With the new year fast approaching, social media and influencer marketing expert Lia Haberman has published a creator economy trend forecast for 2023.
In her latest newsletter, Haberman invited 13 industry insiders — from content creators to founders of creator economy startups — to share emerging trends worth paying attention to. The insight-packed list covers everything from platform, business, and content trends, to advice for creators looking to earn substantial incomes in this rapidly evolving space.
Keep scrolling for five of the standout trends to watch. To read more creator economy predictions for 2023, check out Haberman’s newsletter, ICYMI.
1. More creators will own their audience
Instead of competing with the ever-changing algorithms of social media networks, creators are looking to build an audience outside of these platforms. This also means having full control over their content, removing the worry of losing their work and community overnight if something happens to their social media accounts.
“In 2023, I’d suggest creators focus on building out ownable platforms to prevent being depending upon the social platforms. I’d start learning about and developing owned pieces like a website, email, and SMS. This will in turn, drive up their personal valuation and ensure they can operate like the entrepreneurs they are.”
2. YouTube and long-form video content are here to stay
With YouTube expanding its revenue share program to Shorts in early 2023, the video-sharing platform is expected to see growth in the new year. And while bite-sized videos have changed the social media landscape in recent years, Outshine Talent CEO Barbara Jones says that long-form videos shouldn’t be completely ruled out:
“My prediction is that YouTube is going to have growth and resurgence with short-form creators who typically spend more time on other platforms, because YouTube will be monetizing Shorts in the new year with AdSense, and there will be a push for those creators also to transition into long-form. Long-form audiences seem to have higher loyalty and retention overall.”
3. Gated content and communities will be a popular way to earn money online
If you’ve only been sharing content for free with your audience, it’s time to rethink your strategy. According to Insider media reporter Amanda Perelli, creators can increase their earning potential by putting more premium content behind a paywall or on a membership site. This can help you create a more stable income source than relying heavily on brand sponsorships.
“With a recession looming ahead, I predict that more creators will lean on income earned directly from their followers, rather than relying as much on outside brands or platforms to fund their businesses,” Perelli says. “For instance, throughout 2023, I think we are going to see more content, like bonus podcasts and videos, behind a paywall — especially if advertising budgets decline. Throughout next year, I expect more creators interacting with their super fans this way through offering extra content in locked communities.”
Read more: How To Make Money With Membership Sites
4. Diversifying your revenue streams continues to be important
Like running any kind of business, as a content creator, you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket. To achieve a sustainable business model, LG Consulting Group founder Kristin Ryan Spahn says that creators should look beyond brand deals and build multiple income streams:
“The biggest thing would be for creators to diversify their product offerings. Given the ever-evolving algorithms and platform trends, creators are finding it more and more difficult to ‘crack the code’ when it comes to social media. I think the longevity of the creator business is how they can use that platform to create other revenue streams beyond sponsored content and your typical ‘influencer’ offering.”
Read more: 5 Ways To Diversify Your Income as a Creator
5. Livestreaming will be bigger than ever
Christen Nino De Guzman, TikTok alumni and founder of Clara for Creators, predicts that livestreaming will continue to grow in 2023. The trend allows creators to not only connect with their audience in an authentic way, but also to earn revenue through fan donations, live shopping, and more.
“I think formulating a strategy for livestreaming is going to be super important for creators,” Nino De Guzman says. “Livestreaming was huge for the Chinese version of TikTok, and when I worked there, we tended to see trends originate in China and the U.S. would follow shortly after. The implementation may look slightly different in the West, but I predict livestreaming is going to play a big role for creators next year.”