International Creator Day: Beyond the glitz and glamour of influencer culture lies 'creatorpreneurship’

On the occasion of International Creator Day, Vipasha Joshi, an independent consultant specialising in the creator economy, reflects on the evolution of creators' journeys and discusses what the future holds for them, drawing from her close monitoring and collaboration with creatorpreneurs

BuzzInContent Bureau
New Update
Vipasha Joshi

Vipasha Joshi

Delhi: In the heart of bustling cities and the quiet corners of rural towns, a digital revolution is quietly unfolding – the rise of the creator economy. Fuelled by the widespread adoption of social media and the democratisation of content creation, individuals across India are leveraging their creativity and passion to carve out unique careers in the digital sphere. This is far from a trend; it's a tectonic shift reshaping the landscape of work and consumption in the country.

From traditional media to digital domination

The journey of the creator economy in India can be traced back to the early 2010s when social media platforms began to gain prominence. I had the privilege to be in the middle of it all where while working at Youtube and Google+ I was able to see the beauty of creators unfold and the audience of India embrace it with open hearts. As audiences shifted their attention from traditional media to digital platforms, a new breed of content creators emerged, harnessing the power of YouTube, Instagram, and other social channels to share their stories, skills, and expertise with the world.

Influencers, creators, and creatorpreneurs

At the forefront of this movement are influencers – individuals who command sizable audiences and wield significant influence over consumer behaviour. From lifestyle bloggers to gaming enthusiasts, these creators have redefined the concept of fame and fortune, monetising their online presence through brand partnerships, sponsored content, and merchandise sales.

However, beyond the glitz and glamour of influencer culture lies a deeper shift towards creatorpreneurship – the art of building sustainable businesses around one's creative endeavours. This new breed of creators, aptly dubbed "creatorpreneurs," is eschewing the pursuit of fleeting fame in favour of long-term success, focusing on niche markets and cultivating loyal communities of followers. Creators no longer want to depend on ad revenue or brand deals for monetisation, they want to become brands themselves and build a loyal community who will buy their product be it merchandise, courses, or premium content.

Diversification, education, and empowerment

The evolution of the creator economy in India is marked by several key trends that are reshaping the way individuals approach content creation and monetisation:

  • Diversifying income streams: Creators are increasingly diversifying their revenue streams to mitigate the risks associated with platform dependency and fluctuating ad revenues. From launching their own digital products and merchandise to offering online courses and consulting services, creators are exploring new avenues for generating income and building sustainable businesses.
  • Rise of educational content: In recent years, there has been a notable shift towards educational content in the Indian creator ecosystem. From finance and investment education to personal development and skill-building, creators are tapping into the growing demand for knowledge-based content, empowering audiences to learn and grow from the comfort of their homes.
  • Empowerment beyond metros: The democratisation of content creation has led to a proliferation of voices from Tier II and Tier III cities, empowering individuals from diverse backgrounds to share their stories and perspectives with a global audience. This decentralisation of creativity is breaking down traditional barriers to entry and fostering a more inclusive and diverse creator ecosystem.

Challenges and opportunities

Navigating the complexities of creatorship

While the creator economy in India holds immense promise, it is not without its challenges. Creators must navigate unpredictable algorithms, grapple with burnout and mental health issues, and contend with an increasingly competitive marketplace. Additionally, disparities in earnings between top-tier and struggling creators raise concerns about income inequality and monetisation challenges. However, amidst these challenges lie boundless opportunities for innovation, collaboration, and growth.

Platform support and products for creators

To address these challenges, social media platforms and technology companies are stepping up with innovations and support to nurture and enhance the creator ecosystem. From providing tools for content creation and monetisation to offering educational resources and mentorship programs, platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and LinkedIn are empowering creators to thrive in the digital age. For instance, YouTube recently announced a $100 million fund to support creators in India over the next three years, underscoring the platform's commitment to fostering a vibrant creator community.

Rise of regional creators: Amplifying voices from every corner

One of the most significant trends shaping the Indian creator economy is the rise of regional creators. From small towns to rural villages, individuals across India are leveraging digital platforms to share their stories, culture, and traditions with a global audience. This surge in regional content is fostering diversity, inclusivity, and representation in the creator ecosystem, amplifying voices that have long been marginalised or overlooked.

The role of creator companies: Nurturing, not exploiting

As the creator economy continues to expand, there is a growing need for creator companies that prioritise the well-being and success of creators over profit margins. These companies should offer transparent revenue-sharing models, provide fair compensation for creators' work, and champion diversity and inclusion within the industry. Additionally, creator companies should invest in educational resources, mentorship programs, and mental health support to help creators navigate the complexities of the digital landscape. By fostering a culture of collaboration, empowerment, and mutual respect, creator companies can play a pivotal role in shaping a more sustainable and equitable creator economy in India.

Looking towards the future: A new era of possibilities

As we gaze into the horizon of the Indian creator economy, one thing is clear – the future is brimming with possibilities. With increasing internet penetration, digital literacy, and access to tools and resources, creators are poised to play an instrumental role in shaping the cultural, economic, and social fabric of the nation. The creator economy will continue to evolve and mature, unlocking new avenues of expression, empowerment, and prosperity for generations to come.

The rise of the creator economy in India is about embracing the inherent creativity and potential within each and every individual. Whether you're a seasoned influencer, an aspiring creatorpreneur, or simply someone with a story to tell, the creator economy offers a canvas upon which you can paint your dreams, share your voice, and leave a lasting impact on the world!