Content creators are the new bastions of cultivating consumer relationships, loyalty, and sales, as revealed by a study called “Creators & The New Frontier of Consumer Engagement.”

The study, conducted by talent, entertainment, and sports agency UTA, also revealed that 40 percent of more than 1,000 respondents (or 65 million consumers) like paying content creators directly through virtual meet-and-greets, fan clubs, and video shout-outs, as it gives them exclusivity (71%), inspiration (69%), access (66%) and community (51%).

Julian Jacobs, from the UTA team, said the pandemic was key in driving consumers’ desire to directly pay creators, which encouraged direct relationships using online applications. 

About 49% of those who pay directly spend $25 monthly, which translates to a $10-billion market that’s expected to exceed $18 billion. Gen Z and millennials comprise 72% of this segment, split almost equally according to gender (51% male and 48% female).

Brands are also embracing other opportunities that can connect fans directly to content creators. The study revealed that 95% of consumers are open to brands participating in the creator economy. About 50% of those surveyed are likely to better recall brands that engage with creators, while the other 50% feel more favorably towards those brands. About 33% are likely to buy or use brands that partner with content creators.

Musicians and gamers are the top content creators receiving consumer support but could be joined by more general entertainment content creators as the world recovers from the pandemic.
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