Creator economy valued $500B by 2027

The creator economy is an ecosystem of influencers, brands, merchants and, of course, digital advertising firms
From a mere scratch five years ago, the creator economy is valued at $250 billion today and is seen to further expand to $500 billion in 2027. | Daily Tribune file photo
From a mere scratch five years ago, the creator economy is valued at $250 billion today and is seen to further expand to $500 billion in 2027. | Daily Tribune file photo

The world of commerce and social media is much bigger than we all think.

The power and accessibility of social media, driven by the more than 200 million content creators across the globe, has created an entirely new and fast-growing economy, the so-called creator economy.

"The creator economy is an ecosystem of influencers, brands, merchants and, of course, digital advertising firms, it is essentially a group of people that have unique expertise skills. They could be 18- to 25-year-old female models or they could be 35- to 40-year-old professionals who want to render their expertise on the Internet along platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok," Dennis Nguyen, the CEO of digital advertising firm Thoughtful Media Group, said.

Nguyen said that these content creators, curators, bloggers, social media influencers, videographers, and even community builders have created a new class of business.

But how big is the social media world and how is it disrupting the marketing and advertising spaces?

"It is huge," Nguyen said. From a mere scratch five years ago, the creator economy is valued at $250 billion today and is seen to further expand to $500 billion in 2027.

"The creator economy is going to be a very significant part of the Internet of social media and social commerce. Everything that you are dealing with right now in the great Internet economy is going to be touched or is already touched by this phenomenon," he added.

By the numbers

Independent data showed that most content creators have reported a significant increase in income over the past year and expect bigger earnings this year. Indeed, the constant flux and fresh monetization prospects, saw the number of individuals becoming content creators also rise.

Some 42 percent of content creators have started to monetize their content beginning in 2022, while 79.6 percent said they started generating income within the previous two years. With a median annual income of $20,000, the monetization of content is now the primary supplementary income for a majority of creators.

A significant 76.5 percent said their income rose exponentially compared to the previous 12 months, indicating a huge potential for creators to earn more. In reverse, only 23 percent of content creators reported a decrease in revenue or no change at all.

More than half of the creators 50.7 percent consider content creation as their primary income, while 49.3 percent consider it a "side hustle."

Interestingly, the additional opportunity to monetize their content was the reason some 77.2 percent of creators as the reason for the increase in their income, 66.8 percent attributed the increase to diversification of their content across more social platforms, while 65.8 percent considered consumer demand for content as the driver for growth.

At least 65 percent attributed the decline in their income to the increasing competition among creators, and 48 percent believe the shifting consumer content consumption habits influenced their income.

However, 83.5 percent of content creators expressed optimism their income would expand over the next 12 months, while a handful of 2.3 percent believe their income will decrease.

The ASEAN scene

According to Nguyen, the Southeast Asian region has the potential to become the next hotbed for the creator economy with nearly 650 million people and between 80 and 92 percent internet penetration rate.

"That's going to be growing a very, very big part of our creator economy," he said.

At present, Thoughtful Media Group has 10,000 content creators across Southeast Asia who use the firm's services to connect with brands and help design effective and wide-reaching advertising campaigns on social media.

With more than 100 million population and over 70 percent internet penetration rate, Thoughtful Media has a multi-fold plan in the Philippines, Nguyen said.

The first of which is to onboard a large pool of influencers. Nguyen said they plan to attract 2,000 Filipino content creators or influencers this year amid the booming global creator economy

"We have signed up several people very quickly since our launch in Manila a couple of weeks ago. We are actively identifying the up-and-coming influencers on Instagram, TikTok and Facebook and having conversations with such people. That's the first order of business. The second order of business course is we are actively marketing to advertisers," he said.

Nguyen said, the prospects are bright in the Philippines and Thoughtful Media and its parent company Society Pass, "want to be a trusted partner for Filipinos in whatever we do. So be on the lookout for Society Pass. Be on the lookout for Thoughtful Media in the Philippines over the next six to 18 months. You're going to see a lot of us and very much look forward to adding and contributing to the Philippines e-commerce and fintech markets," Nguyen stated.

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