5 Fascinating Trends Shaping the Creator Economy


If you’re on the go or multi-tasking, no worries. Just click play below and listen at your leisure via desktop or mobile device. If you prefer to read, I also have you covered below the audio player. Have fun!

We are beginning to experience the next era of social media, and it’s called the “Creator Economy”. Due to the rise of mobile, social, and millennial affluence, brands now have to reconsider the digital tactics that carried them to this point.

In this blog post, I will explore 5 key trends that are shaping the creator economy. Are you ready to take a ride on the creator highway? Let’s go!

  1. Consumers Have More Choice than Ever

content-consumptionAccording to Nielsen, Americans now own four digital devices on average, which consists of HD televisions, internet connected computers and smartphones. 2/3 of Americans use smartphones, which allows them to create and consume media anywhere, anytime. As a result of this choice of screens, Americans are now consuming 60+ hours of content per week. Yes, I said that correctly!

Right after choice of devices, there’s also choice of channel, whether it’s social, news outlet, blog, forum, search engine. And finally, there is choice of multi-media, whether it’s video, text, images, or audio.

No wonder marketers are having a hard time wrapping their heads around all of this change.

  1. Millennials Don’t Trust the Media

The millennial generation behaves in a very particular way for several reasons. During Newscred’s 2014 Content Marketing Summit, Eddy Moretti, Chief Creative Officer of Vice shared several insights that basically explains why I do what I do (I’m a millennial).

A big reason why millennials behave the way they do is, according to Moretti, due to the march of opposing forces in the early 2000s, a crisis of information and the liberation of information. The crisis included all the bad things like terror attacks, financial systems melting down, and climate change. This result: Millennials losing trust in politicians, the media, experts and systems.

Due to this distrust, my generation turns to social for bite sized headlines and authentic, uncut content. We can sense BS very easily and don’t have time for it.

  1. Creator Business NetworksCreatorsClass

Is your in-house creative team still making the cut? You can find out by tapping into large business networks of creators. With the democratization of content creation, it’s now easier than ever to create content. But the next phase is funneling talented creatives into a platform that connects them with businesses.

Once these platforms hit a critical mass of supply and demand, they can adjust pricing in real-time, and ratings will give you the best possible matches. This is the holy grail of business network economics.

Believe it or not, it’s happening. Here is an example of several creative networks.

  1. Banner Ads Just Plain Stink

My pal Michael Brenner made it pretty clear that he doesn’t like banner ads. I would have to agree with him. When’s the last time you actually clicked on one. Oh wait, I think I accidently clicked on one last night, oops.

banner-blidnessThe average click through rate is .08%, and eye tracking studies clearly show that people rarely look at banner ads.

So what are people paying attention to instead? Awesome content! It wins every time.

I recommend doing a mix of original content, working with creators, and licensing content from credible sources. But remember, 60%-80% of your budget should be spent on promoting your content. People won’t know about your awesome content unless you make it discoverable.

  1. The Elite Creators will Become Increasingly Selective

Did you know that a guy that makes ridiculous comments while playing video games on YouTube made approximately $4 million in 2013?! Yes, the famous PewDiePie has made a career out of YouTube, and others are too.

As their popularity increases, they will become very selective about which brands they work with. So you have 2 options –

  • Make sure that your brand values align with the top creators, give them creative freedom, and pay top dollar to work with them.
  • Start working with the next generation of creators, paying less money, but growing your business as they grow their audience.

Your Turn

Now that you know about the 5 trends shaping this new economy, what is your next move? Are you a creator or a brand? Maybe both?

Want to learn more about the creator economy? I’ve teamed up with Nick Cicero, and we are getting ready to launch The Creators Class, the podcast that takes you into the lives of the most amazing creators in the world today, uncovering their new monetization strategies and learning more about how they’re carrying the creative flame. Subscribe here to get early access!

About the author: Nick Robinson is a lover of all things analytics and digital. He has a strong background in web development, marketing, and entrepreneurship. His professional experience with the web dates back to 1997 when he coded his first Geocities website. When not burning the midnight oil, you can find him on the lacrosse field, playing or coaching. The best places to interact with him are Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.