Creator Economy Simplified

Are you a creator concerned about being demonetized and your channel getting canceled with traditional distribution platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, & TikTok, or with other platforms such as SoundCloud and Medium?


Are you a person who wants to become a creator of any kind but is hesitant to start and thinking that you missed the trend?

Then, this is something that you should know.

What’s Happening?

Apart from depending on conventional monetization, creators are now pursuing alternative ways to make money. It indicates that creators want a bigger slice of revenue. Also, 

  • Facebook has recently announced that it will pay $1 billion to content creators through 2022 via its new bonus program.

Creator Economy Fb update

Also, it launched Live Audio Rooms (a Clubhouse clone), a newsletter tool called Bulletin, and a monetization product stars.

    • Instagram announced that it is developing three major new monetization features for creators: Creator Shops, affiliate commerce, and a branded content marketplace.

  • Twitter recently announced that it will bring Super Follows feature to help creators earn monthly income from the conversations they create.
  • Being the top payer of ad revenue, YouTube is also focusing on creators. It introduced YouTube Shorts Fund, a $100M fund, on YouTube Shorts.
  • TikTok launched its Creator Fund$200 million fund for creators.
  • Spotify launched a fund in June to pay creators for building content and community on Greenroom, a Clubhouse clone.
  • Pinterest launched a $500K fund where creator participants can earn $25,000.
  • Clubhouse recently launched a monetization feature—tips for audio creators.
  • BitClout, a new social network built based on the custom blockchain, gaining popularity. It allows users to speculate on creators and their posts with real money.

It is obvious that all these social media giants are fighting with each other to keep creators on their platforms in order to drive engagement. But why?

Companies have sensed a huge potential of creators, as a result, they are trying to attract creators by introducing creator-centric features to monetize.

The Evolution of Creator Economy

Welcome to the Creator Economy.

What is the creator economy?

Creator economy refers to businesses/ side hustles of numerous independent creators who are making money out of their creations or knowledge. In addition to the creators, the sector includes companies that serve them with multiple tools and analytics platforms.

A content creator is someone who creates and expresses entertainment or educational content for audiences. A creator can be a,

  • Blogger
  • Course creator
  • Designer
  • Influencer
  • Podcaster
  • Vlogger
  • Writer

The evolution

  • As being a creator/ influencer evolved into a full-time career, indirect monetization became insufficient. Also, the indirect source of revenue (Ads) can fluctuate every month.
  • Nearly half of the consumers use ad-blocking technology which reduces the chances of making money from ads.
  • Due to the increased competition and fluctuation in revenue, every creator is forced to cater to a larger audience.
  • Social media giants shared only a small portion of their revenue with creators (YouTube might be the exception, it shares 45% of ad revenue).

As a result, creators are looking for ways to monetize on their own terms. Realizing the opportunities, a lot of new companies are emerging around creators to support them by providing proper tools and platforms.

Creator Economy Evolution

  • The barter economy is the earliest and cashless economy in which participants exchange goods or services for other goods or services. The world would have been a better place to live during the barter economy, I guess.
  • Then, the industrial economy occurred in the 18th and 19th centuries, which is based on mass manufacturing. This was the place where Fordism was born. Most people earned their living by making stuff in factories.
  • In the early 20th century, due to the globalization of trade, people headed to the consumer economy, in which they started purchasing consumer goods such as radios, cars, beauty products or clothing.
  • In the later stages of the 20th century, in the era of the Internet, the service economy was born. Though it wiped out many traditional jobs, it created many more new jobs. It denotes the increased importance of the service sector in industrialized economies.
  • In the current 21st century, web 2.0 paved the way for the creator economy. Since then creators have evolved a lot. They found a way to earn money by marketing their inane skills and hobbies online. The transition is clearly visible.

In the creator economy trend, creators can make millions in a matter of few weeks; this will likely happen within the upcoming five years.

How Creator Economy Works

The creator economy gives direct access to the audience and helps creators grow their businesses beyond advertising.

With the conventional way of monetization, creators can earn their money through advertisements and brand deals majorly.

Creator Economy Revenue

With the tools and platforms of the emerging creator-centric companies, creators can monetize their own work more directly. It means creators can take a bigger slice of revenue home. Content-sharing platforms like Gumroad or Patreon and course-launching platforms like Thinkific or Teachable could be the best examples.

Creator Economy Revenue

How Creators Can Leverage the New Platforms and Tools

Usually, creators had to juggle a variety of tools to manage diverse revenue streams. However, things are changing in the creator economy. Numerous startups are trying to change the way creators produce content and develop their audiences.

According to CB Information Services, creators in the below platforms are taking home 50 – 90%.

Creator Economy Revenue

Hence, all creators should focus on multiple monetization options and passive incomes that are available to them.

  • If you are a YouTuber, you can also try creating few courses and put them for sale in Thinkific or Teachable
  • If you are a Blogger, you can also try selling newsletters in Convertkit, Ghost, Patreon, or Substack.
  • If you are a creator of any kind, you can sell your digital products on Gumroad.
Did You Know?

Since 2011, 90,308 creators have earned over $468,895,137 in Gumroad.

However, top creators always attract a larger audience—they are getting paychecks ranging from 6 to 8 figures. Due to this overconcentration, middle-class creators are often left with few pennies.

This is likely to change in the future. Creator platforms will consider middle-class creators too. In fact, platforms such as Cameo and Streamloots are already allowing creators monetizing superfans to a greater degree.

Here is Li Jin’s thread on “Why is creating a middle class of creators important?”

Creator Middle-class

Source: Li Jin

According to her, creator platforms flourish only when they provide the opportunity for anyone to grow and succeed.

What Will Happen Next?

According to SignalFire, there are 50 million creators out there. Many more creators will emerge in this creator economy. As creators grow their audience and revenue channels; this will lead to the burden of managing the day-to-day of their business. However, they can easily overcome those burdens, if they learn to use the slew of tools/ platforms that are available to them.

On the other side, startups that empower creators will dominate the next stage of this evolution.


Are you a creator concerned about being demonetized and your channel getting canceled with traditional distribution platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, & TikTok, or with other platforms such as SoundCloud and Medium?

As a creator, you should not worry about demonetization and your channel getting canceled in this creator economy. Because apart from traditional monetization, there are a lot of ways to monetize your skills and knowledge.

Are you a person who wants to become a creator of any kind but is hesitant to start and thinking that you missed the trend?

In this creator economy, there will be many more creators going to emerge. Almost every creator can stand out and generate decent revenue streams. As per Gumroad, the creator economy has just started.

Year Gumroad Market Cap
2012 $600k
2013 $4.9m
2014 $13.7m
2015 $21m
2016 $36.2m
2017 $41.4m
2018 $52.3m
2019 $73.1m
2020 $143.8m

List of useful tools/ platforms for all kinds of creators:

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