Social Media Celebrities as Digital Media Entrepreneurs

Capturing an Emergent Phenomenon

Authors: Castulus Kolo

Citation

Kolo, C. (2019). Social Media Celebrities as Digital Media Entrepreneurs: Capturing an Emergent Phenomenon. Journal of Creative Industries and Cultural Studies–JOCIS3 (2), 16–37.

Abstract

Previously unknown online users posting videos have recently achieved a kind of stardom. Such “Social Media Celebrities” (SMC) are “influencers” impacting on content consumption as well as on purchase decisions. By producing new types of content based on their creativity and monetizing it via social media platforms in innovative ways, they also became digital media entrepreneurs.
This explorative study draws from global audience data as well as from video content in international comparison and a representative survey on gratifications sought by its consumption and quality criteria is applied.
The findings suggest that a perceived quality is based on the celebrities’ credibility and the sympathy that users feel for them, with gratifications sought much like for traditional media. Users are aware that advertising is an integral part of the content, leading to stronger affiliation of them with SMCs and brands alike, providing challenges and opportunities for users themselves but also for the incumbent media.

Keywords

Social media celebrities, Social media influencer, Media content, Content production, Uses and gratifications, Media business models, Influencer marketing, Media entrepreneurship, Digital media entrepreneurs