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In writing about the flurry of copycatting going on between the biggest social media platforms, we often boil it down to one of them being an emerging disrupter (TikTok most recently) and the others scrambling to respond.

However, The Verge has an interesting article exploring another aspect of this competition: “how platforms turn boring”. It boils this down to something called the Bootleg Ratio, defined as “the delicate balance between A) content created by users specifically for the platform and B) semi-anonymous clout-chasing accounts drafting off the audience”.

When the second category of content overtakes the first, that’s when people may drift away.

“Major platforms like Instagram and YouTube often feel like a wasteland — and increasingly, their users are just repackaging content from TikTok or Twitter. Big platforms are losing the cultural game, even if they don’t have the metrics to measure it,” is the conclusion.

Which is making us wonder whether there’s an equivalent of the Bootleg Ratio for music streaming services, and how it might be identified and measured…

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