The Creator Economy (Part #5) - Tech Stack and Tools
Hello Friends 👋
The below infographic captures each layer of a creator economy tech stack, as well as a range of apps and tools in each layer that online makers and web entrepreneurs use to build creator-centered businesses.
Creator Category Tools
From podcasters charting the course of history to streamers playing Final Fantasy, there are a host of different online creators. While many creators have more in common than apart—a magnetic online presence, creativity, and a love for their audience—different types of creators require different tools to create and distribute their content.
The creator category layer of the creator economy tech stack includes different sections for different creators: YouTubers, gamers and streamers, TikTokers, Instagram influencers, podcasters and audio creators, writers and bloggers, and musicians, photographers, and artists.
However, many creators are increasingly triple, or even quadruple, threats: writing on Substack and Twitter, posting on YouTube, creating video content on TikTok and Snapchat, and hosting a podcast. The boxes in the creator category tools sections are dotted to denote the fluidity that often exists among creators who refuse to be boxed in.
Tools for YouTubers
In many ways, YouTubers paved the way for today’s creators. Early to the era of social content creation, they proved it takes little more than a camera, authenticity, and a spot in your bedroom to build an audience of millions of followers. Launched in 2005, YouTube remains one of the most popular and monetizable creator platforms today, with web-first creators like David Dobrik and Patricia Bright as well as mainstream converts like The Rock and Reese Witherspoon.
While many video creators make their work appear effortless, the creator economy tech stack of a YouTuber includes a variety of tools: software like Final Cut Pro to edit videos, music platforms like Splice to breathe life into vlogs, and design tools like Canva to create aesthetic and clickable thumbnails.
Here’s the YouTuber section of the creator economy tech stack:
Tools for Gamers and Streamers
With the rise of esports and online gaming, it’s rare to hear this once oft-asked question: “Who would watch someone play video games?” In 2020, 18.6 billion hours of content was consumed on Twitch. In 2021, the platform had an average of 2.84 million concurrent viewers. Millions of viewers tune in daily to see their favorite gamers stream online—from louiseyhannah playing Resident Evil Village to alanzoka playing Final Fantasy XIV.
Behind the humorous and lighthearted banter with the audience—across platforms like Twitch, YouTube Gaming, and Facebook Gaming—streamers use a host of tools to broadcast to their fans, as well as plug-ins and extensions to make gameplay more fun and interactive.
Here’s the gamer and streamer section of the creator economy tech stack:
Tools for TikTokers
TikTok has taken the world by storm. In Q1 of 2020, TikTok became the most downloaded app in the world, surpassing incumbents like Facebook and Instagram.
The short-form video platform has become a media destination in its own right, pushing past its initial content reputation as a place to see lip-synched songs, silly dances, and pranks gone wrong. Instead, the platform is chock-full of every flavor of creator: from cooks like Alejandra serving up culinary delights to creator couples like itsthescotts giving viewers a peek into family life. While TikTok’s interface boasts a selection of tools to add filters, music, and effects, some creators opt to add third-party editing tools to their creator economy tech stack, bringing their own unique touch to videos.
TikTok’s popularity has spawned imitation apps, including Snapchat Spotlight, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts. For some TikTok creators, these tools are complementary and add an extra distribution channel from them to repost their original content.
Here’s the TikToker section of the creator economy tech stack:
Platform app: TikTok
Tools for Instagram Influencers
While “influencer” has become an all-purpose term applying to many categories of creators, Instagram influencers are in a category of their own: 72% of creators cite Instagram as their primary content platform.
On Instagram—whether you’re sharing fitness routines or showcasing interior design savvy—aesthetics are the name of the game. Instagram creators have a comprehensive set of tools as part of their creator economy tech stack: photo filter and editing software to perfect their photos, apps to create inspiring stories, and scheduling tools to craft the ideal grid ahead of time. Jourdan Sloane, an Instagram influencer with over half a million followers, details using apps like Facetune to edit her photos and Preview to arrange her feed up to two days ahead of time.
Here’s the Instagram influencer section of the creator economy tech stack:
Tools for Podcasters and Audio Creators
Whether they’re consumed during city car commutes or chores around the house, podcasts have become a popular pastime. In 2020, 104 million people in the US listened to a podcast over the course of a month. From popular shows like the Huberman Lab to advice podcasts like If I Were You, there are podcasts across every category. With a quick search, it’s easy to find something to listen to, whether you’re in the mood for cultural commentary or true crime.
Aside from hardware tools like podcast mics, silencers, and mixers to get the sound just right, podcast creators use a collection of tools to host, edit, record, and add sounds and effects to their show. Plus, the rise of audio social apps like Clubhouse and Spotify Greenroom has given podcasters another venue to create shows for their audience or embody a new breed of audio creator entirely.
Here’s the podcaster and audio section of the creator economy tech stack:
Effects and sounds: Storyblocks
Tools for Writers and Bloggers
From serialized storytellers to newsletter writers to bloggers, many creators who have a way with words are making a living online. Seth Godin has blogged every day for almost a decade, while Emily Weiss turned her beauty blog, Into The Gloss, into the billion-dollar beauty empire that is Glossier.
Today, there are an increasing number of ways to make money online as a writer, with a slew of blogging and newsletter platforms that help writers distribute their content to an audience or monetize their writing directly.
Behind the craft of writing you’ll find tools like Google Docs and Apple Notes for getting the words on the page, editing apps like Grammarly to get sentences just right, and social channels to build an audience for your ideas or distribute them after the fact.
Here’s the writer and blogger section of the creator economy tech stack:
Tools for Musicians, Photographers, and Artists
Not every creator is web-first. Traditional IRL creators—musicians, photographers, and artists—have their own creator economy tech stack of online tools to support their offline efforts.
Musicians use an array of mixing tools to record and produce music and rely on platforms like iTunes, Spotify, and SoundCloud to share their work online. Photographers use online editing tools to make their snapshots shine. Visual artists use drafting software to bring their art alive and, more recently, can use web marketplaces to mint them as NFTs and sell to online art collectors.
Here’s the musicians, photographers, and artists section of the creator economy tech stack:
Okay… It’s getting too much, I know. We still have to talk more about communities, link pages, payments, fan monetization, etc. but we will talk about this in the next article :-) :-)
If you want to share anything or have any suggestions/questions, please leave them in the comments!
That’s it for today :-)
Hope each of you has a great start to your day. I’ll talk to everyone tomorrow.
If you are not a subscriber of Amit Unboxed, join 4,500+ others who read my personal writings & opinions about tech, startups, humans, blockchain & crypto each morning.
Amit Unboxed Supporters
These companies/people make this newsletter and podcast possible, so go check them out and thank them for their support!
Pineapple Group - A Web3 company focused on tech product development. They also provide end-to-end techno-functional consultancy for startups.
Glasban - Your technology growth partner providing software development from conception to delivery - helping you to simplify, strengthen and transform your business.
Versatalia Labs - A next-gen technology product development company working in Computer Vision, AI, ML, Advance Analytics and Blockchain.
Team Dhanashree - Renowned public figure - actor, dancer, choreographer, model and creative movement therapist. She is my inspiration and motivation too :-)
I am a technology enthusiast, entrepreneur & creative thinker, who enjoys crafting Tech Products to make a real difference.
You are receiving this interesting content because you either signed up or you attended one of the events that I spoke at. Feel free to unsubscribe if you aren’t finding this valuable.
Please note that all the content in this newsletter is only for educational purposes. You are advised to do your own research!