Perspective: By 2030, The ‘Creator Economy’ Will Be Called ‘The Media.’

  • By Fanbase User
  • May 29 2024 · 4 min read

The creator economy refers to individuals who generate income by creating content online. Valued at over $250 billion and anticipated to double in the next few years. In 2024, podcasters are notably influential, with 75% of respondents in a Magna’s Media Trials and Vox Media study rating podcasters higher in influence than social media influencers or TV/film celebrities.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the creator economy is its low barrier to entry. Essentially, anyone with a smartphone and internet access can start a channel or blog, leading to remarkable success stories. YouTuber Markiplier, for instance, began with simple “let’s play” videos and evolved into a multi-million dollar brand. TikTok star Charli D’Amelio turned her dance videos into millions of followers, lucrative brand deals, and a transition to mainstream media, inspiring others to join the platform.

The creator economy enables individuals to bypass traditional barriers to media creation and distribution, reaching global audiences directly. Creators must adapt to new digital tools, shifting platform algorithms, and changing audience preferences. Trends and memes now have incredibly short lifespans, sometimes lasting only hours. The most significant new tool for creators is AI.

AI influencers like Lil Miquela and Lu of Magalu exemplify AI’s potential. These virtual beings engage with audiences in very human ways. Lil Miquela, for example, publicly debated whether to “age” from 19 to 20, and after much existential consideration and audience interaction, she celebrated her 20th birthday, receiving congratulations and even gift offers from followers.

AI’s influence isn’t limited to virtual personas. AI is also reshaping traditional media roles, such as radio hosts. Futuri’s Audio AI demonstrates that audiences are willing to engage with AI-generated content as long as the use of AI is transparent. This acceptance suggests a future where AI-driven creators become mainstream.

Instagram’s “Creator AI” program is transforming influencer management by using AI-driven chatbots to handle fan interactions, maintaining engagement without requiring constant manual input. This innovation indicates a broader trend where AI tools will become indispensable for content creators.

Investment in the creator economy continues to grow, fueling innovation. For instance, Dude Perfect, famous for their trick shot videos, secured a nine-figure investment from Highmount Capital. This funding aims to expand their brand beyond digital content into live experiences and consumer products. Their new headquarters in Frisco, Texas, will serve as both a content creation hub and a fan interaction venue, merging online and real-world engagement.

This evolution in the creator economy underscores why it will be considered “the media” by 2030. Influencers have become media empires, generating substantial revenue and attracting large, engaged audiences. This transition from solo creators to tech-powered empires was evident at the recent NAB Show, where nearly 25% of attendees identified as content producers and creators. Videos from the keynote, featuring Ameca the robot, garnered over 65 million impressions on TikTok.

Looking ahead, the distinction between broadcasters and creators will continue to blur. In the next 12 months, we may see broadcasters adopting creator strategies and vice versa. This convergence is shaping a future where media, driven by AI and the creator economy, becomes more integrated and dynamic.

By 2030, the creator economy will be a fundamental part of the media landscape, driven by the innovative use of AI and the continued expansion of digital platforms. This transformation is already underway, signaling a new era where media and content creation are synonymous.

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