The 7 Ways Teenagers Want To Pay For Content

Nina Paley is well-known for being a bit of an innovator when it comes to the new “digital economy” partly as a result of the trials and tribulations she went through to get her feature film Sita Sings the Blues released. She’s also famous for her (some would say) radical view on copyright and its place in promoting the arts. She’s also been on the cutting edge of what some would call the “digital” economy as she has been able to make a living while giving her content away for free.

With so much talk about piracy and so forth going on right now, a lot of attention is starting to focus on the current generation of youngsters who are growing up having never known what life was like before the internet. The belief is that said generation will never want to pay for content because it can be provided gratis on the internet.

So, when Nina had a sit down with a bunch of kids aged 12 to 17 and talked to them about copyright, she asked them how they would choose to support artists whose work they liked. The seven points below are what she received in reply

  1. Donate buttons – with the qualification that they want to know as much as possible about where the donation is going. They said honesty and transparency are important.
  2. Kickstarter – They all knew about it (which was notable because none of them had heard of Flattr) and valued pitch videos that explained how the money would be used.
  3. Custom drawings
  4. Merch
  5. Physical copies
  6. Live Shared Experiences, including ballet, museum exhibits, and concerts. The event aspect was important; they wanted to be able to say, “Remember that one time when that awesome show was here…” They agreed seeing things in person is a more powerful experience than seeing things online, and worth spending more on. One said she would buy CD at a live show because “it reminds you of the show.”
  7. One said he would support artists by promoting their work to his friends.

Interesting, eh? The opportunities for exploiting a creation are much more varied than they may first appear. You don’t even have to become a “YouTube partner”! The answers are all well within any independent animators reach.

Keeping this in mind is important. The options are always out there but it’s up to the creator to exploit them wisely.