How the Creator Economy Is Reshaping Our Lives

May 9, 2022
Stacy Wells

A changing marketplace has ushered in the so-called "creative economy" with the advent of digital technology and the rise of the "creator."

For years media conglomerates decided what information and entertainment we could consume. Consumers had very little say or control. We were stuck with a handful of major networks and the options they served. Forget about the freedom to choose what we watch and when. And, of course, binging was entirely off the table.  

But then, the internet entered the scene. With it came a tremendous transition and realignment of control. The internet upended the centralized content paradigm. A digital door swung wide open for anyone and everyone to publish their own material. 

Spurred on by this evolution are a growing zeal for unique and interesting content, new forms of entrepreneurialism, and an increasing number of freelancers and contractors. 

The creative economy has arisen as a new social and economic landscape for work.

Article Outline

  • What is the Creator Economy?
  • The Rise of the Creator
  • Social Media and Its Part of the Creator Economy
  • The Market Size of the Creator Economy  
  • Ways Creators Earn Money 
  • How to Become a Creator in the Future 
  • Bottom line

What is the Creator Economy?

The creator economy is a global socio-economic phenomenon that has flourished with the dawn of digital technologies. Together, the internet and social media present the perfect conditions for individual expression. What has followed is a rigorous demand for unique and intriguing content. 

Responding to this need are millions of hobbyists and professional creators. Equipped with digital platforms, these individuals are launching their own side-hustles, brands, companies, and communities which make up the backbone of this economy. 

A new generation of high-energy, innovative workers is remaking the workplace. Welcome to the scene, a modern entrepreneurial class has emerged - the "Creators." 

Many of the creators' jobs are outsourced, including independent contractors, freelancers, and small businesses. 

This creator economy has also brought about a new landscape for work and exciting changes in the ways people earn their living, with new and innovative ways of doing so.

The Rise of the Creator

The rise of the creator is rooted in the evolution of digital technology and the emergence of the internet. It results from a paradigm shift that has led to the decline of the "jobber" model of work and the emergence of the "independent worker" model. Originally, the internet was a medium for accessing information, but it has matured into a platform for content creation.

While the first use case of the internet was sharing information, people also started to create their own content and share it with others. The medium for sharing this new type of content initially was websites. Today there are the original social media platform.

Photo byOladimeji Ajegbile

Social Media and Its Part of the Creator Economy

Social media have played a crucial role in the creation and distribution of content. It is the most popular channel for sharing and consuming content, and it offers unparalleled reach, scale, and visibility.

As most creators now rely on social media to connect with their audience and generate interest in their work, this channel has also become a critical marketing tool.

It also helps creators monetize their content by running paid advertising campaigns.

Creator Economy Market Size

The number of individuals who fall into this new category of professionals is rising. The global economy will likely continue expanding as it increasingly relies on creators.

Globally, about 50 million people view themselves as content creators. The creator economy increased substantially during the pandemic with over $104 billion in market value. (Source: Fast Company)

Companies spent a whopping $1.43 billion on creators last year, and that investment is not showing signs of slowing. According to Gumroad, brands will pay $15 billion to influencers and creators in 2022 alone.  

Also, it is worth noting that 41% of creators make a livable income of $69k or more each year.

Ways Creators Earn Money

A wide variety of new business models mark the creator economy. Typically, creators diversify their efforts, producing multiple sources of income. 

Consider these other options before you pigeonhole creators into only getting money through corporate sponsorships.

  • Subscriptions
  • Personally branded merch
  • Online teaching
  • Public appearances
  • Photos and videos
  • Classes
  • Downloadable courses
  • Exclusive content
  • Syndicated content
  • Consulting 
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Brand ambassador marketing
  • Ad revenue
Photo by dusan jovic

Some of the most popular ways creators make a living include the following avenues. 

Product creation

People who create product are authors, actors, and musicians create products such as books, video games, and music.

Service creation

Many people produce revenue money by providing services, such as digital design and marketing. Some people are making money by providing advice and consulting.

Subscription revenue

This income model is a dependable way to consistently earn income from subscriptions, such as podcasts, e-books, and online courses.

Advisory revenue

Some people earn money by providing specialized advice, such as resume writing or business start-up consulting.

Revenue sharing

Revenue sharing is a type of revenue sharing in which creators earn money from the sales of someone else's product.

How to Become a Creator

With the rise of the creator economy, online content and service markets are populated by a large number of "micro-entrepreneurs" and "freelancers". Many of them are making their living by providing a specific service or creating a product.

However, the growth and success of many of these businesses depend on how creative and innovative these people are.

To be successful in the future, creators will continue to evolve in many environments. However, the people who thrive in this unique market segment will have similar core qualities.

Creativity: Being creative is essential for the future of work. It helps people develop new ideas and think outside of the box. It also helps them to find unique solutions to problems.


Creators need to be trendsetters, so they must have the ability to understand current trends and apply new knowledge to make their work stand out from the rest.


A key ingredient for most freelancers and entrepreneurs is their network of connections. They must have enough contacts to help them find new jobs and receive honorable payment.


Transparency is crucial for trust and growth. It is essential to be honest and open with clients and others in the network.

Work ethic

Work ethic refers to the value that people put into their work. It is important to treat work as a privilege rather than a burden, which is a big reason why the creator economy is booming. Now people can do what they love. They are composing their personal job descriptions and defining their own destinies.


To be a good creator, you must be able to come up with creative solutions to challenges. Additionally, creators must work quickly and be efficient with their resources.

Bottom line

The creator economy is a new and developing landscape for work. It is anticipated to grow in the coming years as social media matures and with the development of new technologies, like virtual reality and artificial intelligence.

Creators will, in all likelihood, play a significant role in this economy, and the best way to do so is to learn new skills, get creative, and build a strong network of contacts.

The most successful creators are expected to be those who can combine creativity, innovation, work ethic, relationships, and resourcefulness.

Feature photo thanks to Redd

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