Data privacy is a huge concern among most Internet users. A 2022 Ipsos poll revealed a whopping 84 percent of respondents in America are at least "somewhat concerned" about the privacy of their online data.
And with all the talk about TikTok going around lately, that fear is only likely to intensify. There's a reason major companies like Apple are making "privacy" a key selling point of their products.
But the truth is, it's hard for users to discern between granting access to their data in order to improve their experience and a malicious third party gaining access to a user's personal information without consent. That's why we see people having a hard time differentiating between things like getting served personalized ads and tracking emails versus having their data unknowingly sold.
How The Data Privacy Conversation Affects Content Creators
There are two big ways the data privacy conversation affects content creators. The first is when it comes to running ads and trying to build an audience around your content. We've talked about this more in the past.
The reality is, there's not a lot we can do when the biggest tech companies in the world wage war against each other. We just have to navigate what that means for the millions of content creators who are constantly trying to just make sure people who want to see their stuff actually get to see their stuff.
And while it can be frustrating at times, creators are an innovative bunch who always find a way to pivot through circumstantial changes. However, the data privacy conversation can also have an adverse effect on content creators — largely in the way they approach their own data, how they view it, and who they share it with.
It's Natural To Be Protective Of Data
A lot of the entertainment industry revolves around the idea that your value is directly tied to who you know. As more and more of the industry moved online, companies started being even more controlling of data, too.
The music industry is perhaps one of the biggest culprits of data secrecy. Sure, a lot of people know that artists who get paid by their label are often not entitled to audit what exactly they're getting paid for. But a lot of people don't even realize how little of their own data an artist owns.
In many cases, an artist signed to a label may not actually have the right to run their own website or merch store. That means they're just trusting whoever is in charge of the online presence and marketing departments to make the best calls for their brand. Even crazier? Many of them don't control access to their own email list. And if you've been reading our Learn Stuff articles long enough, you know how we feel about controlling your email list!
And let's not forget about the live side of the industry, where ticketing companies and venues constantly leave artists in the dark about who is actually purchasing tickets to the show (and how much they're really paying).
All of these practices over time have cumulated in a sort of hyper-protective state when it comes to artist data. And that's a natural reaction. But what it means is that often an artist or manager may intentionally withhold access to information that could otherwise help other members of the team do their job and grow the overall content creator brand.
Understanding What Data Needs To Be Collaborative
Now, we're not saying everybody on the team needs to know everything about the creator at all times. It makes complete sense that things like overarching financial data stay between the parties who really need to know it — namely the creator, their business manager and/or manager, and any parties with a potential financial stake in their industry.
But really, when it comes down to it, just about everything else could be valuable as a collaborative asset. In other words, it makes complete sense that a social media marketer should know how well certain pieces of content are doing after a release. Or that a booking agent has access to demographic data related to not just social media, but also email list subscribers and merch store customers.
There's no value to keeping this data secret, and yet every possibility that it can help savvy members of the team do their job better. Engagement rates across social media platforms, best performing DSPs and content distribution channels, seasonal-based shop sales etc. — all of it helps form a more complete picture.
This is why we need to shift from a "need-to-know" basis about creator data (meaning somebody decides what you do or don't "need to know" about that data) to need to know. As in, the core team that helps a content creator needs to be on the same page and have access to the same data.
The Hard Part About Sharing
Of course, we understand it's not as simple as it sounds. Well, yet (wink). We're a data company, after all — of course we understand the complexity around trying to invite multiple members to dozens of platforms so they can navigate all this data. And we're building something that completely changes how you and your team work together.
But right now, the most important thing is to identify and focus on the core platforms. At this point, most major platforms allow you to invite people as administrators, editors, or simply viewers. Try to get into a habit of routinely adding team members to these accounts (and deleting access for people you don't work with anymore — no reason to keep something cluttered!).
Next, communicate your goals with your core team and explain how they can use their access to your data to better inform their work on the team. For instance, if you work with a video editor for your YouTube videos, make sure they're looking in your YouTube Studio backend and the most popular moments in each video. Find the points where retention spikes, analyze why that may be happening (hint: it usually has a lot to do with editing), and try to recreate that success.
At the end of the day, content creators succeed by being more open with their data, not more protective. Collaboration, both within your core team and with other creators, is a whole lot easier when everybody is operating from the same set of information.