Tens of Millions Now Work in the $250B ‘Creator Economy’ – Slashdot

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Over the past 4 years Ive seen quite a few people become content creators through Youtube and Patreon, mainly following their hobbies and turning them into a monetised product. For example, theres been an explosion in the number of people with Games Workshop or D&D related channels since the onset of Covid.
And Ive also seen a lot of those same people get jaded, suffer from burnout and walk away due to the stress – often away from their once-hobby at the same time.
Creating content when you dont depend on it is vastly different to creating content when its your income stream – get the content wrong and a single bad video can crater your channels popularity, causing Youtube to offer it less in their algorithm. Go too long between videos and the same thing happens. Have boring topics and people lose interest. Its a constant churn to remain fresh and continue to earn the income.
Yes. TFS ends on “creators” worrying about their “careers” — but the arbitrary rules and the tiny number of winners compared to events make it seem more like a lottery than a career.
I’m still not sure what they’re “creating”.
Nothing of value to humanity, that’s for sure.
Content, obvs. Duh!
To me, these performers seem like the current iteration on talk radio or TV shows: a bunch of commentary on trivial topics by people who are only notable for their commentary on trivial topics. I’ve never understood the appeal of any of those, although there’s clearly a large audience for it.
*Hand-waves into existence the popularity of Slashdot* Yeah I don’t see why either.
I will admit to watching several YouTube channels frequently to religiously. Some of them are diminishing rates of return for me… and others are generally entertaining or informative. I am happy that one channel earned its creator a few million dollars and subsidizes an online community I frequent.
Unfortunately most of the content quickly becomes vapid relative to what I want to be seeing… but they burn bright for a couple years.
“I’m still not sure what they’re “creating”.
Nothing of value to humanity, that’s for sure.”
They create billions of eyeballs watching Google ads on YouTube and Google pays them a pittance for the content.
Since they are so many different niches they’re in, their viewers are worth pure gold to Google’s ad consultants, especially since they give thumbs-up and likes and subscribe and Google can also analyze the comments, it’s the wet dream of every ad-person.
And the best thing is, they think they are a celebrity.
Nothing of value to you maybe.
There are several channels dedicated to resurrecting old cars. There are channels on both modern and historical sewing. There are gardening channels for different climate zones. Electrical repair channels. Computer repair channels.
And there are the educational channels too. I’ve learned a lot about Eastern Washington geology from YouTube.
It’s not all stupid stuff.
Nick Zentner is a golden god. I had no idea I was interested in geology, let alone geology half way round the world from me. This man is such a good presenter though that Iâ(TM)ve watched hours of his lectures.
Right on! I learned how to build a patio this summer, saving me $8K. I learned how to fix my microwave, dish washer, ice maker in my fridge. I learned enough to be informed when getting my boiler updated. I learned about heat pumps. I learned SO MUCH on Youtube it’s not even funny. Colleges are practically not needed anymore, everything you could ever want is already out there, for free.
Yup so overrated. *downloads a particle accelerator* Particle physicists degree here I come.
On the contrary, a lot of these people are creating huge value. Theyâ(TM)re creating the (video) manuals for how to get started in just about any industry or hobby. Want to learn rocketry? woodworking? Painting? Great, thereâ(TM)s hundreds of these people showing you every tip and trick you can imagine. Stuff youâ(TM)d previously have had to spend years training with professionals to pick up you can now learn in your off time.
Sure, thereâ(TM)s a bunch of these channels producing little more than high pitched noises, but thatâ(TM)s true in all industries – thereâ(TM)s people doing good work, and thereâ(TM)s people churning out trash.

I’m still not sure what they’re “creating”. Nothing of value to humanity, that’s for sure.

I’m still not sure what they’re “creating”. Nothing of value to humanity, that’s for sure.
If you think entertainment is of no value to humanity then you have no concept of of the core of humanity. People enjoy watching the stuff, in many cases the content is also educational.
Let’s arbitrarily remove something you like doing and see how you get along. I was going to make a comment on denying you education as well but it seems that may have already happened given your insanely short sighted view.
Entertainment is of some value, but takes away from us doing real stuff, when it consumes our lives and it means we no longer spend enough time with our families or friends it has gone too far. As as I can see we have passed the point of it providing net positive value, and gone into the realm of too much entertainment. People frittering their lives away watching useless videos and occasionally finding something useful, all the while being encouraged to consume more stuff but the advertisers, and the conten
You realize the same could be said about drugs, alcohol, or sex.
You are correct. It could be said of drugs, alcohol and sex, that we live in an over-drugged, over-drinking and over-sexed society
You realise that a lot of these content creators have channels based specifically around doing real stuff, right?
For example, theres channels showing you how to do everything from quilling, to sewing, to wood work, to miniature painting, to scale modelling – and all of them are oriented around engaging the user in their hobby, not primarily as follow-along-entertainment. Many of them also have communities outside of their videos, again pushing engagement between likeminded individuals.
I follow about 15-20
They create more consumption, that is the majority of what western society does these days.
We’re all consumers. It’s what people do with their paycheck. Otherwise why do we get up and go to work?
It’s very hard to get the YouTube algo to notice you and promote your channel, especially if your content isn’t crappy clickbait. It’s okay if it’s a hobby, but as a job the chances of succeeding are pretty low even if your content is decent.
As usual, you should do something for yourself rather than because you think you’re going to get famous or make a lot of money.
“I m sure it feels like working as in earning some money. But in many many ways it is different from any kind of more organised work.”
Letting people watch you doing your groceries at ALDI’s and watching you iterate what you use for the daily make-up is still better than flipping burgers, I guess.
And there’s no stink.
But you’re right, it’s just burning money, like cutting each other’s hair, doesn’t get the economy forward.
That might be true for some content, maybe even most content .. but a lot of the content IS adding value. Not just by informing and educating, but also by inspiring and entertaining.

