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Creator Economy

Giving creators the power of content monetization and audience engagement.

Overview

Giving the power of content monetization and audience engagement to creators

From YouTube to TikTok to Clubhouse, digital content creators have developed into an animating force in the media, communications, and technology industries over the past decade. And over time, a growing network of tools, products, and services have developed around content and social media platforms to monetize opportunities for creators—influencers, celebrities, artists, etc.— to earn income outside of traditional and ad-supported distribution channels. The economic relationship between creators and their audience is, in turn, becoming more straightforward than ever as fans pay directly for exclusive content, interactions, and experiences; with creator platforms sitting in the middle, earning revenue through each transaction.

Alongside social platforms, creators are turning to platforms such as Patreon, Cameo, Substack, and Teachable that prioritize paid content over freemium offerings and provide the opportunity to maintain a continuous engaging relationship with their audience from production, to discovery, to monetization.

What's driving this industry?
Market Sizing

The creator platform market in the US could reach USD 3.1-7.0 billion by 2026

Conservative case

USD 3.1 Bn

Base case

USD 4.7 Bn

Expansion case

USD 7.0 Bn

USD billion02468202120222023202420252026
View details

COVID-19 IMPACT

  • Patreon had over 30,000 creators signing up within the first three weeks of March 2020, ending the month with a total of 50,000 new creators.

  • OnlyFans reported a 75% month-over-month (MoM) increase in sign-ups in April 2020, observing a daily increase of 200,000 users on average.

  • TikTok monthly US active users grew from 40 million in October 2019 to over 100 million in August 2020. Monthly global active users also grew from almost 508 million in December 2019 to nearly 690 million in July 2020.

  • Substack recorded a 60% rise in revenue and doubling of its user count within the first three months of the pandemic.

  • Cameo’s MoM revenue jumped 400% in April 2020 making April 2020 its first profitable month since its inception in 2017.

View detail

Market Mapping


The creator economy largely revolves around videos, live streams, photos, and podcasts. Therefore the market segment covering these areas is more mature and therefore more highly populated with incumbents compared to the other segments.

However, new concepts in creator-fan interaction—primarily facilitated by membership providers—can guarantee monetization for creators unlike more established freemium and ad-supported models. This segment includes established disruptors such as Patreon, escapex, and OnlyFans—providing an alternative to video content and blogs. Most of the disruptors in this segment are membership-based with creators and fans able to offer and purchase a range of interaction options at different price points.

Amid a sustained interest in cryptocurrency, adoption of blockchain-related services including NFT (Non-Fungible Token) platforms have also gained traction as a new way of creator content monetization. This segment lacks incumbents and significant fundraising activity and therefore includes several Seed and Pre-Seed level companies.

Incumbents
Growth
Early
Seed
Pre-Seed
Videos/ live stream/ photography/ podcasts
?
Newsletters/ writing/ blogs
?
Multiple facilities platform
?
Membership providers
?
Infrastructure providers
?
NFT platforms
?
Decentraland
Decentraland
Decentraland
Decentraland
Decentraland
Decentraland
Meta
Amazon
Apple
Google
Spotify
ByteDance
Snap Inc
Acast
HubSpot
Pinterest
Cameo
OnlyFans
memmo.me
Sounder.fm
WeAre8
Encore
Auddy
Audioboom
Audiomack
ViewBug
Community
Superpeer
Newness
Stacked
Meta
Twitter
Automattic
Medium
Substack
Dorian
Subtext
Community
Buttondown
Zestworld
Meta
Twitter
Automattic
Microsoft
Hotmart
Dropbox
Patreon
Spring
Gumroad
Calaxy
Fanhouse
Pietra
Disciple Media
Podia
Vodra
Amazon
Apple
Spotify
Patreon
Medium
Gumroad
OnlyFans
Clubhouse
Mighty Networks
Circle
Fanhouse
Tellie
Disciple Media
Subtext
Community
Superpeer
Sunroom
Vampr
Podia
Luma
Acast
Shopify
Lightricks
Spotter
Linktree
Splice
Talenthouse
Jellysmack
Riverside.fm
Koji
Sounder.fm
Maestro
Creative Juice
Pepper
Pietra
Soundstripe
Liv
Tellie
Glip
Warren James
Koop
Zencastr
Whalar
Creator.co
Stir Money
CreatorDAO
Mash
Vampr
Podia
Luma
Clutch
Direcon
Replay
Uppbeat
Passionfroot
Superjoi
Buzzup
AudioLabs
Animoca Brands
Binance
Coinbase
eBay
Gemini
Reddit
OpenSea
Magic Eden
Spring
Decentraland
Rarible
Tellie
SuperRare
Pianity
KnownOrigin
ViewBug
Mintable
Niftify
RareCircles
Afterparty
Novel
Portion
Dank Bank
Momento NFT
Cent
MetaMundo
Artemis
Blockparty
Foundation Labs
Kalamint
PolyOne
Kollektor
OurSong
NOWwhere
SoundMint
FUEL
Acquicent
Ninetales

The Disruptors


Disruptors offer a more personal mode of creator-fan engagement

The disruptors of the creator economy are bringing about more intimate channels for creator-fan interactions (such as Cameo, escapex, OnlyFans), in addition to platforms where individual creator monetization is guaranteed (such as Patreon, Substack). These disruptors enable creators to actively engage with their audience, predominantly via video or text, and have seen rapid growth, bringing fierce competition to existing incumbents.

