When Ousman Sahko Sow and Akin Adebowale founded Blacktag in 2019, they sought to answer two questions: What would a streaming platform for a digitally savvy Black audience look like? And how could it become a destination for Black talent?
It turns out both answers have a lot to do with pay.
“What we’re building looks at the exploitative nature of monetizing Black creativity and instead finds a way to bring it back into the hands of creators in a sustainable manner by paying them what they’re worth,” Mr. Sow, 30, said in a recent interview.
Over the last few years, Black creators have made several efforts to shine a light on the inequities they face when it comes to finding opportunities and being compensated for their work. Brands spent some $10 billion on influencer marketing in 2020, according to SignalFire, a venture capital firm that tracks the creator economy. But white creators make significantly more money than their Black counterparts, who tend to be given significantly less credit.
With that in mind, Blacktag, which made its official debut last week, aims to build a product in the mold of YouTube and Netflix with a mix of produced shows that span music, travel and more; licensed short films; and original videos made by creators. The goal is to become a destination for brands looking to work with Black creators and attract Black audiences.
Some of the app’s content can be watched whenever, on-demand, but much of it is only
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