“As the definition of user-generated content (UGC) expands, dedicated platforms are emerging to support this new type of creator. These nascent platforms are more than just places to create and share user-generated content: rather, they combine elements of talent management, venture capital and marketing to help UGC creators turn a profit.
“Search Google for ‘UGC,’ and you’ll find the term has been used to describe just about every form of content generated primarily by individuals. YouTube videos and Twitch streams are UGC. So are the in-game applications or modification packs used by Roblox or Minecraft players. Cosplayers are sometimes described as UGC creators, as are writers and photographers. Memes? Those are UGC, too.”
Source: Alexander Lee, Digiday
AT A GLANCE:
Writing for Digiday, Alexander Lee examines the rapidly evolving world of user-generated content, which has expanded to include everything from YouTube videos, livestreams and in-game modifications to cosplayers and even internet memes.
UGC platform Overwolf is one of many startups hoping to capitalize on the rise of user-generated content. The company specializes in creators of in-game content, or, as Lee describes it, “content that overlays or exists entirely within pre-existing titles, such as Roblox mini-games or Minecraft ‘modpacks’ that users can download to make their graphics cleaner or tools more efficient.”
Just last month, Overwolf launched a $50 million “Creator Fund” aimed at helping in-game content creators monetize their creations. “The monetary aid provided by Overwolf, in addition to its support in marketing and distribution, has helped some participating game modification developers turn their hobbies into revenue-generating businesses,” Lee writes.
Also in August, UGC platform Infinite Canvas announced its launch, and has so far distributed more than $1 million to participating creators. Overwolf and Infinite Canvas both take a share of UGC revenues, with Overwolf claiming a 25% stake.
Established players such as game developer EA are also getting in on the UGC action. EA announced the launch of its Creator Network in early September.
Dedicated to supporting and creating opportunities for UGC creators within EA titles, the new platform “casts a wider net than Overwolf or Infinite Canvas,” Lee notes. “We have talented artists in our Apex community, cosplayers in our Mass Effect community and amazing screenshot artists in our Battlefield and Need for Speed communities, just to name a few,” EA CMO David Tinson told Lee. “To us, they are all creators.”
While pre-existing services such as YouTube and Twitch already act as monetization platforms for UGC creators, initiatives such as the one at EA aim to go much further in terms of support. “Much like Substack is intended to help writers monetize their work independently, UGC platforms are designed to give creators the support they need to become businesses in their own right — not just independent contractors,” says Lee.
Doug Petkanics, CEO of streaming infrastructure company Livepeer, agrees. “When one of these platforms gets it right, it’s going to have most of the features of what you see in YouTube or Twitch. But it’s going to come with the superpower of controlling your economic identity.”
Head over to Digiday to read the full story.