The speed of payments, or lack thereof, is significantly preventing the global creator community from moving forward.
The US-based automated payables solution Tipalti has released a new study that analyses the future of the creator economy and the challenges it faces as the industry matures.
According to a survey of 750 creators from both the US and the UK, while a majority of people would like to pursue content creation as a full-time job, industry challenges, and particularly challenges around being paid fairly and quickly, prevent them from doing so, which is ultimately impacting the industry’s ability to scale.
With a current value of around $104billion and nearly 50 million content creators worldwide, industry participants are navigating one of the most complex economic environments of our time; with payments being chief among their bereavements.
Conducted in partnership with Wakefield Research, Tipalti’s report identified the optimism creators hold for the future, with many hoping that the industry will grow significantly within the next five years.
But before this can come to fruition, there are common impediments to true prosperity that must first be addressed.
Many content creators are optimistic about the maturation of the creator economy, anticipating an increased appetite for content and the professionalization of the space.
In line with the so-called Great Resignation, 26 per cent of respondents plan to depart from the mundane nine to five to pursue content creation full-time.
When asked about continued growth expectations within the industry, around two in every five creators predict companies will directly hire more content creators in the next five years, and 40 per cent predict more people will start their own practice in the same time frame.
Furthermore, 39 per cent predict content creators will establish professional associations to represent their interests, while a smaller 38 per cent predict more graduates will pursue a career in content creation.
While the desire to turn content creation into a full-time gig is there for most creators, major roadblocks are preventing them from making that a reality. The inability to get paid easily is holding back creators and ultimately impacting the growth of the creator economy.
Unsurprisingly, the majority – 90 per cent – of creators have experienced issues when getting paid.
To counter this, 41 per cent have increased their rate to compensate for the hassle of late or incorrect paychecks while 36 per cent have had to hire someone to handle business-related tasks.
This hassle has become such a pronounced problem, that seven in 10 creators agree that administrative tasks, such as invoicing, actually prevent them from creating content for a living.
Eighty-three per cent of creators said that they were less than completely confident in handling necessary, but complicated administrative tasks entirely on their own.
In the end, these financial factors will ultimately work to snuff people out of the industry; as predicted by 35 per cent of respondents.
Organisations working with content creators risk losing talent while brands risk losing content creators due to negative experiences.
Ease of use, security and timeliness are all critical to creators as the industry continues to grow. Businesses that offer automated solutions will be able to better capitalise on the opportunities the creator economy offers by allowing their creators to focus on content, not admin.
Nearly three in four creators who earn revenue for content other than that which they create for their employer say automatic payments are important to growing their business.
The biggest obstacles creators face when dealing with getting paid include receiving payments from multiple platforms (30 per cent); the time required for invoicing, tracking payments and resolving payment disputes (33 per cent); being uncertain about how to fully monetise it (32 per cent); and the tax implications of setting up a side business (32 per cent).
When it comes to choosing a payment platform, the most common must-have is secure payments; being the top requirement for 21 per cent of creators, and within the top three requirements for half of the respondents.
On-time payments was the second biggest requirement, with 47 per cent of content creators listing it in their top three.
“With Covid and the Great Resignation, more and more people started to look at content creation as more than just a side-gig and saw the potential for it to be a full-time job,” said Paco Suro, GM of global partner payments at Tipalti.
“However, more than 80 per cent of content creators surveyed identified they are not confident they can handle invoicing and payments on their own, stopping them from making the full-time leap into the creator economy.
“Now’s the time for the platforms that creators work with to invest in modern automated payable solutions to alleviate these concerns for creators and ensure the Creator Economy continues to grow rapidly.”