Koray Erol

Member Article

Koray Erol – Head of Licensing at KOMI Group – on the importance of content democratisation.

Over the past few years, the licensing industry has gone through a seismic shift and has seen the content distribution market evolve from the power being focused on agencies to creators. In reality, that simply means that content creators now have way more options to choose from when it comes to licensing their content. No longer are they reliant on a limited pool of agencies who have historically dominated the sector. In my view, this can only be a force for good as it democratises content creation and puts the power in the hands of those who actually create what we’re all viewing.

There are now more licensing companies than ever before which has driven competition as more players compete for the best videos day in day out. This gives content creators options, flexibility and choice that would have been unimaginable just a short time ago.

As the social media world has expanded, and social brands have ramped up their presence and dominance, their influence has grown and grown as people see them as trustworthy and legitimate sources – often more so than traditional mediums like broadcast and print media.

This influence has allowed social brands to break into the content licensing arena and, in turn, makes them more appealing to creators as they know their videos will be viewed by more people who trust and believe in what they’re watching. The vast majority of creators would, quite rightly, rather their work be showcased on pages they believe in rather than put it in the hands of agencies who don’t really care about where it’s placed and are driven solely by profit.

The world of licensing is now at a stage that if you want to be a successful licensing company you must also be a trusted ‘brand’ on social media. The companies who are not prioritising this are destined to die out in the short to medium term.

User Generated Content (UGC) is a media phenomenon that is fundamentally changing the way we consume information. It’s also ultimately transforming the power of storytelling, which has been the domain of publishers, entertainers, and businesses for years. Social media platforms have led the charge in personal storytelling - especially over the last two to three years with the emergence of TikTok which has really put the power back into the hands of the people.

TikTok has essentially made everyone videographers, authors, editors, photographers, writers, and publishers. UGC continues to morph every day, but at its core it ensures that licensing companies really tell peoples’ stories in an authentic and legitimate way. This – again - is a form of democratisation as creators hold the creative power. And with roughly 3.6bn people in the world using social media, which is predicted to go up to 4.4bn by 2025, its reach and importance is only set to grow in all our lives.

Aside from individual creators, the transformation in UGC licensing and storytelling is also set benefit consumer brands. Most people these days would rather scroll through their feed than watch TV which is still full of long, boring, and irrelevant adverts. The biggest anecdotal evidence to this would be that even when people are watching TV they are also on their phone scrolling through their timelines.

It’s no underestimation that effective UGC can now really make or break a brand as content is what keeps most of us engaged. The power of traditional advertising is dying, whilst UGC can truly demonstrate authenticity, deliver audience reach and drive connections.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by KOMI Group .

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