Answer is everything. Everything that you read, watch, listen and speak, is content. For example, this blog has Written Content. This text you are reading is the Content you are consuming. So, it's like Literature, Movies, Music and Art Forms.
Content is whatever you experience in the media and on the internet.
So, who is a Content 'Creator'?
As you can guess, Content Creators are people who create the content. YouTubers, Journalists, Writer, Comedians, Game Streamers and many other professionals are content creators. In fact, UGC or User Generated Content includes your Comments, Posts and other Uploads.
From a pure technical point, if you upload or share something made by others, you are a Third-Party Content Marketer. Content Marketing involves sharing a website link on your social media accounts. It can include Payment-based Facebook Ads or Google Ads.
If I mention a software or a book in this blog, I am technically working as a Retail Marketer. If you purchase a product or service using my links, I may earn a Commission.
Such type of Linked Promotion is known as Affiliate Marketing.
About Affiliate Marketing
Thus, you can visit any website or some YouTube Video descriptions. And you will notice a list of Products and Services. In case of blogs like this one, a blogger (blog writer) can write a full article. Thus, many websites specialise in Reviews of Products, Software and other purchasable items.
You always that one friend who asks you to open a link. And for doing so, you both get some reward. For example, mobile recharge.
That is an extremely easy-level of Marketing. Many link, shared like this, carry special IDs. Referral IDS is their name. So, you can say that it's an example of Referral Marketing. It is similar to how one doctor sends you to another doctor. Or how some people ask you to use special insurance policy.
Affiliate Marketing is another level of the same model.
You can become an Affiliate for unlimited number of companies. And you can join Affiliate Networks to access many offers from a single screen.
Advertisements keep the Content free, but...
Affiliate Marketing or providing Services take many years to make sense. Not everyone is interested in handling the added stress of these ideas. Yet, we used to read newspaper once upon a time on planet Earth. And the reason the papers or the magazines were affordable, was the Ads.
Companies and Businesses, even the Governments of all countries, need to tell the public about their actions. Special Events or New Rules will not get public attention, if the companies and others don't invest in Marketing.
A small but important part of marketing is called Advertising.
In case of the print-media like newspapers, the space or on-paper size of Ads was limited. So, to give an Ad to a newspaper (press release), you used to pay a lot of money. Every birthday greeting and job advertisement in the paper was financed by someone.
This money helped the newspapers, magazines and news channels keep their prices low.
But in the age of internet, the space or area is unlimited. Creating and setting up ads is easy. Even you can create a Facebook Ad, set it for your target region and by spending just ₹400 to ₹500, you can tell 200 to 2000 people about your services.
I can do this for you, if you don't want to spend time for learning the methods. And in this sentence, I advertised my own skill.
And you can learn to do this. Such type of writing is Native Advertisement or Sponsored Post. A Sponsored Post means you received Payment from a person, an organisation or a company to write a post. Or to create an Instagram slide-show.
Painless Ads have a fixed position in the content. On TV channels, a fixed amount of time or Break is given for Ads. In an article, ads look like images or photos.
…but remember, Ads can become painful
Sometimes, a website or a news channel show you too many Ads. Thus, people start using Ad-Blocking technology. Then, the content creators or website owners stop such users from seeing their content. This is logically a never-ending struggle between the Content Creators and Content Consumers.
So, the Content Industry has to be careful about how many Ads and what types of Ads are user-friendly. And appropriate for all age groups.
About the Content Industry
You now know how the free things you read and watch are not really free. When you like a Youtuber or a Website, you are paying your Attention to the details. The businesses and other organisations want to get your attention. But nobody likes a pushy salesperson.
So, Ads interrupt you and a part of your Attention brings money to the Content Creator. And it is not a lot of money even if you get 1000 viewers. And it is just like the employment situation.
There is over-supply and unlimited availability for Ad-placements. Many websites and techniques have become popular. And almost everyone wants to benefit from Ads, at least as a side-income. So, the Content Industry will always depend on Ads.
If all advertisements are stopped, you may have to pay a hundred dollars for websites, social media, magazines and TV channels each time you want to enjoy them.
Also, not every country has painless international payment systems.
So, if you want to buy something, you might need to get a special International Debit Card or forget about what you like. Already, many websites have a Members-Only section. So, for more interesting or high-quality Ads-Free content, people have to pay.
The Future of Content Industry
News channels, blogs and emails did not disappear. Why? Because only the ultra-rich people can afford to purchase Next Level Smart Gadgets. A large number of people prefer a simple technology. I mean, to read an Article, you simply scroll on a smartphone. So, News channels have their own blogs, YouTube channels and Manual Ads placements.
Many humans don't have smartphones, laptops and good enough internet. It's sad but this also means that many more people will join the web in the next decades.
Internet cannot be controlled by anyone. It's the ultimate immortal form of freedom, peace, communication, entertainment, education and commerce. In fact, the in-demand skills include the following:
Graphic Designing, Website Setup and Maintenance, Web Design, Translation, Blog Writing, Copywriting, Digital Marketing, Social Media Promotions, App Development.
Everyone wants to have a website, a professional email ending with @MyWebsite.com and a modern designing approach for Ads and Videos.
Content Industry will only grow. And people who can learn these methods will help others who don't have such knowledge, And remember, businesses need marketing. Because of year 2020 and rise of freelancing, an entire generation of mankind is headed towards self-employment and business models like never seen before.
So, digital content services are going to get a historic boost. And in the era that we live in, you don't provide any services for free, right?