YouTube has been pivotal to the growth of the burgeoning creator economy. Over 50 million individuals consider themselves to be creators today. YouTube has been the platform of choice for a large majority of them. The numbers speak for themselves: YouTube has 2 billion monthly active users who watch 1 billion hours of content every single day.
So many of the creators we love and adore have leveraged YouTube to redefine what a modern media business looks like. In fact, some of the most successful YouTube creators have bigger audiences compared to many traditional media companies. Some have become millionaires in the process.
These gains are not just restricted to established creators. YouTube is also enabling the middle class of creators. The platform has paid out $30 billion in ad revenue to creators over the last three years. in 2021 there was a 35% increase in the number of channels earning more than $100,000.
Given the pivotal role YouTube plays in the creator economy, we wanted to find out how YouTube creators are scaling their growing media businesses. Lucky for us, some of them also happen to be using our products 😉
Airrack — Powering Multiplayer Creation
Eric Decker, better known as Airrack, is a YouTube creator with 8.7 million subscribers, and is known for his highly innovative video ideas. He is able to keep pushing the creative envelope because he has adopted a unique, collaborative approach towards creativity. He often hosts writers' room style gatherings, where his team brainstorms ideas for his next videos. But this is not what makes Airrack’s approach unique. He make sure that the team members who contributed video ideas are entitled to the financial upside from those videos when they are published—sharing a part of the ad revenue generated by those videos with contributing team members.
This is crucial–every creator has a strong team supporting their business. But typically, these team members don't see any financial upside from the success of the content that they helped create. They act behind the scenes, usually as independent contractors. However, successful creators like Airrack understand that the key to long-term, sustainable creativity is collaboration—with financial skin in the game.
"Great video ideas are like finding gold for a creator! So when we initially started the "Creative Allegiance" to come together and brainstorm video ideas, we knew we wanted to compensate them accordingly for giving us great ideas! Splits let us bring them into the channel's success and see upside in the direct videos that they came up with"
Ryan Trahan — Fighting Creator Burnout
Burnout is a real problem in the creator economy. Constantly coming up with engaging content ideas can be exhausting. Ryan Trahan, a creator with 10.4 million subscribers, has adopted a unique approach to tackle this.
Ryan is planning to set up something akin to a TV show writers' room to crowdsource creativity for all the videos he plans to publish in 2022. Just like Airrack, Ryan also wants to ensure that all the members of his team who contribute ideas get a share of the revenue generated by the videos they helped create.
For instance: video editors play a pivotal role when it comes to bringing many of these creative video ideas to life. Ryan uses Stir to ensure that his editor receives a portion of the ad revenue from his videos.
"I think many creators demand a lot from themselves. Individual creators are managing logistics, creative direction, production, finances, and so much more. After years of making content, I’ve realised that the role I’m best suited for (and happiest doing) is creating. That means filming and editing. Everything else exceeds my mental capacity if I’m doing my best work. That’s where Stir has helped me immensely. I have a very intimate team — just two good friends who help me make videos. Being able to split my revenue with them via Stir allows them to have skin in the game."
Because creators have such powerful personal brands, the creator economy is often conceptualised as a single player game. However, from our experience chatting with some of the world's most successful creators, we've come to realise that this is not the case. The future of the creator economy is multiplayer. Right from day one, the core philosophy behind everything we do at Stir has been to help creators harness the magic of multiplayer—we want to build powerful tools that enable creative collaboration, organisation, and connection—enabling a world where anyone can make a living off of their creativity.