Tumblr has embarked on a mission to connect artists with brands and other generous benefactors.
Officially launched on Thursday, a Creatrs Network already includes about 300 artists, and a team of curators on call to help marketers connect with those artists that most closely align with their campaign goals. In testing over the past year, the initiative has already resulted in successful collaborations between artists and brands like Axe, Gap and Olay.
In addition to facilitating paying gigs, a broader Creatrs program is supposed to provide artists with educational resources and structure around areas ranging from rights and protection of their work to fair payments and attribution.
“Artists now have the opportunity to make their best work, attract larger audiences and get paid,” in the words of a Tumblr spokeswoman. “Creators are paired with brand advertisers — Tumblr handling all aspects of production — bringing that brand’s message to life through original, curated content that can live beyond the blog and in the brand’s overall campaigns.”
Since dropping about $1 billion on Tumblr in 2013, Yahoo has made a number of efforts to monetize the social network. Last year, Yahoo announced the launch of a new content marketing solution built specifically for the social network.
More recently, Yahoo said it expected Tumblr to take in more than $100 million in ad revenue — and achieve positive EBITDA — in 2015. Coming from CEO Marissa Mayer during Yahoo's quarterly earnings call, the disclosure offered a rare glimpse of Tumblr’s financial health.
Breaking down Tumblr’s ad business, Mayer said 150 brands now have a presence on the social platform
Some Web watchers remain skeptical about Yahoo’s ability to turn Tumblr into a business success. Research firm L2, for one, recently ranked Yahoo’s decision to buy Tumblr as the worst tech acquisition of the past five years.
Among other collaborations, multimedia artist Sam Cannon created some disturbing work for Relativity Media and its horror flick “The Woman in Black 2”; photographer Emily Blincoe produced some lighter fare for JC Penney’s U.S. of You campaign; and photograher-director Romain Laurent helped Gap show its sillier side.