The Creator Economy (v1.0-3.0)
A new pathway into entrepreneurship
There is a powerful and emerging movement that’s enabling individuals to monetize their passions, knowledge, and skills via content creation, curation, and community building.
This evolution is called “The Creator Economy” and has close to 50 million global participants, with around 2 million full-time creators (SignalFire). 17 million creators within the U.S. earned nearly $7 billion in income collectively in 2017 (Recreate Coalition). This market is currently valued at $104.2 Billion and growing!
But let’s go over the history of this movement so we can understand where we are going.

Creator Economy 1.0

Social Currency
Some say it began with interactive user-generated content on the first social network in 1997, Six Degrees, and the first blogging platform in 1998, Open Diary. Some say it really began during the launches of social networking sites like Friendster in 2002, MySpace in 2003, and Facebook in 2004.
This essentially made everyone on the Internet a creator, by posting and interacting with content on these platforms.
Social currency, in the form of likes and shares, were how creators were rewarded for their contributions on a platform.

Creator Economy 2.0

Brand Deals
Beginning in the 2010’s, the top content creators (top 1–2%) from social networking sites who gained huge audiences began to monetize their influence primarily through brand advertisements and sponsorships via sites like YouTube.
Creators also began to use crowdfunding sites such as IndieGoGo and Kickstarter to offer pre-orders of their products to their supporters.

Creator Economy 3.0

Fan Memberships
From mid-to-late 2010’s to now, digital platforms such as Patreon and SubStack began to enable creators to start monetizing themselves (via fan memberships, merch, creator to creator project collaborations) instead of just promoting another company’s products/services.
The top 1–2% of creators earn most of the income in this phase as well.
Last modified 18d ago