Will India's Creators Transform From Influencers To Entrepreneurs In 2024?

The rapidly evolving landscape is reshaping the way individuals learn, create, share, and monetise their content, opening vast opportunities for creators and content consumers alike

The audience and creator shift towards web platforms became apparent after 2010. As social media drew audiences away from traditional media, we saw a digital revolution that democratised content collection, creation, monetisation and distribution. In the past decade, influencers reshaped our content consumption and creation patterns. But, in the last couple of years, the Indian creator economy has been characterised by a move from entertainment towards education and knowledge sharing, giving rise to a new category of creators known as "creatorpreneurs”. 

Creatorpreneurs prefer establishing sustainable businesses rather than chasing celebrity influencer status on social media platforms. This trend is reflected in the growth of categories such as personal development, health and fitness, and personal finance, indicating a strong demand for creator-led educational content.

The e-learning industry in India, with a market size of $6.4 billion in 2022, is projected to surge to $14.1 billion by 2028, representing a vast opportunity for creators in the educational content space. The aim of “creatorpreneurs” has now transformed beyond just teaching a skill into establishing a microbusiness. 

Here are some of the trends and predictions that are shaping the Indian creator economy: 

1. Diversifying income streams for sustainable revenue

Fearing the unpredictability of ad revenue and seasonal brand deals on social media, creators are diversifying their income streams and turning to entrepreneurship to build sustainable revenue through digital learning products. Algorithm changes have had a moderate to significant impact on the audience engagement of creators. Thus, influencers are now diversifying and launching their brands in the form of apps or websites with the help of B2B SaaS companies offering them full ownership and customisation. They are also switching towards publishing their books, conducting webinars & workshops, and launching their merchandise for better engagement, marketing, as well as revenue. 

2. Rise of financial education and creator-led courses

The creator economy has coincided with increased financial awareness among retail investors, leading to an increase in finance and investment education. ‘Finfluencers’ in 2023 gained momentum via imparting knowledge as well as offering registered certificate courses, which will continue to shape the financial literacy of young internet users in 2024. 

On the other hand, creator-led courses are gaining support as alternatives to traditional education, allowing individuals to upskill at their own pace from anywhere at an affordable cost. Coding, digital marketing, and personality development are witnessing remarkable growth, with professionals engaging with leaders from major tech companies for 1-on-1 mentorship and consultations.

3. Empowering individuals in Tier II+ cities of Bharat
Successful business owners are also turning into content creators to share their expertise and insights, enabling others to start and grow their micro businesses from the comfort of their homes. This trend is significantly empowering individuals, particularly women in tier II+ cities and towns, to generate income and start successful ventures. Content gaining momentum in this area includes organic farming, makeup art, jewellery designing, cooking and catering, and fashion designing. 

4. Dynamic content creation categories
The various categories of content creation are evolving as per trends across the world. The need for a healthier lifestyle has become increasingly important; people are spending more on gym memberships, yoga classes, and curated diet plans. The creator economy is responding to this need with courses on fitness, healthy eating, and mental health, among others. 

In conclusion, 2024 is set to witness seasoned professionals enter the content creation domain to help viewers become “atmanirbhar”. The creator economy will fill the gap created by socio-economic barriers in Bharat. The rapidly evolving landscape is reshaping the way individuals learn, create, share, and monetise their content, opening vast opportunities for creators and content consumers alike. However, along with more opportunities, the competition will continue to be fierce as more and more creators join the realm of content creation.

(The author is Mukul Rustagi, co-founder and CEO, Classplus)

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