Monetizing Influence in a Thriving Creator Economy

Exploring New Frontiers for Content Creators

By Oliver Bell, Co-Founder and CEO XCAD Network

Oliver Bell

The growing creator economy incentivized creativity, with social media platforms, the likes of TikTok, YouTube and Instagram empowering individuals to demonstrate their talent to audiences on a global scale. On the other end of the spectrum, however, lies the contrast between the growing creator economy and the limited income that creators earn from their content. 

Unstable Platforms and Income Gaps

The looming ban of TikTok in the United States with the recent Congress bill stamps a massive question mark on the livelihood of content creators, as it would necessitate a shift to other platforms that may provide an income.

Beyond TikTok’s potential ban, there appears to be a wide chasm between the size of the creator economy and the income of content creators. This chasm is made vivid by 48% of content creators making less than $15,000 per annum, while the creator economy is expected to reach a whopping $480 billion by 2027

While content is the primary source of influence for creators, it is not their primary source of income. Over 60% of content creators shared that the majority of income is not from their content, but primarily from brand deals. 

Make The Content Sweat

Though the threat of a TikTok ban may appear an obstacle to content creators’ livelihoods, the creator economy is established on a diversity of platforms on which content creators must adapt. Successful creators adapt the substance of their content to both the long-form found on YouTube videos and the short-form of TikTok’s reels, which are now available on other platforms as well. 

The threat of the TikTok ban is by no means news to content creators, as it has been thoroughly discussed and proposed numerous times in the US, and has been banned in various regions such as Canada, Australia and others. 

To that end, content creators have well-adapted and prepared for the expected ban. For instance, South American YouTuber TheDonato sustains a healthy flow of content on Instagram for his 4.8M followers. 

The ban on TikTok will most definitely leave behind a gap that content creators will feel in income generation, yet it is a gap that provides an opportunity to be filled with various other platforms on which content creators can generate both content and income.

Monetising Influence

Though content may be encumbered by obstacles to monetisation, it remains a source of influence with which content creators have learned to monetise their craft.   For instance, memberships for exclusive perks, brand collaborations and sponsored content have proven to show content as a creator of connections and attention among fans, which leads to monetisation opportunities. 

Another income avenue that content creators could explore is launching their own creator tokens, which leverage blockchain technology to bring together creators and fans through financial incentives. This turns fans from passive viewers to active stakeholders who are rewarded for their loyalty.

Though still in its nascent days, blockchain technology may open sources of income that nurture a direct connection between content creators and their audiences. This approach has shown promise as a sustainable model for content monetisation, as the creator economy continues to evolve.

Extracting the Value of Creativity

The creator economy’s growth has been equally great in both its opportunities and challenges for content creators. While platforms such as TikTok offer a large degree of exposure, they also face regulatory uncertainties and limited income streams.  However, content creators have taken a Carpe Diem approach with which they diversify revenue sources.

Beyond brand partnerships, the advent of creator tokens unleashed new avenues for monetisation, giving creators an opportunity to directly engage with their audiences to unlock the value of their influence. 

In a rapidly growing creator economy, entrepreneurial creativity is paramount for content creators to bridge the income gap with innovative strategies that leverage their craft. This entails adaptability and ingenuity that will be fundamental for content creators to thrive.

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