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Creator Economy Vs Passion Economy : A Quick Overview

50 million content creators huddle together in the creator economy landscape today. And the passion economy has refurbished the 9-5 grind.

...Sharmila Chowdhury Sept 1, 202212 min read


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Sharmila Chowdhury


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There is no dearth of content in the digital space today.

Be it blogs, podcasts, tutorials, web series, videos.

A simple Google search on something as random as 'tulip gardening tips' is all it would take for you to be treated to volumes of content laying out the ins and outs of it each offering their own distinct takes on the subject.

While marketers and SEO specialists have usually been at the giving end of content creation, there is no doubt that web 3.0 has branched out multiple avenues for any person to nestle at both ends of the content creation paradigm.

Creator Economy — The Key Idea

An eco-system of businesses built by bloggers, content creators, social media influencers, videographers, along with the revenue contributed by them as a whole can be summed up as creator economy.

Passion Economy — What Does It Mean?

Passion economy involves turning a passion, interest, or skill into a source of income, all of which is centered on niche community and engagement.  

Table Of Contents

  1. Creator Economy- Booming With Possibilities Every Day
  2. Creator Economy Success Game Engagement And Authenticity
  3. The Gateway To Creator Economy Anyone, Anywhere
  4. Creator Economy A Budding Source Of Livelihood
  5. Passion Economy Communities Built On Shared Interests And Values
  6. Conclusion

1.Creator Economy- Booming With Possibilities Every Day

You log into your Instagram. Facebook, maybe. YouTube, if tidbits of catchy video-content lights you up in the nick of time. Snapchat. Twitter.

Or any of the gazillions of content platforms out there thronging with audience on the lookout for something interesting and engaging to like, share, and rejoice in.

The word 'content creator' has turned out to be a buzzword chattering in every social platform you set foot into. Stealing a few meters of the red carpet that was so far laid out entirely for hotshot movie stars, sports icons, music artists.

And the economy that strings together the success and reach of content creators does not echo the buzz any lesser.

In fact, it has only become louder and clearer over the years.

The figures say it all.

In 2016, the creator economy was valued at $ 1.7 bn. The year 2019 saw it peak to $ 6.5 bn. It touched an even steeper incline of $ 9.7 bn in 2020. The figures only sky-rocketed to $ 13.8 bn and $ 16.4 bn in 2021 and 2022 respectively.

The reason why the creator economy is sprinkling more and more people into its simmering pot does not require much thought.

The things needed to launch your content creator dreams is nearly within everyone's reach.

All you would need is a smartphone, an in-built camera with multiple editing options, high-speed Internet.

Waving goodbyes to lengthy, tedious contracts with mainstream media production companies is very likely.

All in all, embracing Web 3.0 that gives a decentralized equation to the World Wide Web.

No wonder 50 million content creators huddle together in the creator economy landscape today, with 46.7 million content creators picking up their pace slowly and steadily.

Times have arrived where a plain fare Italian lunch date on a random day is something you can let the world know about.

Of course, social media is the spell word.

The number of users on Facebook has hit the staggering 2.93 bn mark in 2022. Instagram has so far nestled 1.28 bn people inside its playing field. When it comes to Snapchat, the user metrics touches 347 M today.

This lays an ever-solid ground for engagement, reach, and visibility which the content creator success game by and large hinges upon.

But what's the big catch here?

Even an ordinary Joe living a couple of blocks away from you can think of skipping the 9-5 drag and monetize his passion. And it wouldn't come off as a droolsome daydream after all. All of it unfolding without any major twitches to his savings accounts.

Let's say you hit the jackpot and gain a massive fan following quicker than you expected to. Obviously by becoming a powerful and relatable voice within a specific niche.

The revenue streams in content creation become broader and broader by the minute then. Affiliate marketing, merchandise sales, brand sponsorships, sponsored content, fan funding, premium subscriptions.

And the evergreen fare, advertisements.

Once you have put yourself out there as a content creator that a strong band of audience look up to, the pathways for income only keep stretching for miles altogether.

A strong connection forged out with target audience already, this serves as a catalyst for content creators to monetize the community they have nurtured with strong, powerful, and captivating storytelling.

It can be in the form of branching out a new product line that draws parallels with the niche the content creator specializes in. Letting niche content do its job of striking the right chord with the target audience. This often acts as that one sinewy arm that can singlehandedly lift and promote already-existing products, services, and brands too.

The 2 million content creators worldwide spewing 6 figure incomes bear a testament to how the creator economy is driven to revitalize the Covid-19 induced economic downturn and forge a distinct space for itself in the years to come.

2. Creator Economy Success Game Engagement And Authenticity

3.4 million followers and content creator. Sounds like a pair that straight out defines success and impact, right? Well, this default mode thought will have to be brought back to reset once and for all. At least when it comes to the creator economy game.

The content creator's recipe for success is not brought to perfection by merely whisking together million-something followers and widespread social media hopping.

