Five predictions for the creator economy in 2022

There’s by no means been a extra pronounced concentrate on the creator economy.

Monetizing digital content material is nothing new, however the pandemic turbocharged the sector as folks turned to social and subscription platforms to complement their earnings throughout stay-at-home measures—or out of boredom like many TikTok stars who joined the rising platform as one thing to do and located a full-time profession.

That momentum from 2020 has solely elevated this previous yr.

Greater than 50 million folks globally contemplate themselves content material creators, and the market dimension has grown to properly over $104 billion. Buyers poured a file $1.3 billion into the area. And there’s even been a stronger center class, with a 41% of creators incomes a residing wage ($69,000 yearly or extra) year-over-year.


Creators have gotten their very own companies. Startups are dashing to make instruments and companies to handle and develop these enterprises. And main manufacturers are doubling down on leveraging the attain that creators have with their audiences.

It’s simple to see why so many individuals say there’s by no means been a greater time to be a content material creator—however what do the instances forward appear to be? Listed here are some 2022 projections on traits and points in the creator economy.

Creator funds will stick round however nobody is counting on them

One among the most urgent challenges that the majority up-and-coming creators face is learn how to make secure earnings from their content material.

Social platforms launched creator funds in 2020 as a measure to appease (and in some instances lure) creators onto platforms. TikTok led the cost with its $200 million fund. In November 2020, Snap began shelling out $1 million each day to creators who used its short-form video characteristic Highlight. (The corporate introduced in December that it had paid out more than $250 million in 2021 to 12,000-plus creators.) In June 2021, Meta, which was nonetheless known as Fb at the time, threw its hat in the ring by asserting its $1 billion funding in applications to present creators extra methods to earn cash.

“At this level it’s turn into desk stakes to have a creator fund,” says Kaya Yurieff, a reporter who covers the creator economy for The Data. “What I hear time and again from creators, although, is that except they’d an enormous viral month of video views, it actually doesn’t transfer the needle.”

Whereas it’s true that creator funds aren’t essentially designed to be a creator’s full earnings, they may also help complement it. The query then turns into how lengthy platforms are keen to pump cash into creator funds. “In the event you begin paring again a few of these monetary rewards, you’re going to lose a few of the engagement from creators,” Yurieff says.


Alessandro Bogliari, cofounder and CEO of Influencer Advertising and marketing Manufacturing facility, provides that he’s all the time been skeptical of creator funds for that very purpose. “What social media [platforms] typically don’t perceive is that social media isn’t just about the options and the cash, it’s about the neighborhood,” Bogliari says. “It’s about what you’ll be able to create and the way lengthy are you able to keep there? After all, some [creators] wish to get the simple cash and run away, however the others that wish to try this as a job, they wish to make sure that they’ll get extra out of it, extra on a month-to-month foundation than simply getting one large cost.”

Manufacturers will faucet extra creators to achieve their audiences

How most creators have been—and nonetheless—make their residing is thru model offers.

Based on Influencer Advertising and marketing Manufacturing facility, 31% of creators cited influencer advertising and marketing as their predominant supply of earnings.

The excellent news is that manufacturers aren’t solely fixated on simply what number of followers a creator has anymore, notes David Anderson, managing director of UTA’s leisure and tradition advertising and marketing division.

“It’s a way more holistic view of who’s their viewers? What’s the engagement? Once they do create content material and so they do submit in partnership with a model, what’s their response?” Anderson says. “We’ve seen an evolution to a way more refined analysis standards.”

That is sensible provided that youthful demographics have been slipping out of conventional promoting’s grip. Based on a survey from the advert company Wunderman Thompson, 73% of Gen Z Individuals need a model that understands them, and 76% need a model that’s accepting of various identities and experiences, which is exactly the place content material creators at numerous ranges of attain are bridging the hole.

