Sunday, July 29, 2007

Get down with UGC - Never been a better time to be creative..

Five years ago you submitted your demo CD to a music label, it sat on a desk with the pile they’d received that day, and you’d be lucky it got heard. If you made the cut they would sign you up to a tidy iron-clad agreement, they’d ‘lend’ you some cash, you’d have a neat matt-printed gatefold ep and if you’re half decent you may just recoup your costs.

Welcome UGC – user generated content. It’s an acronym that’s been thrown around on the latest client brief ‘mandatories’, and usually sits around slide five on the ‘how to do web2.0’ presentation. But only now are we seeing it starting to hit paydirt for the U in UGC. I’ve always felt creativity was undervalued, but if you produce music, film or graphic art, now’s never been a better time to reap the rewards.

It was providers like YouTube that gave us the tools to make it dead easy, the user’s drove the content, then the providers started to monetize - Ad revenue for UGC is expected to top 1 billion this year. And now it’s the brands that are serious about getting a slice of this action.

The music world was one of the first to benefit, I was lucky to take out the Nokia Connecting Beats competition in ’05, a trip to the UK and an east coast tour, no elaborate contracts, no product sponsorships, no creative control. Now there’s opportunity everywhere, from your Unearthed to your Toohey’s Extra Dry uncharted, offering some serious rewards and exposure.

And next is video. With an estimated 300 billion eyeballs watching video online, YouTube has sped up the opportunities for video producers. This week MyspaceTV launched The Storyteller Challenge, an initiate for video producers offering $25k and a potential deal with FOX in the states. Al Gore’s Current.TV has been offering cash for user generated ads for a while now. And there’s a new competition every day if you have 5 minutes and a handycam. See Sony or Fosters.

If you’ve got talent there’s an active worldwide audience a few clicks away and some serious brands willing to be associated with your content. It’s a great time for creative types and as the audience for this content skyrockets, so to will the opportunities.


nat said...

Hey Nice post (and blog)...
I agree with the post. finally it seems UGC is starting to delivery on its promise for Users - the "U".
Because I am working on a project in these area I am constantly thinking of how to ensure UCG is relevant for the creator. Something that I think a lot of UGC competitions lack...

Glenn Rogers said...


Agree, there's a lot of opportunity, but those clients considering competitions need to put a bit of thought into the incentive for the user and the relevance to their target audience. It's not necessarily you build it and they will come.