Big tech and obvious competitors like TikTok aren’t alone in their chase for Creators.
Snapchat, for example, is emerging as a dark horse in terms of innovation and content creator tools. Beyond its innovation in content tools and features — it pioneered AR lenses and Stories. Snap’s also beginning to dole out wads of cash to its creators.
After launching its own TikTok competitor, Spotlight, in November, it’s since been paying $1M daily to its top video creators and has given out more than $110M in total. However, its rollout of monetization features has been comparatively slow.
Gaming platforms are emerging as serious competitors as well, pushing the boundaries of native content creation and engagement tools through their specific technical capabilities. Roblox, for example, is investing in synthetic media and building out its vision of a full-fledged metaverse, opening up the door for Roblox-specific content creators to emerge.
Beyond incumbent consumer social or gaming companies, the broader expanse of Creator Economy companies has produced several contenders.
Patreon has raised $412M in total at a $4B valuation, while OnlyFans is reportedly seeking financing at a $1B valuation.
Substack, for example, was launched in 2017 and has captured much attention since, most recently raising $65M at a $650M valuation.
Fundamentally, big tech’s shift into the Creator Economy boils down to one goal: To Retain Users.
The products and services that evolve out of Big Tech’s efforts will thus necessarily focus on their own platforms — to keep users engaged in the Facebook or YouTube or Twitch ecosystem specifically.
These tech conglomerates will prove difficult competitors to best, given their sheer scale and the hordes of cash they’re able to deploy. Creators, however, are likely going to favor becoming platform agnostic and becoming independent brands to ensure less dependence on any one platform.
Where the rest of the Creator Economy startups may derive greater success is in rebundling these services beyond any one specific platform.
This can manifest in tools that help Creators make videos for Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch; analytics platforms that manage splintered revenue streams; or community management services that help Creators independently build and communicate with a social network of fans.
Source: The Creator Economy Explained: How Companies Are Transforming The Self-Monetization Boom | CB Insights
To help you navigate this New Creator Economy and make the most of the new business born from it, we have mapped out the 220+ platforms that are empowering creators to make an income by doing what they love.
In mapping out the Creator Economy, we cover five main categories:
- audience curation
- audience monetization
- vertical platforms
- community management
- creator tools
We’ve also leveraged insights and opinions from dozens of industry leaders from founders, employees, creators, and investors from the likes of Shopify, Stripe, Greylock Partners, Northzone, Index Ventures, Atomico, Snapchat, TikTok, Slow Ventures, Mighty Networks, Product Hunt and Hustle Fund.
A new flock of startups has launched to support content creators to craft (videos, art, newsletters, music, games, courses, etc), find an audience, generate income (subscriptions, tipping, ecommerce, NFTs, etc) and engage their communities.
Can people make a living by being creators?
The answer is not trivial. Estimates show there are 50 million creators in the US alone, and that the number is expected to grow significantly in the coming years, the real number of creators who able to make a living from their passion is much smaller, approximately 2%-5% only are able to generate enough income to make their passion a career.
So where does it leave us?
To be a successful creator, you need to be an influencer after all. The Creator Economy offers independence and the ability to monetise fan’s attention in a variety of ways (as opposed to advertising/sponsorship only), but the road to get there is riddled with challenges.
This is where new startups can help.
The Creator Economy was supposed to democratize media, but it turns out that a small portion of Creators still reap the most revenue for their work across multiple platforms.
Why it matters:
New tipping and micropayments features will hopefully make it easier for smaller creators to get paid.
If you are a Creator who is operating online, you’re likely stymied by many challenges that are part of the Creator Framework that exists today.
Meanwhile, the audience of content consumers seems to be ever-growing, and the Creator Economy has become ever-present.
Technology frequently produces surprises that nobody predicts. However, the biggest developments are often anticipated decades in advance.
In 1945 Vannevar Bush described what he called the “Memex”, a single device that would store all books, records and communications, and mechanically link them together by association.
This concept was then used to formulate the idea of “hypertext” (a term coined two decades later), which in turn guided the development of the World Wide Web (developed another two decades later).
The “Streaming Wars” have only just begun, yet the first streaming video took place more than 25 years ago.
What’s more, many of the attributes of this so-called war have been hypothesized for decades, such as virtually infinite supplies of content, on-demand playback, interactivity, dynamic and personalized ads, and the value of converging content with distribution.
Everybody wants to ride the Meta train...
— Eze Vidra (@ediggs)
Nov 11, 2021
Creator Platform News
Patreon CEO and co-founder Jack Conte and Chief Product Officer Julian Gutman spoke on a panel at The Information’s 2021 Creator Economy Summit yesterday, where they were asked about the company's plans for crypto.
“There’s clearly enormous innovation happening in the crypto and NFT space,” Gutman said.
"Obviously there’s the art market and precious goods market that we’re seeing, with crazy pricing, evolve. It’s unclear if that is sustainable across the entire creator economy, but there’s some fundamental technological components to NFTs as a way to sell value to your audience and sort of continue to gain value from that from secondary sales as what you do becomes more and more important to the world.”
Video of the Day
Fundraising for the Creator Economy
The Great Resignation, the pandemic-caused seismic shift in the way we work, play and live, and the boom of the creator and influencer economy has led to a surge in apps designed to serve those creators.
Talent Hack provides software that streamlines all of that, complete with payment processing, website design and publishing, scheduling software, email automation and CRM.
This allows fitness creators to focus on their clients and their classes, rather than dealing with running their business via software.
Research Paper of the Day
The Creator Economy Explained: How Companies Are Transforming The Self-Monetization Boom — www.cbinsights.com
The Creator Economy has seen a record $1.3B in funding in 2021 alone.
Dig into how startups are building across the value chain, top investors in the space, and what's next for the industry.
You can access the report for free here.