The Like, Share & Subscribe War
Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Instagram; An escape for many but a breadwinner for some. While each youth dreamt of moving to Mumbai to be ‘The Next Bollywood Superstar’ in the last decade, that opportunity is now in the hands of nearly everyone in the form of a Mobile phone. With the help of the internet and social media, you are just a few likes away from your dream life. But the distance between these few likes is the blend of consistency, talent, and authenticity. The ones who cracked it, are now ruling social media with soaring high numbers in revenue.
In this midweek huddle, let’s dig into what made this creator economy emerge and where it’s headed to.
The Creator economy emergence
Affordable smartphones, cheap internet, and leisure of lockdown had turned so many locals into overnight social media sensations. Let’s not forget that people accepted anyone and everyone during that period of misery
…but what happened when things became normal?
As things started getting to normal, many creators became irrelevant with time. This happened due to overcrowding of creators just for appearing for a few seconds on our screen via a Tik Tok video, Instagram reel, or a YouTube short.
And as the audience got busy with their work again, the creators lost their hold over them. But banning of TikTok was quite literally a shock for many local creators as they had built millions of followers and a personal brand on the platform.
This closure however paved the way for many Indian short video content platforms that replaced TikTok in no time and remitted the creators with easy-to-monetize Indian applications.
Businesses that flourished
While these creator platforms kept the creators busy in creating content, some of the money-driven minds found a golden opportunity to build a billion-dollar business around it.
Around what? The creator economy or the consumption base?
Both it is. As per the Bain & company report, India’s online video user base has scaled to more than 350 million users which scaled India’s domestic creator economy to a $200 million valuation as per Dentsu. Such a huge market and a vacuum created by TikTok leaving India flooded the play store with short-form-video content platforms such as;
1. Moj: Launched in July 2020 and catering to 160 million users
2. Josh: A Sharechat rival product by Dailyhunt has more than 110 Mn active users.
3. MX Takatak: A naming rhyme of TikTok is just a lookalike of it, be it for users or creator’s claims that it has more than 150Mn active users.
Inherent potential or riding on old magic?
All of these platforms filled the void of TikTok and generated these users within a span of 1 year. But were they hit because of their potential or is it just the TikTok magic still running through the audience’s veins?
Might be a half-truth because these homegrown platforms welcomed creators from all localities and varied talents to monetize their content and made it viable for them to create a living out of it. On average, full-time creators can make anywhere around INR 10 lakh to INR 15 lakh per month from brand deals, Ad revenues, and other collaborations. But how far will these platforms sustain amidst the competition? And what about the creators whose life depends on such platforms? Well, both of these dilemmas combine into a bigger question as…
…Is it another bubble?
We’ve all seen the spike of these creator-focused platforms but their relevance for sustaining in the market is still a big question mark. Number-wise, all these companies are celebrating the likes and views by making dopamine-rushing videos as their cash cows, but the creators on other hand are in the dark. All they are asked to do is copy someone else’s content in the name of ‘inspiration’ for brand deals rather than actually creating content as per their own creativity and for their community. And this follows constant hate in the form of trolls from audiences and back lashing by fellow envious creators.
Other than this, short-form video platforms are also a huge prey for piracies and copied content. For just the sake of likes and followers, many false accounts share the content of famous influencers without mentioning the credits and tagging them along. This impacts the reach of original creators and their conversions badly.
..waiting to get burst?
The dissatisfaction with their own craft and drowning numbers make the creators unreliable on the content platforms. And once the creators of the so-called ‘Creator Economy’ aren’t filled enough for creating the content, the economy is obviously going to suffer a bubble burst.
The bottom line:
Till now, the creator economy has given people big career breaks, successful clothing labels, and mega agency businesses. But since they had it, it doesn’t guarantee any newcomer will have that too as the times have changed with shortening attention spans and overcrowded content space. The key here would be to be DIFFERENT and make your own space, rather than just trying to fit in an already congested space because you won’t. Just getting after numbers will kick you out of the competition that runs on originality and relativity with the audience. Only those creators will sustain after their boom who hold on to their craft and reinvent better content ideas. And the ‘Creator Economy’ stands upon such creators.
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