The past few years saw a tremendous rise in the creator economy – or the businesses and individuals that operate and earn money through content creation across a multitude of platforms. As brands and creators develop followings, they begin merchandizing their platform and monetizing their videos, building a lucrative career. With the creator economy estimated to be worth over $100 billion, it’s clear that there are a number of ways that creatives can get paid for their work, and are only going to continue to expand as digital access grows.
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Most recently, YouTube announced the ability for creators to monetize their content on YouTube Shorts, a rival to TikTok. Through embedded finance technology, many creators around the world are finding ways to earn money for their content, no matter the size of their following, while established creatives are employing strategies to maximize the money in their pocket. By embracing the nuances of payments, the creator economy is following a number of other industries around the world that are prioritizing how and when individuals are being paid.
The Importance of Payouts & Convenience
The news of YouTube Shorts opening up content to monetization elicited conversations across the industry about the speed at which creators would be able to “cash out” their earnings and what payment channels would be available to them. As consumers have become accustomed to a variety of payment options at other transaction touchpoints (like the use of digital wallets, virtual cards, and crypto payments at retail and restaurant locations), many creators are looking to be able to diversify the ways in which they are able to access their earnings.
Emerging YouTubers typically put up to 90% of their earnings back into creating more content, so quick payouts, or the ability to access the money from their content is crucial for budding creatives to sustain themselves as they make more content for their following. The payments industry, through embedded finance products, is providing access to “working capital” to those who normally couldn’t qualify with traditional banks or credit lenders due to the nature of the work often associated with the creative economy.
The Future of the Creator Economy
While the creator economy isn’t a new vertical, its overall power is still being learned by a number of legacy channels and partners, seen most clearly through the inability for the mass majority of creators to get paid. With content monetization beginning to democratize, it opens new possibilities as to what the creator economy can expand to. As payouts move at a quicker speed, many payment partners are likely to work and include additional payment methods outside of traditional credit and debit to different digital wallets, cryptocurrencies, and regional payment methods.
As more creators begin making money on their content, and reinvesting more into the growth of their channels and followings, the creator economy will continue its exponential growth allowing for additional opportunities for creators through brand deals, sponsored content, or the ability to work in different industries (like beauty influencers creating their own beauty products or esports streamers moving into the world of sports betting.) The payments industry is opening the door to so many creators, especially those just starting out, and making it clear that they will be able to make a living off of what they love doing. As the needs of creatives only grow to become more complex, embedded finance technology will be the tool that helps uplift their business and sustain their livelihoods.