The entertainment industry has always been a risky career path for actors, musicians and writers.
People know the odds of making it big in Hollywood or having a best-selling single album are low and all the effort in the world doesn’t guarantee success.
The expansion of new media, like e-sports, social media and YouTube have put a wrench in that idea, making it seem like anyone who puts in the effort can be part of the rich and famous.
Over the past year we’ve seen how putting careers and savings into these new media companies can be a really risky investment.
While companies such as Twitter have reached profitability in 2018, others like Defy Media, Machinima and Activision Blizzard have seen discouraging results.
YouTube stalwarts Machinima and Defy Media seemingly disappeared over night, leaving content creators who partnered with them left in the dark.
Even well-known successful YouTube influencers like Smosh and Inside Gaming were left wondering how they were going to be able to keep the lights on.
In an investor call on Feb. 12, Activision Blizzard announced Q4 earnings for 2018, reporting the company had broken records for revenue in company history.
Despite these numbers, the CEO of Activision Blizzard Bobby Kotick announced the company had not met expectations for 2018.
“While our financial results for 2018 were the best in our history, we didn’t realize our full potential,” said Kotick.
These layoffs were to put more focus on game development rather than administrative overhead for other Activision Blizzard projects, such as the Overwatch League.
Even though Activision Blizzard plans on hiring more developers, it leaves people like camera operators, photographers and analysts without a job for a company that made $7.16 billion last year.
YouTube is once again under fire for failing to properly monitor pedophilic content in comment sections of videos, with companies such as Adidas, Captain Morgan and Crown Royal pulling their ad campaigns until YouTube changes its policies.
This may set the stage for a second Ad-pocalypse, which may lead to more mature content YouTube channels struggling to keep videos monetized.
Compared to legacy media, these are enormous shifts in company priorities that people should take into account when planning a career path in new media.
One of the key similarities between these scenarios is relying on someone else’s platform to run a business, which could be alleviated through maintaining a personal or business website.
New media companies have high expectations and are expected to maintain high growth user bases and revenue.
These expectations will continue to grow as more and more people decided that their career goal is to get famous on the internet.