Middle Men is an online marketplace created to connect companies in production – film and television, advertising, live events, and content creation – to local freelancers. Companies can find both traditional and non-traditional creatives on the platform that meet their specific project goals. Middle Men’s service allows companies to spend less time searching for talent and allows them to circumvent the outdated ‘traditional’ routes of talent acquisition.
At the moment, our two users, clients and creatives, are struggling to find one another. Clients (i.e., production companies) have little time to find the right talent for each new project, and creatives (i.e., freelancers) struggle to get their work in front of the right companies at the right time.
Middle Men operates in Toronto, Ontario where the production industry generates over 17 billion dollars annually and currently there is no tech solution to traditional hiring practices.
Our mission is to make media more entertaining, engaging, and relevant while developing a middle class for artists.
Middle Men started after years of working with local artists as a social platform to support the arts community. We saw a large gap between the arts and culture of the city, and what content was being produced for its people
We noticed productions were complaining that it was too hard or too time consuming to find the right creatives for each new project, so they went with the same freelancers from the same agency pool, attempting to get different results.
Conversely, a myriad of creatives were looking for their way into freelance work. The same artists who created the reference points for creative teams at agencies and production companies were unsure how to get their foot in the door.
Middle Men was founded on the idea of creating the bridge between these two groups who have been searching for one another.
Our goal has been to create an opportunity for media to become more in-tune with its audience, throwing out the ‘same-old’ and making something new, unique, and elevated with the immense talent the city has to offer.
Giving companies access to diverse creators, we hope to see media invigorated with more authentic, inclusive stories and to gain a wider reach to all those who consume it.
Facts and stats
Over 10,000 new jobs are expected to be created by 2025 to help meet the
demand of the screen industry in the city.
– City of Toronto
The Canadian ad market is one of the largest and fastest growing in the world. In 2020 ad spend in Canada amounted to 9.6 billion U.S. dollars – Ontario generated 59% of this operating revenue for advertising and related services.
“Overall, Nordicity estimates that Toronto music venues put on at least 50,000
shows per year, featuring over 107,000 individual acts.”
– City of Toronto
50% of Gen Z are
freelancers / work in the gig economy.
– Edelman Intelligence “Freelance Forward” (2020)
In 2022, Toronto beat its production volume record of 2.5 billion in 2021 showing a
strong recovery and growth from COVID in 2020.
– City of Toronto
Along with most other markets, advertising has taken a strong turn towards digital advertising. Internet ad spend in 2020 accounted for over half of all media ad spend at 5.9 billion U.S. dollars.
By 2025, online talent platforms could add 2.7 trillion to global GDP.
– 2021 McKinsey&Company
MCKINSEY GLOBAL INSTITUTE
“On November 16 (2021), Mayor John Tory announced Hackman Capital Partners and its affiliate the MBS Group as the successful proponent of the Basin Media Hub Request for Proposal (RFP) to build and operate a film studio complex on 8.9 acres in Toronto’s Port Lands. The $250 million state-of-the-art media hub will provide much-needed capacity within the sector with up to 500,000 square feet of studio space and production offices.”
-City of Toronto
Since social media spend is one of the largest areas of advertising investment the industry is struggling to modernize quickly as technology changes and leans heavily on freelance workers to fill gaps in knowledge to hit the right demographics.
Toronto production is set to pass its 2022 spend of 2.5billion*. That is up to 1.4billion on talent alone.
– *City of Toronto (2022)