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Streamers Unite: The Content Economy of Social Distancing

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We take a look at the content creators providing relief and levity amid global lockdowns.

With COVID-19 measures keeping millions across the U.K., Europe and America locked down and indoors, the digital marketplace is lighting up with millions of views, subscriptions, livestreams and downloads.

Media traffic across the board is up 80% (Contentsquare.com) and responding to this global rise in digital demand are the influencers, content creators and celebrities looking to guide us through these strange, unprecedented times.

One of the prime examples of the new content economy, is Mojang’s efforts to assist kids, and parents balancing work and homeschooling, through its Minecraft Marketplace.

“Educators around the world are doing everything they can to provide digital lessons for half a billion students who are out of school due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mojang stated in a recent release. “This is not an easy task and we want to do our part to help keep young minds sharp and stimulated.”

Allowing kids to learn via the medium of "Minecraft," kids, parents and teachers can log into the Minecraft Marketplace together to explore the International Space Station, take a tour of a human eye and solve puzzles with the help of the "Minecraft" creator community.

Influencers are also getting in on the action. With schools closed, Instagram influencer and health food publisher Joe Wicks (a.k.a. The Body Coach) is taking the stress off parents every day at 9AM in the U.K. for virtual livestream PE lessons. With the first stream gaining 1.4 million live views, and 4.4 million viewers overall, this free content for kids and parents is a major help to those looking after little ones, and a huge bolster to The Body Coach brand nationwide.

It’s not just schooling and fitness that parents are getting help with, as actor – and voice of “Frozen's" Olaf – Josh Gad hosted regular livestream reading sessions on Twitter for children. These 10-minute sessions gained around 51 thousand views, with the actor telling Hollywood Reporter he reads to give people comfort, even if only 10 people were to tune in.

It’s not just kids who get the benefit of celebrities being isolated, as musicians and actors are all as seemingly bored as we are; offering live shows, concerts and joint singalongs with friends – think Chris Martin’s home concert or Gal Gadot’s rendition of “Imagine” with a cast of colleagues. 

The current captive market of a global audience, staying at home and desperate for either escapism, social interaction, inspiration and content to guide them through, and a whole new economy of content begins to come into view.

With Disney+ gaining five million app downloads in one day in the U.K. (Variety), it’s clear to see that our relationship with the world around us is changing, and the people who provide the content are in a very influential situation.

Learn More

To read more of License Global's coverage on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting licensing, visit our special report section for the latest news.

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