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Our New Website: Creatives, Communities, and Commerce

February 1st, 2013

Welcome to the new Creative Trust web site. While our web site has gone through a variety of iterations through the years, this is probably the most significant as it represents a new way of looking at our business.

The content business has radically changed in the last few years. If you think about the last 10 to 15 years, the content business has changed so dramatically, it’s practically unrecognizable. With the rapid rise of social media and digital distribution and the slow demise of traditional advertising and brick and mortar retail, there is a need for creatives (e.g. recording artists, authors, filmmakers) and companies that work with creatives to reconsider what’s required to be commercially successful going forward.

Historically, distribution is what sold products. If you had a great product but no distribution, you had little to no hope. There were a couple of retailers that represented category killers for music, books and video. If a book, CD or DVD could be one of the few products sold into those key retailers, customers would find and buy them. The people behind those products would experience commercial success. This worked because these retailers served as “watering holes”. If you needed a book, a CD or a DVD (i.e. “water”), you knew you could find them at your favorite genre retailer. The retailer specialized in picking the “winners” and ensuring that they had the best products available for customers to maximize the value of their immense but limited shelf space. Fans would even go to these retailers to browse and learn what new products where being released so they could get their hands on the latest and greatest CD, book or DVD. This model had everything we needed to sell effectively: awareness, audience and distribution.

With the rise of e-commerce and the infrastructure that supports it, distribution has become a commodity service. Within 10 minutes, you can post a book, music or video on Amazon or other similar web sites and have access to a global marketplace of millions of fans. Brick and mortar retailers struggle to compete against online retailers due to the Internet’s advantage of infinite shelf space. The challenge today is not one of getting “picked” by a retailer. It’s getting “found” by fans. While online retailers provide limitless selection, it’s virtually near impossible for fans to find new products. In a world of infinite shelf space, what sells products is awareness, trust, meaning and time. Fans don’t find you on the front shelf anymore. They have to know you, trust you and believe that you can give them a better return on their time than rest of the limitless supply of products available to them.

In a world where supply is limitless, creatives have to ask: Are prospective fans aware I exist? Do my fans know my latest product is out? Do fans trust me to deliver on the promise that what I’ve created is worth their investment of time? Am I building experiences that matter in the lives of my fans? Am I creating meaning for fans? What’s the right business model? Who are the right partners?

These are the questions that Creative Trust seeks to solve for our creative partners. We work with our creative partners to create sustainable businesses around their content. We want to find the best business model and means to connect Creatives, Communities and Commerce.

There are times when working within the traditional media industry makes sense. Publishers, Labels and Studios can be great partners, especially in the world of traditional retail and helping “break” new creatives. These large entertainment companies bring resources to bear that individual artists might never have by themselves. We have decades of experience of working on behalf of our partners and representing their wants and needs to these large corporations. We’re experienced in working with Publishers, Labels and Studios to ensure they follow through and realize the opportunity we believe our creative partners’ intellectual property represents.

That said, we also recognize that not every piece of content our partners create is well-suited for the the ecosystem represented by Publishers, Labels and Studios and brick and mortar retailers. In those situations, we can come along side our partners and help them “go direct”. We can assist in building and aggregating their audiences and finding new ways to generate demand and commercial value that may be difficult, if not impossible, for a traditional media company to develop. Sometimes great books, albums and film properties need a different approach that is ill-suited to the world of brick and mortar retail but could actually thrive online. With extensive e-commerce and online marketing experience, we pride ourselves in our ability to go direct and use the Internet to create value.

Our goal is to connect great content to its respective communities in a commercially sustainable way. So while we still represent clients, serving as agents and managers, we do much more. We want to make good stuff popular and profitable, whether that means working with publishers, labels and studios or going direct. No matter the technology, Creative Trust builds brands and develops audiences.

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