There isn’t a formal union for content creators but a new organization is working to make sure the ever-growing industry of creators isn’t unfair to the people actually making the content.
Content creators are involved in every aspect of society and everyone from mom-and-pop shops to the president of the United States are using creators to help market their product. However, creators are often responsible for managing their own businesses and it isn’t always easy navigating the world of securing fair compensation and protecting your creative rights.
That’s the void that the Creators Guild of America (CGA) is hoping to fill. Established in 2015, the CGA is a professional association that was created to advocate for the rights and interests of content creators across film, television, streaming, gaming, and digital content. The CGA’s primary objective of the organization is to empower creators by promoting fair compensation for their work and serving as a united front against industry challenges.
As is the case with any scenario, there are pros and cons to the CGA.
One of the CGA’s core missions is to ensure content creators receive fair compensation for their work. While they aren’t a union, CGA promises to advocate for fair pay and be the liaison between creators and industry leaders. By establishing industry standards and advocating for equitable pay structures, the CGA helps creators earn a living wage, which is crucial for the sustainability of their careers.
Those who are part of the CGA join that collective voice to try to influence positive change within the entertainment industry. Along with fair pay, that positive change also fighting for copyright protection and more transparent industry practices.
Similar to IMDB, CGA offers members accreditation. Having that independent public record of a person’s work validates and tracks creators’ contributions to their industry.
“In every creative profession, your credits are your currency,” the CGA website states. “They demonstrate a public record of accomplishment, the foundation on which your reputation rests.”
The CGA also offers a platform for content creators to network and collaborate with like-minded professionals. Through events, retreats and online communities, creators can connect with others in their field, potentially leading to new projects and partnerships.
While the CGA offers numerous benefits, nothing is perfect, and the CGA might not be right for every creator.
The most obvious con to the CGA is the membership costs. Annual dues for CGA are $99, which can be a burden for independent creators and emerging talents who may not have substantial income from their work. However, dues are eligible as business expenses so they’re tax deductible.
It’s also not available to everyone and membership isn’t guaranteed.
For those in the media category, they have to meet one of two requirements:
For those in the marketing category, they have to meet one of two requirements:
For those in the maker category, which includes co-founders, producers and developers, they have to meet one of two categories:
Those who don’t meet the eligibility requirements can join an “associate” tier, which gives them access to newsletters and events.
Not all content creators have the same goals or face the same challenges. Joining the CGA means aligning with a specific set of goals, which may not resonate with every content creator. So, it’s not for everyone. Ultimately, the Creators Guild of America offers content creators a platform to collectively address the challenges and opportunities in an evolving industry.
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