Commentary

Workweek, New B2B Media Company, Puts Creators First

A new kind of B2B media company that launched on Wednesday says it will hire content creators with wide latitude for operating independently, while also paying them full-time salaries and offering generous benefits, such as 100% health insurance coverage.

The company, called Workweek, announced itself in a series of tweets by its founders, media-industry pros Adam Ryan and Becca Sherman, who previously worked at The Hustle business site.

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Workweek’s mission, according to a document posted on its website, is to “entertain, educate, and connect the business community through unique personalities, unparalleled expertise and innovative operations to make us the world’s leading media company.”

Indeed, in a tweet thread, Ryan said that traditionally media companies have shortchanged content creators with business models designed to make executives and sales leaders the highest-paid employees—not those producing the content. Workweek will change that, Ryan said. Creators are the highest paid employees at the new company, but more than that, “we built a model to help creators live better lives,” he tweeted.

“Creators should be the highest paid people on our team,” Sherman tweeted. “If you aren't working to elevate incredible creators and personalities — and share rev with them — you’re behind."

My take: B2B media has always put revenue generators and corporate executives first, and paid content creators less. That’s a universal truth for the genre. Content creators are seen as a cost center and the first to get cut when times get rough.

In that respect alone, Workweek is a radical departure.

Beyond pay, the company said creators get 25 days of PTO and parental leave without sacrificing income, brand partnerships, revenue sharing on all monetization of their content, the option of working in a remote office and on a flexible schedule, a stipend for continuing education, and more.

“But here's the most important thing,” Ryan said. “Creators at Workweek will never have to sacrifice their creative freedom. No bosses, only advocates.”

Underlying this admittedly unique approach is a belief that the modern way to influence business decisions is by intertwining individuals content leaders’ personalities with their industry expertise through culturally relevant content. “All of our creators are set up to make a huge impact,” Ryan said.

Also underlying the company is a decent amount of seed capital. It has raised $1.5 million, Axios said, including from LightShed Ventures and other individual participants. It has hired 10 full-time employees, Axios added, including a head of brand partnerships, a head of operations, a content manager and four creators.

Workweek is starting with four verticals: financial tech, media, healthcare and cannabis. Ryan said it will add new verticals every two weeks going forward. 

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