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The Creator Economy Conversation

It’s become the fastest-growing type of small business. It is shaping consumer behaviors across the world. It is beyond trend-setting. It is an economy.  When the pandemic swept through the world in early 2020, many people were made redundant and forced to look for alternative revenue streams. Others had more time on their hands due to lockdowns and the radical shift in working from home. Born from a chaotic and deeply transformative event, these trends have resulted in people turning to their passions and interests in a career, and a boom for the Creator Economy.

50 million independent content creators, curators, and community builders including social media influencers, bloggers, and videographers, now exist in the market. They are perpetually setting trends – fashion and otherwise. The three “most-seen” trends in the creator economy are:

1. Creators moving their top fans off of social networks and on to their own websites, apps, and monetization tools.

2. Creators becoming founders, building out teams and assembling tools to help them start businesses while focuses on their art.

3. Creators gaining power in the media ecosystem as fans seek to connect with individual personalities rather than faceless publishers.

How did Creators become abundant?

The evolution of “independent content creation” – Since the late 2000s, we witnessed the birth of platforms like YouTube, Instagram, iTunes, Spotify, and more recently Snapchat, Twitter, Medium, Twitch, TikTok, etc. Platforms help creators get discovered and establish an audience by investing heavily in their recommendation and curation algorithms — they solved the distribution problem for creators. No longer were creators at the mercy of large production companies who decided what content to produce and who the audience would be.

Monetization of a creator’s reach / “followers” – Once top creators had built an established audience who trusted what they had to say, brands started to recognize the return on investment of paying creators to harness their on-platform reach to advertise products and services. While some platforms split traditional ad revenue with creators, others left it up to the content makers to figure out how to monetize, leading to the rise of sponsored content.

Fast forward to today – today! Having developed fandoms that follow them off-platform, creators can become full-fledged businesses with multiple revenue streams beyond ads. Companies have arrived to help creators earn money by selling products such as premium content, merchandise, books/ebooks, newsletters, or selling services such as fan engagement, coaching, consulting, speaking engagements, etc.

We’re at an inflection point in history where becoming a professionalized creator is one of the most desired jobs. Creators become creators because they love to create. As they grow their audience and expand their revenue channels, the burden of managing the day-to-day of their business grows heavier. Startups that will dominate the next stage of this evolution are ones that are centered around empowering creators to seamlessly monetize while staying focused on what they already love — creating content

This article has been written by the winner of India’s leading Poetry & Creative Contest, India’s Next Big Writer: indiasnextbigwriter.com

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