Newsletter #101 - Future of the creator economy

Artists earn millions selling digital stickers on LINE app

More people are learning how to build businesses based on their passions and talents and where we’re seeing exciting growth this year is in the bustling creator economy. It is one of the fastest-growing markets, with over 50 million independent content creators, curators, and community builders fueling this new trend.

Today’s content creators—from live streamers to digital artists—have become self-made entrepreneurs and are turning their audiences into real assets: communities that creators and brands can engage with.

From your co-creators,

Team NC

🎥 Turning clicks into cash: The content creator economy


Powering the influencer economy in SE Asia [Vertex Ventures]

Asynchronous shopping takes off in Asia - Chinese internet users have developed their own take on the social media ecosystem and influencer market. For one, Chinese tech companies have successfully blurred the lines between social media and e-commerce. The highly interactive nature of live streaming commerce provides brands and influencers with real-time insights into viewer preferences and allows shoppers to enjoy spontaneous shopping experiences.

Local flavours attract adoption - Internet usage in the region continues to multiply, with 40 million new users added in 2020 alone. But while English is widely spoken and understood across SE Asia, localised content thrives ( especially in countries like Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand), and other Asia-born platforms LINE and Zalo are enjoying strong reach and engagement in specific markets.R

Rise of #genuinfluencers - The pandemic accelerated digital consumption and purchase, resulting in a subtle shift in how influencers and brands present themselves. Travel plans and glossy lifestyles were put on hold, and influencers are more authentic and purposeful in their communications.

Creative capital - Moving over to the cryptocurrency side of things, we also note the rise of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), which not only provides a creator with direct access to their fans without middlemen, but also the possibility to continue earning a share of any profits every time an NFT is sold.

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Who wants to be a sticker millionaire? [rest of world]

Artists are making millions creating digital stickers - You might be familiar with sending friends stickers on messaging apps like WhatsApp or Telegram. But recently on the Line messaging app, which is popular among users in Japan, Taiwan and Thailand, stickers have become the basis for a thriving creator economy.

It’s a sticky business - And it makes Line a lot of money. Stickers cost users between $0.99 and $4.99 and come in a pack of up to 40. After Apple or Google deduct a 30% fee from any sticker sold on the Creators Market, the remaining 70% of revenue is split 50/50 between Line and the creator.

This led to more than $2m in revenue from direct sticker sales. There are now 4 million designers on the platform and the top 10 creators have earned an average of $10.2 million each throughout their careers.

What does it take to win in the sticker market? - While creators who found early success became evangelists for the sticker economy, some creators have said the marketplace has become increasingly saturated, making it hard for newcomers to break through.

Like many creator economies, earnings on Line’s marketplace are heavily stratified. Only a select few break away to build large followings, making six-figure incomes from revenue sharing and sponsorship deals. When it comes to direct sticker sales, 154 creators have currently pocketed over 100 million yen, according to Line.

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How will Web 3.0 shape the creator economy? [Forbes]

Gen Z creators trade in different currencies - The way Gen Z creators today are building these businesses is fundamentally different. They rely on decentralised teams of contributors versus full-time employees. Team composition is fluid, temporal, and distributed from the start, and revenue models are community-driven and driven by social tokens. These are major changes that make many software solutions of traditional small and medium-size businesses obsolete.

The Great Decentralisation: payroll, culture and more - As many eschew traditional employment in lieu of part-time gigs, infrastructure options to accommodate the creator workforce will need to be re-imagined. This is where Web3 will play a big role in all of it. Payments will incorporate crypto, creator communities will be DAOs, and the blockchain will be used across all of these infrastructure offerings to keep personal data private.

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