Evolution of the Creator Economy - what's next? Part II
Building the fundamental blocks of the creator economy
Grandpa Kitchen’s videos regularly attract hundreds of thousands of views within days of their release. The videos show Narayana Reddy cook recipes of all types - be it unique dishes such as Kaddu ki kheer, or commonly loved food such as omelets. At the end of their videos, the cooks donate their preparations to underprivileged children. Their viewers thank them for their recipes and overwhelmingly appreciate their cause as well. Their followers show up not just to learn their newest recipes, but out of their affinity specifically for the creators. What is even more surprising is that this channel was started by the 70 year old Reddy and his children in 2017. In less than 5 years, it has more than 9 million followers, highlighting the increasing democratization of content creation.
This is just one such example. Several creators, across a multitude of niche categories today are brands in their own right and operate as professional businesses, powered by democratization of content creation and community engagement and establishment of multiple avenues of monetization. These social media businesses function like any other business and we believe that the next generation of creator economy platforms and tools will solve for their needs.
Here are some of the companies that are building the fundamental blocks of the creator economy:
Our creator economy portfolio
Our journey with Sharechat began with our strong conviction in the unique social and content needs of the Indian audience that was not being served by existing social media giants in the country. The regional language first users refrained from Facebook and even Google / YouTube then and primarily used Whatsapp for social needs and WA forwards for content needs. Sharechat solved for the social and content needs for this large regional language first user base.. Similarly, we also believe in the unique dating needs of this user base which Frnd is solving for.
In the past few years, social / content creation and consumption has increased drastically and we believe in the increasing depth of several specialized niches. The experience of creators in these niches and the users for whom significant time is spent on such niches is restricted by the functionalities of horizontal platforms. Platforms building products to significantly improve engagement and even monetization for such deep vertical use-cases continue to excite us and this conviction was the basis of our investments in several such platforms including AppsforBharat, Turnip, Anar, BlueLearn, Headfone and Hyype.
There has been a shift from platform affinity to creator affinity. Users increasingly turn to creators for product recommendations and as a source of knowledge/skills on topics ranging from dancing to finance. There is significant depth even within specialized verticals of this potential spend and we believe that the monetization of these user behaviors has several barriers on existing social / content platforms. Wishlink and Frontrow enable creators to monetize these behaviors more effectively through ecommerce and extracurricular learning respectively. With this creator affinity also arises the desire of users to engage more personally with their favorite creators. This personalized engagement can take several forms - creator led games, specialized access, etc. Wakao and Probo are enabling creators to make games / challenges as a form of more personalized and engaging experience for their audience.
This surge in the creator economy has given rise to millions of creators and the number of creators is poised to explode as the creator economy is increasingly becoming more and more lucrative. With this rise in new creators also arises the need for creator upskilling that teams like Airblack are solving for.
We’ve been early believers and backers of these companies that have been building platforms and tools centered around creators from day 1. Being a part of the journeys of these companies from a pre-product stage has only strengthened our belief in the fact that given the right set of tools, infrastructure and opportunities, creators can operate and scale up as professional businesses. And this is just the beginning of the rise of social media enabled businesses - the creator economy is ripe for disruption.
Our team comprises Amit Aggarwal, Vaas Bhaskar, Pranjal Agarwal, Utkarsh Bajpai and Ansh Aggarwal who have a deep understanding and strong conviction on the creator economy. We’d love to hear from you, if you too resonate with our conviction in the creator economy and are building or even thinking of building in the space. Please reach out to us for a chat at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Building an AI Powered Workflow Automation Platform
Sarthak Jain, Co-founder & CEO, Nanonets