April 23, 2021
The future of the creator economy is entwined and closely resembles our economy of today. You can no longer discuss it without mentioning the ownership economy and shift from web 2.0 to web 3.0. world. With this shift comes more opportunities to build solutions that uplift creators at every stage of their lifecycle. The companies that will win in the creator economy will be those that build tools specific to every stage of a creators lifecycle from awareness to ownership.
When building for the creator economy, you're building two products simultaneously. One is your product and the other is a community program that empowers your creators. Without creators, you don't have consistent distribution. This is why it's essential to be audience first or build in public (aka document building your product openly).
The biggest challenge when building early on is making sure you have a pool of creators to partner with. This doesn't have to be a 100+ member community, it needs to be a set of early beta testers willing to work with you and help iterate on the product. In return you offer incentives to attract creators early on. Incentives being financial, discoverability, or both.
A possible solution will be a product that lets early stage founders find creators who are willing to test and provide feedback on their products. This could be a marketplace or platform that allows founders and creators to connect with one another in exchange for being early community members, product testers and users.
Companies that will win the creator economy from the awareness to ownership phase of a creators lifecycle will be those platforms that can offer financial and discoverability solutions regardless of the platform. Discoverability is and continues to be a growing problem in the creator economy as creators that aren't able to be discovered. As more platforms continue to rollout monetization features, Creators are going to have more reasons to diversify their content channels. More channels results in more ways for a creator to be discovered across platforms while simultaneously being able to monetize.
The company that's able to pull in content into a universal feed with the ability to engage with that content (likes, comments, shares, DMs etc) will become essential. The reason being is there will be a need to help creators engage with their fans plus manage multiple mediums as creators become full-stack creators begin to rollout omni-world activations.
Combined a universal feed with the ability too monetize, and the platform becomes an aggregator and gatekeeper of content. In short, it's a universal hub for aggregating content with realtime ways to monetize and engage will help service omni-channel creators as more creators diversify their social channels and mediums.
Inspired by Li Jin's essay, the other is a universal income solution that helps redistribute the wealth amongst creators. The biggest challenges impacting creators are monetization and discoverability. However the current state of companies are focused on monetization in a way that benefits the top 1% of creators. Small-midsize creators are being phased due to lack of revenue and being discovered.
Companies that can offer a universal basic income to creators will create, acquire, and retain more creators. The company that's able to create or implement an ROI positive income program for creators will separate themselves from the pack. The challenge comes with maintaining relationships with larger creators. By redistributing revenue, you're ultimately eating into the revenue opportunities for large creators. This could be the reason companies don't rollout these programs as 80% of a creator revenue is being generated by the top 20% of creators.
The solution here is a company or fund that allows aligns the incentives of large and small-creators and offers payment who reach a criteria and maintain eligibility status. For example, a company could require creators to qualify for UBI by needing a minimum of 10,000 followers, posting 1x-2x a week in order to qualify. The criteria will change depending on the platform but there's a prime opportunity for a company to build a solution to manage this out of the box for platforms.
With the increase in tools, social channels, domains, and content, creators are going to need solutions to track these areas. Companies such as Stir and Juice are providing solutions for creators to manage the financial aspect across platforms. The challenge comes with the rise of Web 3 and users tracking ETH and other crypto payments/wallets.
Creators who branch into NFTs but also have traditional ecommerce revenue will need solutions to track and record crypto and fiat finances in one place.
Social platforms that analyze content and track social stats will grow in importance as there will be a need to identify and determine what channels to prioritize, new potential revenue channels, and underperforming channels.
While this is the tip of the iceberg on potential solutions, the winners of the creator economy will be those improve monetization and discoverability for all creators and those that make it easier to optimize key parts of the business at affordable rates.The biggest challenge to the creator economy is the eroding of small-midsize creators to due to lack of revenue and resources. The solution involves testing on how we can align the incentives between platforms and creators. All in all, the infrastructure of successfully building for the creator economy lies with the companies that focus on key areas of a creators lifecycle.
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