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From social media to creator tools The evolution of UGC

Report by Hanna Kahlert
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The 20,000 foot view:  Entertainment is suffering intense competition as audience attention time, already saturated before the pandemic, is hit by the gradual return of ‘in real life’ activities. A flurry of new propositions over the last year and a half, namely in streaming and social media, are competing on largely similar grounds – making differentiation ever more difficult. Audiences are responding to these demands on their attention by changing their preferences to the scarce and novel, which favours creation and other ‘lean-in’ behaviours. Meanwhile, on the creator side, new tools are simplifying the process of going from casual creator to fully-fledged independent artist. The space between the two is narrowing, introducing new opportunity for social media and digital entertainment alike to step into this creative ‘white space’. This is the early onset of a new era of user-generated content (UGC).

Key insights

  • Highly engaged,            behaviours are prominent amongst younger                       of males aged            play fantasy            more than twice the rate            any other demographic.            of consumers            curate their own music collections            playlists on streaming
  • This lean-in            demonstrates the early foundation of            long-term need for participation in            rather than purely consumption
  • While consumer-facing            tools are not new, combining            with social will extend both            potential audience base for creator            as well as ensuring the            of social media among a            creative-focused consumer base
  • While ‘tech-focused’            tend to skew male, social-focused            user-friendly propositions (mobile games as            to console, for example) have            more diverse audiences
  • Combining social            creative will allow the creator            sector to compete directly with            stand-alone digital propositions, including music,            and gaming
  • This means            product strategists in music, video            games should pay closer attention            this merging with social, and            their own propositions in order            allow their audiences to diversify            behaviour between lean-in and background

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: Apple, Apple Arcade, BandLab, Discord, Facebook, FL Studio, GarageBand, Google Stadia, Instagram, Myspace, Netflix, PlayStation Now, Roblox, Snapchat, SoundCloud, Spotify, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube