Spotify just announced its creator fund in association with its new social audio application called Greenroom. Just think of it as Clubhouse or Twitter Spaces, but on Spotify, one of the world’s largest music streaming platforms.

People who create followings on Spotify will be paid based on their room sizes and general engagement. Clubhouse recently announced a similar creators fund and already paid some creators who built audiences using their app. Apparently, creators will get 100% of the revenue they generate in the Spotify model.

Not to be outdone, Facebook just demoed its social audio application and announced plans to compensate creators. And of course, there is YouTube, which announced a $100 million investment in their video Shorts program … with all the money supposedly going to creators.

Over the past many years, Facebook, Twitter, and Google have focused nearly all their energy on driving revenues from advertising. They never really focused on creators. Now, every platform is throwing money at full- and part-time creators.

What’s the deal? Why now?

Money. Substack is taking money away from Big Tech. So is Discord. And Twitch. Now, there is a war for creators. All these social and publishing platforms want to woo the next big wave of creators – not to be nice or supporting – but because that’s where they see their future revenue and growth.

There is a war for creators because that’s where the big platforms see their future revenue and growth, says @JoePulizzi. #contentcreators #contententrepreneur #socialmedia Click To Tweet

 Tilt Advice

But here’s the dirty little secret: The big platforms know creators can develop and own your business platforms and audiences. They want to hook you before you get wise (and don’t give any of your revenue to them.)

Here’s my big concern. Many content creators will welcome this attention and think these platforms are being complimentary of their talents. And it very well may be. But all that attention is seductive. Some will opt to build solely on one of the big platforms instead of doing the harder work and building your own platform of direct, opt-in connections. 

And you will fall under the spell of the attractive big platform, get addicted, and then you’re cooked.

Think of it like a mouse to cheese. As the mouse tastes the first bite, it’s great until the trap claps down. In your creator case, you’re dead when the platforms change their rules, their algorithms, or your revenue share. And they will because they always do.

Creator funds from big media are attractive until they change their rules, algorithms, and your revenue share, says @JoePulizzi. #contententrepreneur #creatoreconomy Click To Tweet

If you decide to run to one of these platforms, I have no problem with that. But it comes with a word of warning: Strategize now about how to diversify enough, so you have the freedom to make your own business model decisions. Do not put your entire livelihood in the hands of a trillion-dollar company that doesn’t put enough value in you, the content entrepreneur.

Don’t put your content business livelihood in the hands of trillion-dollar companies that don’t put enough value in you, the #contententrepreneur, says @JoePulizzi. Click To Tweet

The next few months will be very interesting for creators – and provide many opportunities for big platform-based creation and revenue. But beware. You are just a mouse. And when the trap snaps down, don’t get caught. Make plans now to ultimately build your own cheese factory. Your content business will be much tastier if you do.

About the author

Joe Pulizzi is the Amazon bestselling author of Content Inc., Killing Marketing and Epic Content Marketing, which was named a “Must-Read Business Book” by Fortune Magazine. His novel, The Will to Die, was awarded "Best Suspense Book" of 2020 by the National Indie Excellence Awards. Joe's latest version of Content Inc. was released May, 2021.

He has founded four companies including digital content news site The Tilt as well as Content Marketing Institute. In 2014, he received the "Lifetime Achievement Award" by the Content Council. His podcast series, This Old Marketing with Robert Rose, has millions of downloads from over 150 countries. His Foundation, The Orange Effect, delivers speech therapy and technology services to children in over 35 states.