By Gaurav Dagaonkar
Reports suggest that by 2025, content creation will be one of the most in-demand skills. This is due to the abundance of opportunities and the demand for quick-loading content in today’s world. While we used to be influenced by the people around us more often, content has now evolved into a medium that shapes us.
There was a time when large media companies, labels, and publishers owned the “creating-for-fans” pipelines. They often decided what the fans wanted to watch and what not. However, the past decade introduced us to the digitally native playing field. Now, the creators are the publishers, distributors, and promoters too. And several organizations stepped up to collaborate and grow this creator economy together.
What is the Creator Economy?
The creator economy highlights the businesses run by online content creators who manage to monetize their audiences. These creators do that by making use of paid partnerships, tipping platforms, ad revenues, and selling products or services. The creator economy depends on community building to bank on them.
The content creation process starts with developing a personalized brand and ends with operating a business.
Factors contributing to the rise of the creator economy
The creator economy has been boosted by several factors. These factors have contributed to the quick expansion of the creator ecosystem. Among these significant factors are:
The rise in internet usage and the globalization of content consumption
Internet usage growth and the evolution of content consumption across geographies:
Statista predicts a global growth in the number of internet users to 5.3 billion by 2023. More than 7.6% of people will start to use the internet worldwide each year. With the world becoming increasingly computerized, there will undoubtedly be an increase in the demand for creative content.
As internet availability spreads, the creator economy’s supply-and-demand imbalance shrinks. Localized content’s ability to reach a global audience is undoubtedly aided economically by wireless infrastructure and last-mile internet access. The creator economy is expected to expand rapidly in the coming years too.
Spurred by the pandemic
The pandemic has spurred content creators all over the world and India is no different. During this time of unparalleled loss and uncertainty, creativity experienced an unrestrained and widespread revival. An organic network effect was released as novice creators, and particularly those who worked in the vernacular languages, came to the internet to show off their skills.
Creators have successfully established significant communities through the delivery of targeted content across various verticals. These verticals include entertainment, beauty, fashion, technology, food, travel, and a host of others. They have been able to do this by utilizing their reach on websites like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram, as well as their regional language-focused equivalents, in a mostly platform-agnostic manner.
Disruption in formal employment opportunities
Independent creators contribute hugely to the creator economy. The pandemic brought with it a lot of change to the formal job market. This was among other things that contributed to an increase in activity by creators across the globe. In fact, many of these creators achieved overnight fame and helped propel the creator economy to $14 billion in 2021 alone. The adoption of remote and hybrid work has furthermore given time and resources to many creators to work on and put out their content.
What’s also interesting to note is that many creators now create content and upload the same across various channels full-time. That is, their primary source of income is the creator economy itself! Reports by YouTube and Oxford Economics have helped shed light on just how enormous the creator economy has become and the extraordinary rate at which it is growing. For instance, in 2020, it added Rs 6,800 crore to the Indian GDP and supported more than 6,83,900 full-time equivalent jobs. That contribution to GDP increased to Rs 10,000 Crore + and the number of full-time jobs supported by the creator economy crossed 7,50,000.
The popularity of short-form video content
People are constantly looking for fresh and entertaining videos to watch. Videos are currently the most popular type of content available on the internet. Short-form video material is popular because of its easy consumption and access on all devices. Short-form videos are also more popular for mobile viewing and are more likely to be shared with friends too. Watching reels or quick videos might teach you something new or make you laugh out loud in only minutes.
Short films are regarded by 85% of marketers as the most effective video format for social media, according to a HubSpot survey. In 2023, brands are likely to put an even greater emphasis on explainer, how-to, and short-form educational videos.
Short web films are becoming increasingly popular as a source of news, entertainment, and even education too. So, short-form educational movies are being included in the school curriculum by more and more students and teachers.
An increasing number of creator economy platforms and tools
Many content producers hunt for various revenue streams for their efforts. Many monetization systems are now available to help creators make a respectable living from their work.
YouTube is one of the most well-liked platforms for revenue generation. You can make videos and then use advertisements to monetize them. You can sign up for the YouTube Partner Program to receive a cut of the money made by advertising your videos.
Music licensing apps such as ‘Hoopr’ allow video creators and businesses to use music that is copyright-safe and cleared for usage across ads, videos, and film. Hoopr is solving a billion-dollar problem faced by content creators and businesses every day: discovering and licensing the right music for their videos. India’s 80 million+ creator community comprises vloggers, podcasters, gamers, filmmakers, live-streamers, and influencers who create audio-visual content on various topics. With over 25,000 tracks and sound effects, Hoopr is not only enabling these creators to get specific music for their needs but also helping them avoid copyright strikes and legal issues.
Outlook for 2023
With the steadily increasing surge in internet usage throughout India, the future of content will be driven by regional and independent creators. Since rural internet usage is rising three times faster than that in metropolitan regions, there will be a rise in the consumption and production of content that is focused on the heartland. We are already seeing many creators change the linguistic delivery of their content from English to vernacular ones with Hindi being the most popular one purely due to demographics.
In addition, we are also likely to see an increase in creators routinely offering direct fan subscriptions with access to exclusive content, one-on-one interactions with fans, facilitating close-knit group interactions, tipping and donation, and more.
Let’s also not discount the fact that the Metaverse is something that could open up new vistas for content creation and pave the way for collaborations, storylines, and a new style of delivering content altogether.
It is impressive what content creators have accomplished in a short period to establish a platform for themselves. They have gained fame on a worldwide scale for a specific area of work with enormous financial potential.
But that’s not all, the creator economy has added tremendous value. It has helped lakhs of individuals to earn a living, changed the landscape of marketing and product promotion, and also enabled knowledge sharing and learning for millions of people.
The country’s creator economy has the potential to become a soft power that influences cultural influence, economic growth, and job creation. The impact of our innovators and artists on the economy’s advancement will only grow as they develop the next generation of content creators who are reaching a global audience.
The author is CEO and co-founder of Hoopr.