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Eze Vidra is Managing Partner of Remagine Ventures, a seed VC focused on interactive entertainment, metaverse and consumer tech.

The creator economy is emerging as a potential disruptor to the $2 trillion entertainment and media industry. The creator economy consists of individuals who monetize the content they create for a community of engaged fans. According to payment company Stripe, creators will soon pass $10 billion in aggregate earnings, and the number of creators on the 50 most popular creator platforms stands at 668,000.

As an investor in interactive entertainment, metaverse technology and consumer startups, the creator economy is of great interest to me at my venture capital firm. For example, we’ve backed a company that democratizes content creation on mobile, an app that turns families into creators and a synthetic video solution that enables anyone to become a character in artificial intelligence-generated videos.

Through this experience, I’ve seen that creators can be experts, hobbyists and influencers who create content independently and build a community around them in a wide range of industries, such as gaming, cooking, fashion, sports, relationships, etc. In essence, the rise of platforms like Youtube, Twitch, Instagram, TikTok and Roblox has enabled creators to develop an audience and reach a potential crowd of millions.

The “economy” aspect consists of creators’ ability to make a living off their passion and generate income from their content and fan engagement. To monetize, creators can employ a number of business models, including subscription, advertising, tipping or e-commerce. The rise of platforms such as Patreon and Shopify or even NFT marketplaces like OpenSea enables creators to monetize their content or offering directly from users.

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Investors have taken notice, too. According to The Information (paywall), creator economy startup investments were expected to reach $5 billion in 2021 alone. The growing number of unicorns in the creator economy already shows the huge potential this space represents for startup founders, venture capital investors and the creators themselves. But for the creator economy to deliver on its promise, it’s important companies address its many challenges and focus on the right opportunities.

Despite the excitement about the democratization of content, the creator economy is riddled with challenges. For startups to be successful in the creator economy space, they would be wise to address the biggest creator needs. Below are a few of my suggestions on where to focus first:

Strive to mitigate creator burnout.

To keep audiences engaged and grow their influence, creators have to publish new content regularly, often daily or weekly. That can lead to burnout, as reported by many TikTok, Youtube and Twitch creators, including Charlie D’amalio, TikTok’s “biggest star,” according to the New York Times, who publicly shared the pressures of being a creator.

Consider providing tools that can assist with quality content creation, scheduling, repurposing of content across platforms, smart content recommendations, etc. Technology can help.

Tailor your solutions to creators.

Creators and small- and medium-sized businesses share some similar needs: They have expenses, sign contracts, provide customer service, etc. But the majority of the SMB tools out there cater to companies and may need to be re-invented for creators.

The tools that exist today are mainly geared toward companies or small businesses, but not individuals. As the number of creators grows, I believe this niche might grow to be a popular SaaS category. One specific area of opportunity is in helping creators monetize. Examples of companies already helping with this include Pico, Wisio and Karat.

View creators as design partners.

I see many founders trying to become a platform or replace the existing platforms like Twitch, Instagram, TikTok, Youtube, etc. That’s a tall order, and it’s hard to replicate the reach and richness of features these platforms already offer. Instead, my advice for founders tackling the creator economy is to focus on the biggest creator needs. Some are mentioned above and some are still emerging.

To build better products, startups and companies would be wise to take creators’ input in the early stages of building their products. While “lean startup” methodology encourages launching a minimum viable product as early as possible, the fact that the market is getting crowded means that new products need to be better than the competition to get noticed and create real engagement. My recommendation is to create small cohorts of early adopters (pre-launch) and iterate quickly based on actual usage and user feedback. If the new product is solving a real pain, the creators with the biggest need are probably actively seeking solutions. These early cohorts (up to 1,000 people or so) essentially become a brain trust and sandbox for early experimentation. They might not be “profitable” users, but their feedback is invaluable.

When it comes to launching a new product, founders would also be wise to plan their launch strategy. Some startups choose scarcity (i.e., Clubhouse’s early invite-only approach) or perks (first 1,000 to sign up receive a digital giveaway). The early cohort of creators onboarded prior to a public launch can serve a key role. For example, creators might be motivated to claim their username in a new platform and would be driven to action by seeing other creators post their new link or profile publicly. Originality can go a long way. As Seth Godin explained, when a market is crowded and products copy from one another, try to be a purple cow.

I’m looking forward to continuing to back ambitious founders in this space. It’s still early in the evolution of the creator economy and by focusing on the right opportunities, the future looks bright.


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