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Stripe sees big value in creators

Stripe released a trove of data Thursday showing how its financial tools have fueled platforms that serve the creator economy.

The news: Stripe’s report details how it’s helped usher in the creator economy as we know it by enabling people to earn cash on platforms like Twitter, Clubhouse, Substack, Buy Me A Coffee, and others.

Stripe impact: The San Francisco-based firm looked at monetization data across 50 platforms and learned that creators will soon surpass $10 billion in aggregate earnings.

Keep ‘em coming: While the pandemic supercharged the creator economy — roughly 50 million people worldwide — creators are still flocking to platforms where they can monetize content, crafts, and skills, per Edwin Wee, user relations at Stripe. The number of creators has increased 48% year over year. In total, the 50 platforms Stripe analyzed have welcomed 668,000 creators.

Smart is sexy: Stripe found that education is the fastest growing sector within the creator economy. That makes sense, considering online courses — sold on platforms like Kajabi, Gumroad, and Teachable — were some of the first avenues through which creators could earn money for their content.

Creator locales: U.S. creators’ may devour the lion’s share of attention, but the creator economy is growing faster in other regions, according to Stripe. The Czech Republic reported the fastest growth of new creators, surging 270% year over year. That was followed by Romania (215%), and Brazil (171%).

Not-starving artist: In the U.S., the number of creators earning more than $69,000/year has increased 41% year over year, according to the report. Stripe didn’t provide specific figures on how many people that includes, but it’s an encouraging trend.

Spread the love? There's a widening income gap between the top earners and most people in the creator economy.

  • Twitch’s top 1% of streamers earn more than 50% of revenue and most users earn less than $120.
  • Substack’s top 10 publications earn more than $20 million a year collectively, while the bulk of publishers make 5-figures or less.
  • Axios reports the top 1% of podcasts receive 99% of downloads and earn the vast majority of ad revenue.

Fintech loves creators: Stripe might be the payment processor with the most successful fueling creators, but it’s not the only one.

  • PayPal partnered with the popular link-sharing platform Linktree to enable payments.

  • PayPal is also reportedly considering buying Pinterest.

  • Square announced a new partnership with TikTok that enables merchants to set up online stores.

  • Karat Financial raised $26 million to build a banking system that serves the creator economy.

  • Revolut, Starling, and Klarna have hired influencers to promote their financial services on Instagram and TikTok.

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