“We’re going via a interval the place conventional promoting is turning into more durable and more durable to achieve discrete audiences,” says Joe Kessler, world head of UTA IQ, the company’s knowledge analytics division. “Right here’s an space the place manufacturers have an incredible alternative. Shoppers are able to say, in case you may also help facilitate this relationship and ship me the sorts of product and entry and expertise and neighborhood that I’m looking for in this, convey it on.”

On prime of that, Apple’s iOS updates that prioritize shopper privateness by giving customers extra management over who sees and makes use of their knowledge will undoubtedly influence conventional digital advertising and marketing. Which means manufacturers can have a more durable time reaching particular audiences via these means.

“Influencer advertising and marketing is just going to extend subsequent yr particularly due to the iOS adjustments,” Yurieff says. “If I’m attempting to achieve 18-to-34 yr outdated girls in magnificence, I do know that I can companion with these influencers.”

[Source photo: Tarun Savvy/Unsplash]

Count on extra manufacturers and greater celebrities turning into creators

On the flip facet, extra manufacturers will turn into content material creators in their very own proper.

“Each small enterprise sees the have to turn into a creator,” says Scott Belsky, chief product officer of Adobe. “Whether or not you’re the native laundromat or pizza store down the road or therapeutic massage therapist or hairdresser or no matter the case could also be, you now understand that your model is just as well timed and contemporary as your content material is. And that that you must be represented in your prospects or potential prospects’s streams on all these social platforms in order even to have a rising enterprise.”


The identical may be mentioned for celebrities.

“We’re already seeing that to some extent, notably on Cameo,” UTA’s Kessler says. “However throughout the board we’re getting questions from our shoppers now, ‘Inform me about this creator economy factor. How can I take part? How can I construct my model or construct my fandom via these new instruments?’”

Labor points and burnout will must be addressed

Earlier this yr, burnout in the creator economy grew to become a sizzling matter of dialogue. A survey discovered 90% of creators skilled burnout and 71% mentioned it made them contemplate quitting. “Quite a lot of the approach these platforms are arrange is you’re on this hamster wheel and you’ll’t get off,” Yurieff says.

It’s a part of a broader dialog round labor Yurieff compares to the gig economy.

“When Uber and Lyft first got here out, I bear in mind they had been giving enormous bonuses to drivers and lots of people had been tapping into the gig economy and all the advantages of it,” she says.

That, after all, shifted into heavy discourse on labor points and learn how to classify app-mediated work. (In California, voters decided by way of the poll initiative Proposition 22 that they need to be seen as contractors and never staff, however in August, the California Supreme Court docket deemed Prop 22 unconstitutional.)

“We’re gonna begin to have extra of a labor dialog subsequent yr, as a result of I believe proper now we romanticize the creator economy somewhat bit,” Yurieff says. “I hear this from creators quite a bit that they’re like, ‘Everybody thinks this is very easy, and I simply movie movies at residence and it’s so enjoyable and it’s so cool residing my dream.’”

NFTs might want to have extra IRL advantages

The hype round non-fungible tokens (NFTs) has naturally bled into the creator economy in the type of social tokens which permit creators to promote their very own NFTs to followers in alternate for unique entry and content material. As a creator’s star rises, so does the worth of their NFT. “I see it as lots of, like, smoke, to be sincere,” Bogliari says. “I don’t wish to sound like a boomer saying that is only a part, but it surely’s actually chaotic as of now. Who has the energy are the folks with extra cash. So at the finish of the day, it’s nonetheless capitalism on a decentralized land. It’s nothing new. Iit’s nonetheless about who has extra money.”

Yurieff is a little more optimistic about NFTs which have real-world worth, corresponding to getting access to a meet-and-greet or discounted merchandise. “There will probably be extra purposes for that the place it’s not simply this pure NFT,” she says. “A few of the crypto conversations may be intimidating. And so I believe you’ll have early movers and people who find themselves in it. And you then’ll have creators who form of are in a wait-and-see mode with it.”