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Coronavirus Presents a New Challenge for Content Creators

As the effects of coronavirus continue to redefine daily life, content creators — from talk show hosts to influencers — are scrambling to adapt, and some new stars are emerging.

With almost all content creators feeling pressure to adjust to uncertain circumstances, many are navigating unfamiliar territory and shifting strategies to connect with audiences.

High-profile examples include Stephen Colbert’s bathtub monologue and Chris Cuomo’s basement broadcasts, in which he details his firsthand experience with the virus. But the impact has rippled throughout the industry, from YouTubers with major followings to niche micro-influencers.

With roughly 95% of the country under stay-at-home orders, activity on digital platforms has increased dramatically. Since social isolation started in mid-March, daily views of YouTube videos featuring at-home activities have increased by as much as 600%.

Generally, influencers earn the majority of their income through freelance assignments. But as most marketers tighten budgets, many influencers are leaning into video and streaming platforms to develop and distribute sponsored content from home.

Travel influencers, whose industry is among the hardest hit economically, have seen sponsored trips cancelled or delayed indefinitely. Based on projections, the World Travel & Tourism Council estimates that the industry could lose up to $2.1 trillion over the course of the year. Without their usual content to share, some travel influencers are developing staycation guides and retooling old content.

Recognizing the increased demand for online content, some new creators have arrived on the scene. The Office’s John Krasinski recently launched a video series named “Some Good News.” True to its name, the show is dedicated entirely to heartwarming, positive stories. Recent guests have included celebrity cameos featuring Steve Carrell and Robert De Niro, along with the entire cast of Lin Manuel’s “Hamilton,” who performed one of the musical’s most popular songs.

As our uncertain circumstances stretch into the spring and demand remains steady, we expect to see content creators continue to adapt, presenting new opportunities for content consumers and marketers alike.

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