Creator Economy in India

by Vinit Agarwal

The internet revolution in India created a new space for people to consume, create and monetize content. The online world is constantly evolving and finding new horizons to accommodate and monetize the massive growth in the creator economy. But who are the creators? A creator is anyone who is building an audience on digital platforms and adding value to their lives via content or a physical product. Creators span industries and technical expertise, from creating digital art, recording a make-up tutorial, writing subject matter blogs, to teaching dance and yoga. They build experiences that humans interact with, from art to products to other types of content.

India as a hub of creators

The Internet penetration rate in India went up to nearly around 55 percent in 2021, from just about four percent in 2007. With an increasing number of internet users in India (estimated to be more than 900 million by 2025), India has become a massive hub of creators creating content of all kinds. With 637 Million smartphone users in India spending an average of 4.6 hours per day consuming content, we see an increasing appetite for digital consumption. The rise in content consumption supported by easy discovery across social platforms has made it easier for creators to find and reach their audiences.

Source: Economic Times

Economic inequality hinders growth

Yet, can the majority of the creators monetize their work and sustainably create content? The short answer is NO. The sad truth is that the economic inequality in the creator economy is vast. The top 10% of creators make 90% of all the revenue generated in the creator economy. Of the 80 Million creators in India, only 150,000 creators in India earn ~$200+ per month. As the market grows exponentially, this inequality gap of revenue distribution is also widening. There are a lot of new creators who start pursuing this path with hope and enthusiasm but are unable to sustain themselves in the long term. Uncertainties around monetization remain among the most significant challenges for creators to overcome.

Platform "ownership" is broken

While the top creators enjoy the luxury of earning the majority of the revenue in the creator economy market, life isn't too easy for them either. Remember the TikTok ban? Creators with massive fanbases had to switch platforms and start over all again suddenly. Instances of platform bans, algorithm changes, policy shifts, and removal of audience engagement features show how all creators are dependent on the various platforms to reach their audiences. The platform uncertainty has led creators to woo audiences across different platforms. In the process of diversifying, creators need to put more effort and bear higher production costs to reformat and market their content across all channels. The challenges are higher for smaller creators who do not have a team to support every aspect of each project.

The future looks promising

While the creator economy is on the rise, creators of all kinds have to depend on many external factors to pursue content creation sustainably. With the emergence of creator tools, new business models, and entire ecosystems - it will ultimately become easier for creators to build sustainable income streams, manage independent content and cultivate an audience in the process.

The Creator economy is here to stay, and there are ample opportunities to solve the problems and emerging needs of creators at different stages, from hobbyists to mega-creators. As India grows economically stronger, creators will be a significant part of this growth story, as they are one of the primary drivers of change. We need to keep creators at the center and support their rise in making them independent.

At Qube, we are helping ‘Creators’ who wish to build a business around their creativity. You can sign up by clicking this link to join our community.

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