In this article from the New York Times, entitled A-Listers, Meet your Online Megaphone, Twitter plays a starring role for the stars. By introducing social media to the realm of movie stars, where there is potential for big money, you can see the impact of Twitter in six figures.
And, as in other industries, social media shifts power as a well. Instead of the industry publications, agents and studios being in control and deciding whether or not to promote, accept or hire actors, the stars themselves can gain power. Millions of followers allow people like Charlize Theron to show that she can promote herself and as a result, she gets a part over a less influential star and she gets paid more. The stakes here are big and Twitter can make the difference. According the the article, when Universal cast Rihanna in Battleship, they took the fact that she has 26 million Twitter followers into consideration. Endorsement deals, an important part of celebrity income, also take large Twitter followings into account in valuing the deal.
The stars are not the only people who benefit. The agencies that help them build their platform also gain power. A prime player in social media agencies for the A-List, theAudience, can demand higher salaries for its clients and if that isn’t proof enough of the ROI of Twitter, it also has just received 20 million in funding.