a clear, concise format.

The Ecosystem

As content creators are deliberately and thoughtfully shifting gears towards this diverse and self-sufficient model, The ILO works to build the frameworks that can underpin these models and enable the strategic leverage of each platform to build a more resilient, platform-agnostic presence, where creators treat platforms as a means not an end.

The ILO empowers them to extend beyond the conventional merchandise, soft drinks and ephemeral brand deals into substantial products and ventures that embody their brand's true ethos. The objective is to align more closely with what resonates authentically with their audience, forging not just transactions but connections that are meaningful and enduring.

The ILO's licensing tools power this ecosystem, with platforms like ILOCX and Startup America serving as the perfect example, creating a conduit between creators and the world of product and brand licensing, offering opportunities that transcend the tired and true merchandise, soft drinks and foods. ILOCX doesn’t just open doors; but pave new paths for creators to discover partnerships that align with their brand values and aspirations.

Using these platforms creators can embark on a journey from a brand to a business entity, licensing a product idea that harmonises with their brand, nurturing it into a full-fledged business, and then strategically expanding using promotional and territorial licensing. This model is not just about diversifying; it's about scaling with purpose, precision, and personal touch.

The promise is substantial, enabling creators to raise capital by offering licenses for their brand or products, effectively spreading their business on a global scale. 

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