What does “A Creator’s Economy” mean to Facebook, Spotify, and Shopify?

March 19, 2021

On Thursday Josh Constine hosted a Club House room where Mark Zuckerberg, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek and Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke joined him to discuss "how people can turn their passions into their professions and why audio apps like Clubhouse are blowing up". Here are some of main takeaways that Josh shared with us, I chose to focus on these point instead of the points mentioned on how Apple is making it difficult for competitors to enter the market.

As a communicator this really cemented the fact that we need to listen to our audinces and empower them to curate the content, messages and stories they wish to hear rather than us controling it. Happy Reading.

Pic: Campaign Asia

-Creators are diversifying their monetization streams. Platforms like Facebook are racing to offer more on-platform revenue options to combat the trend we found in SignalFire’s Creator Economy Market Map of creators taking their biggest fans off-platform to sites designed for selling patronage subscriptions, merchandise, shout-outs, and exclusive community access.

-The rise of always-in earbuds is unlocking a new wave of audio innovation. In what turned out to be a decent prediction I made in 2016, convenience of playback thanks to Bluetooth headphones and discovery via algorithms is finally making audio snackable. Right now we have lots of longer-form audio platforms and mediums like Spotify, Clubhouse, and podcasts. But we’re likely to see apps offering quick clips of news, comedy, poetry, just as blogging gave rise to Twitter.

On the creator economy they were quoted saying:

Zuckerberg: “We all hope that in the future the economy is one where everyone can pursue their interests and their creativity and can have jobs that are more exciting for them . . . Overall it's not like one model is going to work. It's not just like everyone is going to be able to make enough money off of an ads revenue share or something like that. But I think the 360 view of having all of these things really is going to support tens of millions of people to be able to do these kinds of creative pursuits”

“Now you basically have these platforms that have leveled the playing field a bit and make it so that you can grow a more vibrant sector of creators and small businesses. For all the attention that gets paid to the stock market and kind of the biggest companies, I think that this is where the majority of employment is and the majority of the work that's going on in the economy. So I think that whether it's creators or small businesses, I think this is really important for kind of overall health and prosperity around the world.”

Lütke: “In retail, we've always had a lot of gatekeeping. There were limited chances, which meant that the kinds of products that were created had to be very sanitized and have very broad appeal for just logistical reasons. And so I think what's been so amazing is now a lot more people can participate and much, much more specific products are being created because it's so efficient to find the people who really, really like the things that you have to offer.”

Ek: “It used to be before that if you were a musician, you just put out music. But almost every successful creator now is omni- talented and omni-channel. That means that they are on YouTube putting up videos. They are on Instagram. They are perhaps putting together brands and putting it on Shopify, but they're also putting out music and merchandise on Shopify and music on Spotify, of course, and touring. And so they're really just doing a multitude of different things and connecting with their fan bases across many different platforms.”

“The future will be about finding your audience and finding multiple ways of interacting with that audience across all of these different platforms, finding multiple ways of monetizing them from when they are a casual user to all the

The messages that resonated with me and Josh included:

  1. Be curious
  2. Don’t be afraid to collaborate
  3. Don’t be afraid to experiment
  4. The intranet is a city that has communities and social aspects
  5. Change is going to be the norm so we need to get used to moving quickly if our organisations are to thrive and survive the future.

The smartphone era feels simultaneously in its nascency and its old age. Whole new categories of apps are emerging, as with audio and the creator economy. Facebook and Twitter must ween themselves off of profiting solely from ads. They will not be able to keep up with newer, more agile apps like Clubhouse if they’re too afraid of cannibalizing what brought in their previous billions.

Communique specialises in communicating Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) strategies. Our work has impacted 150K employees, 200k customers and resulted in £300M investment deals completed. If you need help gaining buy-in from your leadership team or designing your ESG communication strategy get in touch


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