There are now over 50 million content creators on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Twitch, and more … [+] Platforms.

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There are currently over 50 million developers on Youtube, Instagram, Twitch, TikTok and other social media platforms. Two million of them are full-time employees and earn six-figure salaries by creating content on a daily or weekly basis. And this massive distributed content creation engine means that roughly 90% of the video, audio, photo, and text content consumed by Gen Z today is created by individuals, not businesses.

This is a massive cultural change.

These are just some of the recent discoveries report on the “Creator Economy” from Yuanling Yuan, Senior Associate at SignalFire, and investment firm.

“The number of these long-tail amateur influencers / creators will explode. I think based on our data, it should go from 50 million to 100 million and possibly even bigger, “Yuan said in one current TechFirst podcast. “Much of that growth is being driven by Gen Z.”

Check out my interview with Yuanling Yuan:

This whole ecosystem is growing fast, Yuan says, thanks largely to Gen Z, which is extremely individualistic and cares more about having its own personality, doesn’t necessarily fit in with it … and is much more likely to trigger sideline activities.

“In the last 10 years, after the birth of these media platforms like YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, etc., a new feeling arose: ‘I will be in control of my own destiny and work for myself,” says Yuan. “‘I don’t want to sit in an office.'”

Those sideline hobbies sometimes take off, and then an amateur creator who has maybe a few thousand followers and makes a few bucks here or there on social platforms turns pro.

Listen to the interview on the TechFirst podcast::

The result is six-figure income for creating videos, dances, songs and live streams.

Given the pace of today’s social platforms, this can happen incredibly quickly.

“A good example of TikTok last year is Charli, a 16-year-old who rose to fame for over a year and now has nearly 90 million followers,” said Yuan. “She does these ‘adorkable’ dances that people call them, and her whole family becomes influencers.”

The “nearly 90 million” was true last week. Now it’s almost 91 million.

Charli D'Amelio is a creator and influencer of TikTok with over 90 million followers.

Charli D’Amelio is a creator and influencer of TikTok with over 90 million followers.

John Koetsier

In fact, the developer or influencer market is growing so large that it is triggering a whole new wave of software and tools and about $ 8 billion in annual marketing spend.

Yuan divides the creative economy into three layers or waves.

The first basic media platforms have grown since the early 2000s and include Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, as well as newcomers like TikTok and Twitch. The second level is monetization. It encompasses hundreds of companies including influencer agencies, sponsorship marketplaces, and talent representation companies, all of which aim to raise a portion of the $ 15 billion that one of them, Mediakix, will spend on influencer marketing through 2022 The third tier is the most interesting as it potentially turns creators and influencers into some kind of startup founder.

Yuanling Yuan, Venture / Growth at SignalFire

Yuanling Yuan, Venture / Growth at SignalFire

Yuanling yuan

“Layer three is … the most exciting … and that is where businesses are started to treat creators as founders,” says Yuan. “Treating you as an SMB and giving you the tools and infrastructure to be successful, not just in creating content but in building your business as well.”

While the developers were initially just monetized through ads, they now have patronage models, subscription models, branded product sales, and of course, big-brand sponsorship models.

What’s next?

Maybe personalized e-commerce. Or home shopping network times a million.

“If you look at Asia, e-commerce is the biggest trend that has dominated the creative industries there,” said Yuan. “Well, live streaming times e-commerce, and we don’t really have that in the USA yet. But I suspect that in the next 5 to 10 years platforms will emerge that will help developers make money and get another format, namely selling goods. but sell them live. “

That could mean that not only will there be 100 million content creators, but that many more of them can afford to create content full-time.

If the current trends continue, of course.

You can find the full minutes of our conversation here.