people buying stuff they didn’t know they needed

people buying stuff they didn’t know they needed
that’s not quite right people generally know what they need i.e. food, shelter, etc
its people people buying stuff they didn’t know they WANTED.
A lot of the people working in that industry are essentially gig-worker helping the production.
They are personal assistants, video editors, camera/audio crews, webdesigners, channel managers, social media managers, merch manager…
For any channel that you see (aka that get any kind of attention) there are more people behind the camera than in front of it.
… looks to me to be one of the drivers of this. If not the main driver.
Proxy tribes like my Elite Dangerous Squad and it’s XBox subgroup or the nerdy obscure TTRPG scene and it’s subset of OSR (old scholl renaissance) enthusiasts are two personal examples of this. Catching some new YouTube clip from some person within the group often feels like getting in back in touch with “family” and friends, with an unusual strong sense of belonging even though YouTube is mostly unidirectional, even if it doesn’t feel that way.
This is all-out cyberpunk society settling in. Duh. Captain obvious strikes again
It’s only going to grow further I suspect. Curiously enough, one more recently discovered explanation of the Fermi paradox is that we don’t see hyper advanced alian civilizations because at some point they develop virtual worlds to fulfill their evolutionary desires and then get stuck in them. … Sounds somewhat plausible to me.
Rather than laying waste on galactic scales, perhaps a virtual world is a good alternative.
I wonder what the Chuck Norris jokes are like in other civilizations.
Virtual world is turning the galactic scale inside-out. Entire civilization in a broom closet.
In a virtual world, the only thing that’s real is Chuck Norris?
Well played!
It’s not even a classic cyberpunk setting, it’s a story old as time. Every culture, tradition and religion has stories about the “good guy” who lives in moderation and the “bad guy” who embraces excess.
And it seems that, with our economical prowess, we’re able to satisfy every material need tenfold. But somewhere along the way lost sight of our human needs, even if our need for a tribe never truly disappears.
The people who laugh at sports teams fans and call them cave-men, then turn around and fanatically p

It’s only going to grow further I suspect.

It’s only going to grow further I suspect.
I am not certain of that. It looks like the end of Western Society to me. Too many people are getting kicked out of society for it to be sustainable. (you need food and shelter to be part of society).
I am ok. My children are ok. Why do I care? Because I have seen this situation building over my entire life and it has not altered course even a little and in fact, has been getting more unfavorable for the average person faster than it was when I was a child.
WTF is going on? Why is this happening? It is not he
…all the cat content makers will be begging in the streets for food? Will some eat their cats?
Live by fads, die by fads.
PETA extremist will Putinize you.

I’m gonna get ahead of the curve & start a channel dedicated to cooking cats.

I’m gonna get ahead of the curve & start a channel dedicated to cooking cats.
“Hi, I’m Ann Reardon, and welcome to How To Cook Cat…”
“Tens of millions”, using a conservative number of 20M, sharing the $250B industry gives you $12.5k.
Is an industry with just a per-person average of $~1k per month income something to be excited about?
Forget the conservative estimate; Goldman Sachs says 50 million. So that’s, what, 400ish dollars per month per person?
Most of the people are not full time on creating.
There are a lot of people who work a “normal job” and create content for extra income or for fun.
Of course many of them would want to go full time, but going full time can also cause problems, as then you can focus too much of your life on just one thing…
I could perhaps see myself creating something based on my hobbies as a side gig for fun(and some money), but would personally at least not want to have it as a full time job.
Ah Cowboy Neal we miss you and your “influence”.
Itâ(TM)s very normal in entrepreneurial industries to see a wealth distribution thatâ(TM)s very uneven. The vast majority of those tens of millions have made a tenner, and carried on with their lives. Some of them have made millions. Who is who is *mostly* based on luck. Welcome to capitalism.

Is an industry with just a per-person average of $~1k per month income something to be excited about?

