Get To Know Blacktag: Q&A with Peter Jallah, Director of Strategic Partnerships
Jordan Kelley, Content Director, BrandStorytelling.tv
Black creatives are often the original driving force behind the major tenets of what we call popular culture. They are at the heart of many of the trends that define what ultimately becomes mainstream, popular, and viral. However, in spite of that immense creative power, the very same creators are often left out of the mix when creative power transitions to economic power. So often, trends are co-opted and commodified in such a way that they put distance between revenue related to said trends and the individuals who originated them.
Enter Blacktag, a company seeking to build a modern platform that serves Black audiences globally and redirects billions in ad spend to Black creators. With their sights set on promoting economic and creative power for Black creators, Blacktag is intent on positioning brands to gain more effective culturally-minded campaigns that not only multiply returns, but to empower creators artistically and economically. The result? Content that is authentic, in tune with popular culture, and most importantly, comes directly to the public from its original creative sources.
Brand Storytelling caught up with Peter Jallah (Director, Strategic Partnerships) to learn more about Blacktag on the day of the launch of their flagship film “Black Art is Black Money”:
Thanks for connecting Peter. For starters - how do you define Blacktag?
Blacktag is the first creator-driven platform, offering live and on-demand content. We’re essentially a global solution to a variety of problems in both the entertainment and marketing industries. Currently, there is no modern, unified platform that successfully celebrates Black creators and brings brands and audiences together around Black alternative content. The business is defined by content, community, and commerce. We look to monetize around sponsored content, channel subs, and native advertising.
What has it taken to get Blacktag off the ground?
It took two years, a lot of blood sweat, and tears, and one major pivot to secure VC capital and get Blacktag to market. Our initial business model was more B2B focused, connecting brands/companies to Black creators for freelance projects. Now our business model is defined by content, community, and commerce.
You clearly see an opportunity to capitalize on Black creators/creatives and culture-making. What are the stakes here? What’s being left on the table?
What's at stake is the fact that Black creators are impacting culture on a seismic scale yet not seeing the fruits of their impact economically. TikTok now has an incubator program that will support 100 Black creators, however, we are going to market with a platform that is built around Black culture and will support and elevate Black creators around the world in ways that other mainstream platforms can't longterm.
What would you identify as the greatest problem or problems being faced by Black creators and Black consumers today?
We’ve identified three major problems facing Black creators and consumers as such:
1. Black creative power does not equate to Black economic power.
2. There's no dedicated and modern platform that connects brands, Black creators, and their audience.
3. Alternative Black audiences are wide and underserved.
What is Blacktag’s solution?
Build a modern platform that serves Black audiences globally and redirects billions in ad spend to Black creators.
The creators gain artistic and economic power with an equitable revenue share model and the audience gain authentic and simply better alternative Black content.
What content are you leading with to introduce audiences to Blacktag?
Black Art is Black Money is a short film that also serves as a promo for Blacktag. A key tenet of the film is that Black creators and Black culture are often a footnote when it comes to our creative impact within mainstream culture.
The short film’s main goals are to (1) deliver the core messages of Blacktag in the most creative and on-brand manner, (2) leverage Black creators in the creation of the film, and to (3) officially publicize Blacktag in partnership with mainstream publishing partners.
What is the difference between the platform and the creator’s studio? What will each offer?
The platform offers a modern UX with a mix of UGC, live and on-demand content. The sweet spot of the platform is a curated community of creators and brands.
The creator studio is where we create content in partnership with brands, connecting creators to brands that want to tap into their audience and influence.
How will brands be invited to interact with the studio?
We are currently having intro conversations with a few select brands and in some cases discussing partnerships around our 5-part Docuseries, which is called Black Art is Black $ II. Each episode focuses on an individual from the Black community who has achieved mainstream cultural impact, but not necessarily mainstream success in their creative medium (fashion, film, art, music, etc). The doc will live on Blacktag as sponsored content.
What is the desired outcome for brands?
The brands gain more effective campaigns and multiply returns.
What’s next for Blacktag?
The launch of the platform in May, we look to start onboarding creators by April.
Where can brands who want to work with you contact you?
Brands can contact us at: email@example.com
The Blacktag platform is set to launch in May - until then, learn more about Blacktag and their debut film "Black Art is Black Money" here.
About Peter Jallah
Peter Jallah is Director, Strategic Partnerships at Blacktag, overseeing business development for BTX the platform's in-house creator studio. Prior to joining Blacktag, he served as Head of Partnerships at Sneaker News, where he oversaw the launch of their first podcast series Sneaker Salaries and helped the company attract bluechip non endemic brand partners.