Videos/ live stream/ photography/ podcasts

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
Audioboom
Public - Market cap USD 90.0 mn
Cameo
166
memmo.me
24
Sounder.fm
21
WeAre8
17
Encore
11
Superpeer
10
Auddy
10
Audiomack
6
OnlyFans
Unknown
ViewBug
Unknown
Community
Unknown
Watchlist
?
Stacked
Newness

Newsletters/ writing/ blogs

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
Medium
163
Substack
82
Dorian
19
Community
Unknown
Subtext
Unknown
Buttondown
Unknown
Watchlist
?
Zestworld

Multiple facilities platform

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
Patreon
413
Spring
62
Calaxy
34
Fanhouse
21
Gumroad
16
Pietra
15
Disciple Media
6
Watchlist
?
Podia
Vodra

Membership providers

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
Patreon
413
Medium
163
Clubhouse
110
Mighty Networks
66
Circle
30
Fanhouse
21
Gumroad
16
Superpeer
10
Tellie
10
Disciple Media
6
OnlyFans
Unknown
Community
Unknown
Subtext
Unknown
Watchlist
?
Sunroom
Vampr
Podia
Luma

Infrastructure providers

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
Talenthouse
Public - Market cap USD 58.2 mn
Lightricks
335
Spotter
231
Linktree
166
Splice
160
Riverside.fm
47
Koji
36
Jellysmack
22
Sounder.fm
21
Maestro
21
Creative Juice
20
Pepper
19
Pietra
15
Soundstripe
15
Liv
12
Tellie
10
Glip
7
Warren James
6
Koop
5
Zencastr
5
Whalar
4
Creator.co
1
Watchlist
?
Stir Money
CreatorDAO
Mash
Uppbeat
Vampr
Passionfroot
Podia
Luma
Superjoi
Clutch
Buzzup
Direcon
AudioLabs
Replay

NFT platforms

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
OpenSea
427
Magic Eden
160
Spring
62
Decentraland
26
Rarible
16
Tellie
10
Pianity
7
KnownOrigin
5
ViewBug
Unknown
Watchlist
?
Mintable
SuperRare
Niftify
RareCircles
Afterparty
Novel
Portion
Dank Bank
Momento NFT
Cent
MetaMundo
Artemis
FUEL
Acquicent
Blockparty
Ninetales
Foundation Labs
Kalamint
PolyOne
Kollektor
OurSong
NOWwhere
SoundMint

Audioboom

Audioboom enables creators to host, distribute, and monetize their podcasts. Audioboom audiences can consume its content on multiple partnered platforms, including Apple Podcasts, CastBox, Spotify, Deezer, Google Podcasts, and iHeart, offering podcast advertising solutions as well. The company’s embeddable player also allows creators to share their content on their own websites and social media. Audioboom also has an in-house podcasting studio that produces shows such as ‘F1: Beyond the Grid’ and ‘What Makes a Killer’. The Audioboom Group PLC was listed on the London Stock Exchange in December 2005.

In February 2022 , Amazon and Spotify were both reportedly exploring bidding options to acquire Audioboom, a UK-based podcasting platform. Sources reported that Amazon and Spotify may present their formal offers in the near future.

Audioboom’s FY2021 revenue grew significantly by 125% YoY to USD 60 million. FY2021 adjusted EBITDA turned positive to USD 3.0 million, compared to an EBITDA loss of USD 1.8 in FY2020. The company also reported in January 2022, that it has already booked USD 45 million in ad campaigns for 2022.

Segment:
Videos/ live stream/ photography/ podcasts
Total funding:
USD 7.6 million
Competitors:
Spotify, Audiomack, Sounder.fm
Disruptor Funding History

Videos/ live stream/ photography/ podcasts:

Audioboom
Cameo
memmo.me
Sounder.fm
WeAre8
Encore
Superpeer
Auddy
Audiomack
Stacked
Newness

Newsletters/ writing/ blogs:

Medium
Substack
Dorian
Zestworld

Multiple facilities platform:

Patreon
Spring
Calaxy
Fanhouse
Gumroad
Pietra
Disciple Media
Podia
Vodra

Competitive Analysis


Filter by a segment or companies of your choice
Videos/ live stream/ photography/ podcasts

*Residual of creator earnings/sales value minus platform cut taken as a proxy and does not consider other applicable fees

Incumbents


Acquisitions are the most common form of entry

Major social media platforms including Facebook, Google, Twitter, and ByteDance are all key incumbents in the creator economy as well as global internet companies Amazon, Spotify, and WordPress maker Automattic. Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) is a common path into the creator economy, with Google and Amazon entering the space solely through their acquisitions of YouTube and Twitch, respectively. Facebook, on the other hand, maintains dominance by purchasing startups with developers building social products.

Videos/ live stream/ photography/ podcasts
Newsletters/ writing/ blogs
Multiple facilities platform
Membership providers
Infrastructure providers
NFT platforms
In House Development
M&A
Partnership
Investment
Meta
Amazon
Twitter
Apple
Google
Spotify
ByteDance
Automattic
Animoca Brands
Binance
Coinbase
Snap Inc
Acast
eBay
HubSpot
Hotmart
Shopify
Dropbox
Gemini
Reddit
Pinterest

Notable Investors


No investor data is available

Funding data are powered by Crunchbase
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