Is an industry with just a per-person average of $~1k per month income something to be excited about?
If you divided the total revenue across the entire pool of possible workers for most industries you’ll get less than $1k / month. Not all creators create all the time, not all childcare minders work full time. Just because the guy who drives an Uber only on Friday afternoon drags the entire taxi industry’s averages down doesn’t mean there aren’t people who have turned that job into a full time career.
Note: I have earned $5 in revenue from Youtube. I wonder if I fit in the 10m “creators” category for somethi
When you added up all of money paid out to musical artists in the 1970’s and divided by the number of aspiring and working musicians, what do you think the average earnings were?
Remember to include all the bands traveling to gigs in minibuses and hoping to cover gas plus a better brand of noodle soup for dinner.
Is an industry with just a per-person average of $~1k per month income something to be excited about?
Especially when you have a very uneven distribution. A good chunk of that $250B is probably going to maybe 1% of the creators out there. The vast majority of that money to maybe 10%. The other 89% of the people are making barely anything.
Which is the nature of averages – the “big” people like Mr. Beast and PewDiePie can pull in hundreds of millions per year. The top youtubers are pulling in anywhere from $5-
Not all creators post low effort drivel. What if we judged all of Slashdot based only on your posts? No one would come here.
You’re a prime candidate to be eaten by the “generative AI”.
I love the way artists and posers usurped the correct meaning of “creative”. Developers (software or engineering or biomedical or whatever) are creative – they create solutions to real problems and opportunities for something new. Artists and the like just record reality or dreams. It’s just jealousy to deny the real creators the label – a bit like labelling someone an “over-achiever” to hide from the truth of being a comparative “under-achiever”…
Artists don’t create?
There are thousands of museums and art galleries around the world that would like you to visit.
I wonder if calling artists creators is a way to work around guilds? I notice that in parsing out a niche called creators, they even came up with some “rules” by which they go. Whether these were cherry picked from surveys to fit a narrative, I don’t know. Max made a move like this too and pissed off a bunch of people who like their creative titles, like Director.
Clearly a financial company is going to have a financial interest here. And someone mentioned all the big tech that profits from influencers, whos
Yeah the OP is just jealous, his automated toast flipper didn’t take off.
Yeah, but all I can do is look at it – or maybe listen to it. With a few exceptions, I can’t eat it, ride it, inject it, fire it, or even sit on it (at least, not by design). Art is decoration, not invention.
She has a few hundred thousand active followers of her foodie videos after being online for ~3 years.
It’s a nice supplement to her regular 9-6 income which she works very hard for. Her weekends are all work and travel for work. Her nights are work. I suspect she works on her social media stuff during her regular work. She has pulled in family to take care of her dog when she’s traveling which is basically every weekend and holiday and sometimes more. She also pulled in her sister as essentially free la
Learn English.
She works very hard for the supplemental income not at her day job.
But you’re an AC so the low bar expectations have been met.
I’d have to choose between slapping them or disowning them.
So, this is a new “economy” is it? You mean we’re somehow NOT dealing with an entire generation of humans who have been taught that narcissism is a good thing by way of massive financial reward and social status, by parents who are just as addicted to watching online content?
When the father never showed up in the home, we took discipline and put it in a pill bottle. Parents replaced the babysitter with YouTube and TikTok. Online addiction and mass narcissism is bigger than we ever imagined. When every
A lot of people chasing big money, with few of them obtaining it.
$250B sounds like a lot, and it is, tens of millions of people sounds like a lot too, so at 30M people, it’s an average payout of $8K. Not too bad for some extra money. But that’s only if the top 10,000 don’t take the majority of it (which they do). That doesn’t leave a whole lot for the lower ranks of influencers.
As far as a lot of kids wanting to be influencers, well duh. The job appears to be having fun and talking to your friends and y
If there are 50 million people working in a $250 billion industry, that’s $5000 per year per person.
Wow, what a windfall.
Obviously, what’s happening is that a tiny percentage are making a decent living and the overwhelming majority are making crumbs. So that’s not really a healthy industry for workers.
Corrupt capitalism markets Powerball in the same way. Has for decades now. Go figure social media borrowed the delusion to sell, with a ‘creative’ twist in wording to make it sound not at all like 1 in 10,000 win anything.
Sounds like most industries. As much as we’d like to think programming is the road to riches a lot are taking home “crumbs”.
It’s no different than my generation wanting to be a movie star or a rock legend. And those goals left the multitudes of aspirants waiting tables while a few made the dream a reality. The arts are a difficult road. Always have been.
We still make fun of Justin Bieber’s rise to fame (which we shouldn’t… the guy has more than paid his dues, and has accomplished a lot…), but if it were really as easy as we joke about, we’d be swimming in Biebers.
The only difference is that the struggling influencer is more easily found and ridiculed than the guy 20 years ago busking badly in coffee shops.
Of course people want to be an influencer. The title alone feeds the epidemic of narcissism. Far too many people think their opinion is valuable. Content creation is just the illusion of lowering the barrier to entry. Most people subconsciously realize that they can never be the A-list actor, Grammy-winning musician, or highly overpaid athlete. Becoming an astronaut or a doctor requires a lot of dedication and brains. But everybody has an a$$hole… I mean opinion.
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