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Content-Creator Video Dethrones Must-See TV [IAB Research]

We’ve been TikTok-ed. For the first time, people are watching more hours of creator-oriented content than streaming, cable, and broadcast TV combined. And investment in creator-oriented content is skyrocketing, says the Internet Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) new study, while dollars going to studio-produced content are dwindling. Is time ticking on this creator-led bubble? Robert Rose of the Content Marketing Institute explains the opportunities for brands – and the likelihood of a creator-economy correction.

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Aired: October 14, 2022

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We’ve been TikTok-ed. Wait, what? What does that mean? According to a new study from the IAB, original content creation is now outpacing TV production investment. Are we really ready for content created by us to start taking over content created by media companies? What does that even look like? This is the news you need to lead in content marketing.

Hello everybody. Robert Rose here with the news – it’s what’s new but, more importantly, what’s important in the world of content marketing. (For the best in best practices, you can always go to

This week the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) released Brand Disruption Report 2023: Four Key Disruptions Challenging Brands, Retailers, and the Digital Ecosystem (registration required). It’s a lofty report and lofty research with some extraordinary findings.

This is the sixth year the IAB has done this report. This year, they found a number of things:

In a section called “Welcome to H commerce” (hybrid commerce), the IAB points out that a resurgence of in-store shopping combined with ecommerce growth has ushered in a new era of hybrid shopping.

In the second piece, which is really where we want to focus, they see “a seismic shift in the creator economy and how it’s re-defining ‘Must See TV.’”

The report concludes that the explosion of content creators is now changing the balance of power from professionally produced “Hollywood” content to creator-oriented content.

The IAB points to how production investment in broadcast, cable TV, and film is decreasing while investment in creators is skyrocketing.

Here’s an important point: The IAB points to the idea of content creators leveraging their power to build successful consumer product brands. Hmmm, I wonder if there’s any other group out there that talked about this coming.

Anyway, the money data point that the IAB looks to is that consumers now spend more time with creator content than with Hollywood-produced (e.g., professionally produced) content.

Creator content now makes up 39% of weekly media hours consumed by Americans versus 20% for video content on streaming networks and 18% for traditional TV content, which combined equals 38%.

Put simply – people are consuming more TikTok videos and other creator content than TV and streaming content combined.

People watch more @TikTok videos and other creator #content than TV and streaming content combined, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

The driver of this is almost assuredly the explosive rise of TikTok. The study notes this – and also notes that TV production investment is down nearly 20% since 2018.

Our take at CMI: Well, this data is very interesting news for content marketers. We’ve always believed that content marketing may start to actively compete with Hollywood content. We have to remember that, as product and service brands, we have the same ability to compete with Hollywood content – as content creators do. Salesforce launching Salesforce+ is a data point in that journey.

RelatedHow’d You Make That Awesome B2B Content for Salesforce?

So, this is very interesting news as brands start to think about balancing TV ad dollars with original content production.

However, we should look at the Hollywood investment reduction with a grain of salt. Hollywood (as a collective that includes Amazon, Netflix, and all the major studios) was arguably way over-invested in the content battles that are fueling the streaming subscription wars happening right now. So, take that reduction in production in context.

We aren’t looking at any kind of replacement for Hollywood. The huge bulk of media investment will still be made by these big companies. You’re still going to get your next season of Squid Game.

And we are overdue for a correction in the content creator market as well. TikTok will definitely flatten. We are due to see a correction in the vast tsunami of content.

But this is worth paying attention to –the IAB study is very interesting to note as we start to see the democratization of content creation and audience building emerge to even the lowest levels of content creators. All you need is – well – great content.

And that’s it. That’s five minutes of news you need to lead in content marketing. I’m Robert Rose. And for now, remember, it’s your story. Tell it well.

I’ll see you next week.

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