In 2020, a young factory worker from Italy lost his job due to the pandemic. He started making TikTok videos parodying so-called “life hack” videos he’d seen.
Today, Khaby Lame is TikTok’s rising star, with around 135 million followers—and he’s earning between $50,000 and $84,000 per sponsored post!
On YouTube, little Ryan Kaji started posting toy unboxing videos. In 2020, Ryan, then nine years old, became the highest-earning YouTuber for the third year running, bringing in $29.5 million with a channel boasting over 47.5 billion views.
In 2021, Ryan’s record was nearly doubled by Mr. Beast, who pulled in $54 million.
Who would have believed you could earn a living by playing computer games or making funny videos in your garage?
“Two decades ago,” says Werner Geyser from Influencer Marketing Hub, “a generation watched enthralled at the antics of the Jackass crew, unaware that their future sons and daughters would be sharing similar videos to larger audiences just by using their phones.”
More recently, the term “creator economy” has also been used to include the growing number of resources designed specifically for these creators.
From Instagram talent agencies to financial software for managing your monetization, the list of services goes on.
Recently, economists estimate that this economic sector is worth over $100 billion. 90% of the content that Gen Z is consuming today is created by individuals, not by corporations.
The creator trend has been quietly growing over the past decade, but the COVID-19 pandemic ramped it into high hear.
Suddenly, millions of everyday people suddenly found themselves with time on their hands and a hobby that could be marketed—and hundreds of millions more were looking for entertainment during lockdowns.
Add the fact that content creation is getting more and more accessible because of technological advances, and it’s no surprise the creator economy continues to thrive.
Today, anyone with a good idea and a little bit of tech-savvy can become a creator!
In fact, anyone who creates content for an online platform can technically be termed a content creator, but in the context of the creator economy, the term primarily refers to someone systematically generating content and striving to monetize it.
There are around 50 million of these creators worldwide, and 2.3 million of those say that content creation is their full-time job, earning a viable income.
These numbers will only rise, not only because of increasing demand for entertainment, but because being an influencer has become a financially lucrative career choice.
A recent survey that involved 8 to 12-year-olds in America found that 29% aspired to become a YouTube star, beating out athletes, musicians, and astronauts!
It’s an exciting and profitable time to get involved in the creator economy. You just need the passion, the commitment and the drive.
But how can you make money doing what you love? We’ll take a closer look in the next chapter.