It’s no surprise that the young people who were born in the digital age and grew up surrounded by technology and the internet are now at the forefront of the $100B+ Creator Economy.
What is the creator economy, and how does it work?
The creator economy is an economic system made up of creators, consumers, digital platforms and advertisers. Creators are independent entrepreneurs who build their own brand, businesses or community around a unique skill, concept, passion or goal. Digital platforms enable creators to host their content and products, grow their business and communities and connect with advertisers to earn revenue.
Beyond the core, the creator economy encompasses the startups and platforms designed to serve creators and help them build a business, from content creation tools to analytics platforms. Additionally there are numerous startups aiming to enhance the revenue potential of creators, regardless of their audience size, through new ways to generate content, develop and interact with audiences, or monetize businesses beyond advertising.
For Gen Z, the creator economy provides an alternative way of going about life. An opportunity to build something, from scratch, for yourself, on your own terms. This tech savvy generation is showing the world how seemingly easy it can be to build a bona fide business through leveraging technology to channel creativity.
By now, we’ve all heard countless stories of young gamers and entrepreneurs generating substantial income as creators. Examples range from building experiences for player communities on platforms like Roblox, using its free and immersive creation engine, to livestream events on NTWRK that effectively blend commerce with entertainment, as hosts interact with viewers in real time, to sell unique streetwear, shoes, collectibles and other items.
The creator economy has become a movement for independent Gen Zers (and young millennials) to build a following and monetize their skills, passions, ideas or personality. While some creators have original products or actively generate new content, many others are contributing in more subtle ways such as curating online storefronts of products they love and sharing their thoughts over video to help brands better understand their generation.
There is a tremendous opportunity for global brands to play a role in helping creators monetize their content while also reaching engaged, loyal audiences through authentic messaging.
Here is a quick roundup of four platforms for brand marketers to consider. Each has a different focus but all sit at the intersection of GenZ and the Creator Economy:
#1 Knit, the Gen Z Insights Platform
- Knit is helping brands make customer centric decisions through agile video feedback. Their mobile app connects brands with Gen Z consumers who are motivated by social causes.
- With over one million registered users, Knit’s Insights Platform is the largest nationwide panel of Gen Z consumers, enabling brands can conduct both Quantitative and Qualitative studies that are hyper-targeted to specific geographies, attributes and demographics.
- Brands can run nearly any form of research on-demand; from programmatic surveys that are capable of sampling a wide breadth of students, to video responses that dig deep into behaviors and opinions.
- Knit leverages the power of student organizations making them more than just a customer research tool. Interest in their app is two-sided as students raise money for their organizations, and brands gain unique insights.
Knit’s panel of Gen Z consumers enables brands to conduct both Quant + Qual studies that are hyper-targeted to specific geos, attributes and demographics.
#2 Emcee, the Gen Z Affiliate Platform
- Launched in July 2021, Emcee aims to revolutionize the affiliate industry by offering an integrated and automated digital platform allowing influencers to earn up to 25% commission from brands.
- Emcee’s creator platform offers brands a new type of online sales channel where influencers are retailers, exposing brands to new audiences and garnering sales around the clock.
- As of November 1, 2022, the platform is still in “coming soon” mode. A year prior, Emcee had 3,000 creators and 800 brands on its waitlist, with 100 approved creators and over 100 approved brands.
- Approved ‘Emcees,’ or influencers can monetize their audience 24/7 and create a passive income by curating an online storefront with the products they love the most.
- Soon to open Emcee studio, a physical metaverse hub in downtown LA that may provide brands and consumers a glimpse at what department stores could look like in the future: shopfronts and collaborative content hubs managed by creators through token voting rights that link to digital worlds.
#3 inStreamly, the Gen Z Streamers Platform
- inStreamly is an automated streamer management platform which brings brands and streamers together.
- While livestreaming represents the up and coming future, smaller streamers have been underserved when it comes to monetization options and opportunities to work with brands. inStreamly aims to give everyday streamers access to sponsorships, not only the top most popular 0,01%.
- In the long run, inStreamly wants to be the go-to platform for all streamers to grow and monetize their passion and wants to make it easy for brands to work with all streamers to reach Gen Z viewers.
- Brands benefit from more targeted streamer and audience selection with a higher click through and engagement rates as well as in depth data tracking.
#4 Yeay, the Gen Z Video Recommendation Platform
- Yeay is a platform that targets Gen Z consumers to recommend their favorite brands using short Snapchat-style video stories as its main medium
- Yeay sits at the confluence of three hot areas: Gen Z, social commerce, and blockchain/cryptocurrency.
- Yeay’s community shares honest recommendation videos with one another about the lifestyle products, services and experiences they love. Videos are quality-checked by other members of the community to keep the platform authentic and honest.
- Everyone who participates, from creators to those who rate videos, gets rewarded. Additionally, users can earn word of mouth (WOM) Token rewards for sharing authentic recommendations with their friends.
- Brands benefit from invaluable WOM recommendations, shoppable links and reduced content costs, as all video is user-generated.