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.

Industry Updates

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Market Sizing

The US Creator Economy market could reach USD 1.8 billion–5.5 billion by 2028

Conservative case

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Base case

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Expansion case

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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
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Videos/ live stream/ photography/ podcasts/ music
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Newsletters/ writing/ blogs
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Multiple facilities platform
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Membership providers
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Infrastructure providers
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NFT platforms
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CreatorSource
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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.

Funding History

Competitive Analysis


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Product Overview
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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.

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Notable Investors


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