The CEOs of Tumblr, Buzzfeed and Thrillist have suggested that social ecosystem is moving into a new phase.
The three were speaking as part of a discussion at the Monaco Media Forum, made up of Jonah Peretti, CEO of Buzzfeed, who was joined by Katia Beauchamp, co-founder of Birchbox, David Karp, CEO of Tumblr and Ben Lerer, CEO of Thrillist, in discussing why their businesses were based in New York, Peretti began to discuss his views on the future of social content.
When asked by moderator, Wired UK editor David Rowan, what the big opportunity for his company was, Peretti responded: “Social is becoming the new starting point for news, entertainment, almost anything that people want to consume, they now use their Twitter screens, their Facebook screen as their starting point where they find stuff. Then, if you make something someone wants to share with other people, you can reach millions of people that way. You used to have a broadcast pipe in order to reach millions of people, now you can reach 30 millions people mostly because people see content on our site and can share content on their site with other people. I think there’s an opportunity to build a big media company that is tech enabled and socially native or spreads content through sharing primarily.”
He added that his company had made ‘big investments’ in news and video content, as well as branded content: “For advertising, the banner is about to die…and banners are going be replaced with social advertising and content-based advertising.”
Later, when asked where he would invest an imaginary $50m dollars, Karp said: “Tumblr is part of a creative ecosystem. One form of the internet is social, about sharing and communication, while another form is made up of the Tumblrs and Instagrams and YouTubes where people who are making the stuff can share it across all of those networks. That ecosystem is at phase two, which is distribution, with phase one being the ability to make the stuff...the second phase was empowering creatives with distribution, the third phase has already started to show is face, the new economics.”
He explained what he meant by ‘the new economics’, stating: “These creators who are building their own audiences are using all sorts of tools to engrain stuff and build huge audiences – the next big step will be how we commercialise that and we’re starting to see that through Kickstarter. I’m really curious to see what else comes out there and I’d put all my money in those platforms that are producing new economics for creators.”
Kickstarter is a crowd funding website for creative projects, which launched in 2009.
Asked the same question, Lerer agreed: “There has been a pendulum swing where a few years ago there wasn’t distribution for a great product, the big challenge was to get people to interact with it. Now, with social and with so many different networks, the thing that I’m really focussed on is people who know how to create a great product and a great brand. The pipes are laid and now, the businesses that are able to stand out are the content creators who actually create the best content for the retailers who are physically better than the next guy. Quality is really my focus.”