A (Less) Rubbish Prediction: The Future of Content Creators

Made by an unqualified, totally biased person who is slightly more informed in this area of technology than in the area of politics.

As technology advances and the reach of bloggers, YouTubers and social media stars increases, advertisers will start to become more crafty with their techniques.

This is already starting to be seen now in many marketed posts that content creators produce online, but this is not an old idea; in fact, it dates back to ancient history.

A Brief History of Advertising in Art

In ancient China, people sold sweets by playing bamboo flutes to attract customers, as recorded in the Classic of Poetry.

In Europe in the Middle Ages, the lack of literacy meant that signs for various trades such as “cobbler”, “miller”, “tailor” or “blacksmith” had pictures associated with them such as a boot, a bag of flour, a suit or a horseshoe.

hard-times-household-words

Another form of art that has been touched by advertising for many years is literature. When literature became available en masse thanks to the printing press, advertisements were run alongside newspaper articles and novel instalments (like Dickens’ Hard Times in Household Words) to increase profitability. For more information about the newspaper and how that influenced media advertising, see footnotes.

However, most artists were supported through patronage up until the middle of the 19th century with the rise of the bourgeoisie and capitalist social forms. This led to the museums, theatres, mass audiences and mass consumption that we are so familiar with.

Now-ish

The most powerful forms of media right now can also be considered art, in a way. Films and TV shows are incredibly influential in our culture – you can’t go a day without a film or Netflix or TV reference – but a lot of them also incorporate product placements and advertisements.

And now to content creators – those free, artistic spirits who turn to the internet for their creative outlet.

GQ3TV02RS6

It’s hard to find a dedicated content creator who doesn’t do product placements, reviews for money, affiliated links, partnerships with companies etc. The art online has become a lot more commercial since the times when people made stuff for the hell of it.

I don’t blame content creators, though. This is the product of capitalism, the fact that we don’t have enough ours in our day or energy to do as much as we want, and the fact that we need to survive somehow. YouTube and WordPress aren’t the worst places to do your job.

The Future

In the not-so-distant future, there will still be novices (like me) creating stuff just because we want to. However, the greatest artists will be supported by creating advertising pieces. Budding artists will be sucked into companies, just as potential software engineers are sucked into tech giants now.

Our need for looking at, listening to and experiencing art will be provided for by brands. Art for art’s sake won’t sway the public anymore – by any means, the artist cannot survive off art for art’s sake so the pieces never reach the mass.

Technological advances mean content creators and brands will have a more powerful reach. Wearables like Google Glass and iGlass will start to incorporate adverts playing in the corner – these will slowly encroach until advertising is everywhere we look, much like in the above video.

Like in Season 1, Episode 2 of Black Mirror, everyday activities will be constantly interrupted by ads.

If you liked this rubbish prediction, check out my previous ones before the 2016 American Elections and post-Brexit. Do you agree with me that all content creators and artists will be supported by brands in the future? What do you think about advertisements in blogs and videos? Let me know in the comments!


Footnotes: Advertisements in Newspapers

With the revolution of the printing press came the first printed newspaper in 1641, but the first successful newspaper in Britain was printed in 1702. After some setbacks in governmental policy, the newspaper industry, thanks to the huge readership and affordability, incorporated advertisements.

La Presse in France was the first to include paid advertisements that lowered its price, increased readership and increased profitability – this business model was copied by all titles. The potential for running repeated ads meant that instead of just selling a product, manufacturers could build up nationally recognised brand names.

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