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Bridging the creator gap Monetising social video’s micro-communities

Report by Sam Griffin and Ben Woods
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20,000 foot view:  The pandemic-induced boom in content creation has saturated social video platforms at a time when creators are battling a downturn in digital advertising revenues. These dual pressures of less exposure and dwindling financial returns have put pressure on mid-tier creators; the community that derives all their creator income from advertising, subscriptions, and donations, but have subscale audience to superstar creators. Mid-tier creators can fight back by forging groups that enable them to stand out above the waves, and to bolster their commercial clout and negotiation power. While platforms could perceive this as a potential threat, those that choose to empower mid-tier creators can gain a first-mover advantage over rivals when it comes to keeping creators happy.   

Key insights 

  • Platforms are currently focused on nurturing early-stage and top-tier creators, without providing mid-tier creators with the growth tools needed to become future stars 
  • Reappraising the growth needs of mid-tier creators can unlock new revenue streams
  • The number of hours per week that creators spend on producing content has grown        from        in        2021 to        in        2022 
  • Mid-tier creators can marry their unique audience intelligence with their collective scale to provide opportunities for mainstream marketers, which can rival the top-tier creators
  • Social platforms can capitalize on communities’ feedback to creators to help build features that enable creators to better prosper and remain motivated to stay on the platform
  • As time available becomes more constrained post-lockdown, collaborative creator tactics can consolidate users’ favourite creators into one viewing experience

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: Awesamdude, BadBoyHalo, Callahaniscool, Discord, Dream, DropsByPonk, Facebook Gaming, GeorgeNotFound, itsAlyssa, jschlatt, Ludwig Ahgren, Minecraft, Sapnap, Tarik Celik, Technoblade, The Dream SNP, TikTok, TommyInnit, Twitch, YouTube


Early-stage creator: A creator who is making no income from creating or has made a small amount from the platform’s entry-level creator programs

Mid-tier creator: A part-time or full-time creator who derives all their creator income from advertising, subscriptions, and donations. They have no meaningful affiliate sponsorship, or platform deals. They have a substantial viewership but remain sub-scale to the biggest creators

Top-tier creator: A full-time creator who has an exclusive deal with a platform, or significant sponsorship deals, that supplement a large subscription, advertising, and donations income

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