What actually pulls the lever for content creators is to look everywhere around. Every single social media platform they are cementing their presence in. Because as we know, social media has stretched the lengths and breadths of creator economy since its nascent stages.

Spreading out a feast of informative, fun, and upbeat content to your fan base on one social media platform means setting barriers to unfulfilled engagement potential.

And to say the least, leaving content creators vulnerable to periodic changes in features and algorithms of a particular social media network.

The idea is to cross-promote content. Have multiple avenues for leveraging and showcasing your content rather than pinning your hopes on a single one.

Cross-promotion comes with strings attached.

It demands keeping a constant tab on the trends and pop culture dynamics that keep evolving and emerging on the go. The discussions, points of interest, usual lingo, and everyday lives of the target audience across all social media platforms.

Nothing better than this explains how successful content creators always manage to hit the bullseye when it comes to giving out content you can truly step your shoes into.

The finishing line for content creators lies in producing relatable content within a specific niche.

And attracting even 1000 of the most loyal followers is sufficient to make a content creator's journey be on track. And this comes with the added perk for the content creator in nurturing a position of authenticity and engagement within the specific niche.

All in all, it boils down to quality always having a greater edge over quantity.

The ever-growing reach and engagement possibilities unleashed by the creator economy has done more than making 2 million of the 50 million content creators globally consider it their bread and butter.

It has brought about a paradigm shift in the ways businesses approach the fundamentals of brand sponsorship as well. Brands can't draw the end line by roping in a content creator with massive following.

In the constantly evolving dynamics of the creator economy, the one thing that has been set in stone when it comes to brand sponsorships is to look beyond follower metrics of content creators on social media platforms.

A deep dive into the content of the creator, the factors contributing to the engagement and popularity they have swept up across social media platforms, strategies adopted. Most importantly, whether the content creator is in sync with the product, service, or brand that needs to be sponsored and promoted to their target audience.

And content creators need to play the safe game here as well. Brand sponsorships that seem to be out of place in a content creator's pitch can blow away the sand dune of connection and credibility that has been built with communication and resonation with their target audience through compelling storytelling every day.

The pawn that content creators and brands need to strategically move in the creator economy game is value. Providing combined value to the audience. Make the most of communities that content creators have managed to draw in and enthrall. Not solely the platforms they keep showing up in. And brands seem to be capitalizing on this new-found opportunity to up their PR moves with over 17 per cent of companies investing half their marketing budget on influencer marketing.

Content creators are not lagging behind in the race to grab the topmost pedestal of the creator economy. Influencer marketing industry has touched a staggering $ 16.4 bn as of 2022.

3. The Gateway To Creator Economy Anyone, Anywhere

Branded hashtags. Live videos and events. Sponsored YouTube Content. Reels and shoutouts. Content creation has let Internet and social media nudge uncharted potential in fostering impact, trust, engagement, and consistent networking with wide-spread audience spread out across diverse regions in the world. All in all, it has blurred geographical boundaries and brought audience from different walks of life on the same plane through the power of storytelling.

The creator economy has been gaining momentum for over a decade now. But reducing it to a fad would be a failure in unwrapping the enormous power it holds in the digital media landscape today.

Why though?

So here it goes.

1 in 10000 manages to grab the spotlight. Globally.

Yes, the number is ridiculously meagre.

And this is just when it comes to cracking a career in acting.

Put clout into the mix. And the cards are stacked against commoners like you and me even more.

For as long as we know, the entertainment industry has more or less been set in a static mould.

And this is where creators link as one pulsating core in the creator economy. To shatter the ceiling of hegemony in the show biz.

In times when the content creation industry has attained the $ 100 bn mark, the creator economy is designed to let any person, from any walk of life, get drawn inside its raging whirlpool and sculpt a distinctly original dimension to branding and community engagement. Of course, with monetization of content always being the end in view.

The driving force for the creator economy that is expected to skyrocket to US $ 47.2 bn by 2032 draws in power from one thing.


4. Creator Economy A Budding Source Of Livelihood

The possibilities fluttering beneath the wings of the creator economy are as versatile as they can get.

It doesn't draw the line at furnishing blog posts, posting reels on Instagram.

The boundaries in spawning revenue from content creation can stretch as far as gaming.

The 2022 Oxford Economics Report stated that YouTube content creators poured ₹ 6800 cr to the Indian GDP and over 6.83 lakh full-time jobs in India (2020).

But there's something you need to know.

There might be as many as 50 million content creators keeping the creator economy up and running today.

But the number dips to 2 million when it comes to those pursuing it as a full-fledged career. And cracks in the revenue gap are even more blatant here.

Only 2 content creators all across the world touch the $ 10,000,000 income bracket. Even decent-level earnings like $ 10,000 is a reality only for 4385 content creators.

This breakdown of revenue-generation makes one thing crystal-clear.

The creator economy is undoubtedly galloping towards fresh and unexplored terrains by the minute. But the terrains are bumpy for as much as 96 per cent of content creators worldwide, if only 2 million out of 50 million content creators manage to make it big.

