Creator Economy

From Blogging to the Youtube era

If you look at the late 1990s and early 2000s, Blogging was a huge hit as most people owned personal computers and began discovering digital cameras. People began creating personal blogs, eventually sharing their experiences with the world. From videos to pictures to poetry, stories and tips/advice, blogs were the social media then. However, the inception of Youtube changed the Internet forever! The co-founder of Youtube posted a video of elephants at the Zoo, which was one of the first viral videos on Youtube. What changed the virality game for Youtube was the Nike ad in 2005, featuring Football player Ronaldinho, which hit the one million views mark.

The Attention Economy

Instagram, Quora, Medium and many skill/specific platforms began emerging and offering subscription-based models for members, writers, creators to monetise their work in a small way. During this time, Youtubers were called ‘Youtube Stars’, popular for their specific skill or talent. In the Youtube economy, you are a one-man army. You are the scriptwriter, lightman, producer, cameraperson and director — the whole package at once.

Platforms that help monetise

The Internet has fortunately shown us a way out of long-term, laborious contracts running into pages and has helped creative people find opportunities through live streaming, podcasts or other digital content formats.

(Source: Substack.com)
(Source: Li Jin’s Blog)

How D2C brands are shifting the Creator Economy

As more Tier 2 and Tier 3 audiences from across India enter the digital ecosystem, most brands believe that this spike in nano and micro-influencers is just the beginning. Additionally, the explosion of social media and consumption of digital content in the aftermath of the pandemic has compelled brands to reinvent themselves and find alternate ways to celebrity promotions. What this has done to the Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) Industry is to look for endorsements from everyday people across the world who become their brand ambassadors and live stream product reviews from their houses (as they remain indoors due to the impact of the pandemic).

Challenges of the Passion Economy

As the Creator Economy keeps surprising with its growth, there are a few challenges in the way for new and upcoming digital influencers. There are many examples of Youtube or Internet stars who have made it big and garnered stardom. But, there is also a significant population of digital content creators hardly achieving any financial security from these platforms.

Is the Creator Economy Sustainable?

The ethos of “making your dream career come true” is alive and kicking on most content platforms today! A recent study of kids aged 6 to 17 found that nearly 30% aspire to become YouTubers. With countless examples of normal people achieving massive success on the platform, this should come as no surprise. Creator platforms flourish when they provide the opportunity for anyone to grow and succeed. And, platforms that keep the creators’ needs as a priority will emerge and succeed.

Feasible Future

Ultimately, the creator economy is an outlet for talented people to express themselves and receive an income. While it is an ever-evolving industry with technological shifts and changes in society, platforms may eventually explore a Universal Creative Income (UCI) like the Universal Basic Income concept to incentivise more content creators and push for better quality content on platforms.

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Aditya Gupta

Aditya Gupta

Building | Product, Growth & Business | Investments @Hustle Partners | 2x exit | Startups. Travel. Music. Curious. Learner.