2022 has witnessed a host of innovations in the media industry, ranging from companies investing in YouTube’s back catalogs of creators, to selling NFTs in the Metaverse for an astonishing profit. Digital innovations continue to evolve, changing the way content is both created and consumed. The companies mentioned in this article have led the way for their pioneering innovation, strategy, and resultant success.
These companies have not just changed the way content is created and consumed, but also the way in which creators are rewarded. Traditional models faced a lot of pressure especially during the course of the pandemic, which affected businesses globally. From virtual music concerts to books, these media companies have changed the way that the media industry operates.
Until now, only influencers in the upper echelons were rewarded well, and this year has seen that change. New creators were often affected by the ever-changing algorithms of media platforms, and some companies found a better way to reward content creators. Once company in this list also allows creators to own their own IP on its platform, something that traditional media platforms were reluctant to do.
The biggest game-changer of the year came from NFTs which showed users a new way to access, as well as to own, content. An NFT of a story about a young Black boy dressed as an astronaut sold for over USD 2 million, and became the central point in a Metaverse that featured film, art and TV projects.
HYBE (music, media)
Hybe has established unique methods to reach listeners, release content and encourage worldwide fandom.
2021 saw two of the world’s largest artist management groups merge in a USD 1 Billion deal. Hybe, the company that manages K-Pop sensation BTS merged with Ithaca Holdings – the company that launched popular artist Justin Bieber in one of the largest mergers the entertainment world had seen. The new entity will emphasize on brand management and entrepreneurship as it grows.
Projects that the new company has undertaken include a film featuring Justin Bieber, a beauty product range centered around Ariana Grande, and a TV drama aired on CBS, named Scorpion. Meanwhile, Hybe has already diversified into education and gaming.
In 2020, Hybe created a virtual tour for BTS in association with streaming platform Kiswe. The virtual tour, which was a first of its kind, engaged more than 1 million viewers worldwide. The company revenue in 2021 exceeded USD 1 billion.
OTOY (video, media, tech)
OTOY is a cloud graphics company based in LA. OTOY is at the very center of the NFT revolution in Hollywood, and works with industry players to introduce entertainment IP to the Metaverse in creative, unique ways. In 2022, the company released a blockchain computing platform named Rndr to thousands of artists. Some of the projects which Otoy has worked on include collaborations to bring the Star Trek franchise to the Metaverse, and another with DC and Marvel Comics to launch a new superhero series on the platform.
OTOY also offers NFT software to digital creators, and generated over USD 500 million in sales in the first half of 2021. Currently, the company is leading the way in the next phase of Metaverse culture – holographic NFT’s.
MAGNOLIA NETWORK (TV, books, hospitality, retail)
Joanna and Chip Gaines had a popular home renovation show on television before it went off the air four years ago. Recently the couple has launched Magnolia Network on the Discovery Plus channel, programming content for their own shows, as well as for other lifestyle entrepreneurs. The network launched with over 150 hours of unscripted programming, and is testimony to the way people currently consume television content. Today, the couple’s empire is estimated to be worth over USD 1 Billion, and includes a repertoire of books, hospitality and retail.
THE RECORD (media, tech)
One of the world’s leading cyber security firms, Recorded Future, launched The Record in 2020. The news publication, which is editorially independent, breaks and covers news in the cyber security sector, accessing data and security intelligence from its parent company. The Record has become a leader in this space, reporting on news like how Chinese hackers breached Indonesian government websites, interviews with ransomware groups and cyber criminals. The Record, which boasts of over 400,000 monthly page views also launched a newsletter in 2021. The company plans to launch video content and podcasts soon.
PRX (audio, tech)
One of the few successful non-profit audio networks, PRX, in 2021 launched a podcast series that permits its creators to fully own IP and creative control of their IP. This innovation has allowed artists and creators to be financially rewarded for their content, and in addition created an incubator for creative content. Its podcast network for teens, TRAX has been downloaded over one million times, and witnessed a 104% increase in downloads in 2021.