Here's the good thing. Many players have stepped in to make the terrain towards content-monetization smoother and sturdier.

YouTube started out with Partner Program in 2007. This has paved the way for content creators to diversify their revenue streams from creating and posting video-content on the platform. YouTube allots 55 per cent of ad revenue earned from video content to content creators, while the remaining 45 per cent goes to its coffers. There's merchandise sales, channel memberships, premium subscriptions, and Shorts Fund bonus payment too.

Instagram has leveled up to match pro-content creator policy as well. Instagram reel-ads. Paid live-video events. Monthly subscriptions. Brand sponsorships. Bringing hard data straight to the table Creators with followers between 1,00,000 and 10,00,000 earn anywhere between $ 165 USD and $ 1800 USD for every sponsored post.

Snapchat is not far behind in the competition. Promotion of affiliate links. Sponsored stories. Selling products. Snap Stars, which basically refers to verified creators with a large following, are the only eligible content creators to benefit from the ad revenue program.

5. Passion Economy Communities Built On Shared Interests And Values

Suppose you are a software developer in a firm you've always dreamed to work in. The pay scale is spot-on, you wouldn't have it any other way. You have multiple opportunities for climbing up the ladder laid out in front of you. You are part of a great team. But for the major part, getting up every day and going to work still seems like a drag. And the root cause isn't even hard to put your finger on You look at your job as just a job and nothing else.

The passion economy has kicked its way into the current work landscape. To do what has always remained a silent wish amidst a hectic work day Blurring the 9-5 grind.

The Covid-19 lockdown triggered a pivotal shift to remote working, with a recent study indicating that 82 per cent of employees preferring to retain this over getting back to their office desks.

Around 205 million people globally are scrambling for a fixed source of income in 2022, according to data estimates by International Labor Organization (ILO). Work is becoming less about paychecks, and more and more about finding meaning and satisfaction.

And nothing better than numbers paint a clearer picture on how the workforce of today aren't ready to slog away meeting deadlines for an unfulfilling job day in and day out, with one in five workers headed towards the resignation route in 2022.

The crux of the matter is this An urgent call towards letting the scales weigh greater on job satisfaction rather than per annum salary packages. To skip the conventional work drill and thrive in a passion that has never had the chance to become more than a leisurely pursuit so far. Ushering in fresh new job opportunities.

Passion economy emerges as the catalyst for redefining work. To monetize a passion. To make work and life see eye to eye. Even if something like Mandala art is your niche, passion economy opens up new-found possibilities to generate passive income from it.

Gaining steam since 2019, the term 'passion economy' has let passion stand side by side with community engagement.

Gig work came in as the ultimate solution to letting a person hold the reins to one's job. And skip the 'stable-job' routine. But the flexibility and control that the promise of gig work stood by came with colossal punches on time and stable revenue streams. With income-generation being far less in proportion for all the hustle.

The concept of passion economy is centered on 'turn what you love into your work any time, any where'. But to be able to fit into the passion economy, the focus needs to shift towards centering on a niche and generating a loyal base of followers who are truly interested in receiving value-based content about what you have to offer within this distinct specialization of yours.

And the passion economy presents a level playing field. You do not have to be a celebrity with a million followers to be able to, say, let your online fitness sessions gain massive traction. All you need is a passion you are willing to turn into a means of livelihood.

The appeal of algorithm-based content displayed on social media feeds is beginning to wither away. Digital media users have reached a point of saturation when it comes to consuming content that is too generic and decentered from their points of interests, passion, and engagement.

Passion economy whips up a fresh recipe for audience engagement Nurturing hubs that get to reel in content from a highly specialized and differentiated niche. As a creator hustling in the passion economy, your niche might draw in a narrow cross-section of the audience. But the avenues for making income lie in monetizing the community and not the product offerings you have in store.

6. Conclusion

The creator economy jumped by 2X during the peak of the covid-19 pandemic

Creator economy and passion economy are two sides of the same coin. They have revolutionized the way we look at work today. Work is no longer restricted to paying bills at the expense of personal freedom and creativity.

Identifying a niche, building valuable relationships with the target audience, and storytelling is the umbilical cord that connects creators in the passion economy and creator economy.

Content creators in the creator economy earn a full-fledged income from something they are passionate about and gets their creative juices flowing. Whereas creators in the passion economy in the process of unshackling the monetization potential of any skill, passion, or interest. It works more like a side hustle.

Ultimately, they have the possibility of merging together at one point in the creator economy tangent.

The creator economy has a long way to go, headed towards becoming a 2200 crore industry by 2025.

Platforms to pour efficiency into the art of storytelling and branding that is bolstered by community engagement are mushrooming every day to keep up with the changing dimensions of the creator economy.

Creatosaurus is a platform that takes care of every single aspect of your content creation journey, whether you are already halfway through it or gearing up to take the first step.