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The creator economy is a well-oiled machine that has been running uninterrupted over the past 15 years. Even as many jumped onto the treadmill to churn content, the ecosystem was estimated to be worth around USD 100 billion in April last year. The hype has eventually tapered and the grand promises of the content creation industry—the financial independence and a steady stream of online income—do not seem all that great. Now with generative AI tools, a disruption as big as any has happened. In quick succession, platforms like ChatGPT and GPT-4 have been released into the wild.
Like most businesses, while the fear is that generative AI may upend content creation firms, the overall sentiment is that the technology will fuel new growth. A report published by Insider Intelligence in March pointed out the bright spots in the sky. The content creation process is expected to become more simplified and streamlined with the entry-level barrier dropping for new creators while pushing up the volume of content.
Positive impact on hiring but different needs
Kartik Narayan, CEO of HR services firm TeamLease, is optimistic about the shift. “As you may know, generative AI can automate content creation which can significantly reduce the workload of content creators and editors. This technology can also assist in ideating, writing, organising and categorising content, thereby improving the general efficiency of these companies”.
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Narayan also mentioned that he foresees a ramp up in hiring but with a different set of requirements in skills. “While there is no doubt that there will be massive changes, we believe that it will not necessarily result in a negative impact on hiring practices. Rather, we foresee that it will lead to a shift in the types of skills and expertise required in the industry.”
“As generative AI becomes more prevalent in content creation, we expect to see an increased demand for professionals with knowledge and experience in the development and implementation of AI. Additionally, individuals with strong analytical and data management skills will be highly sought after, as AI-generated content requires careful monitoring and analysis to ensure accuracy and relevance,” he said.
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Gen-AI to bring more money
In a stark contradiction, the report predicts more money to flow in for creators . The technology will only facilitate more sponsorship between brands and creators by making it easier for brands to identify the content and marketing firms they want to work with.
The technology will also inject certain much needed freshness in the industry. VCs who were looking disinterested in the industry as investment plummeted in 2022 might just give creative firms a second chance because of generative AI. Narayan also explained how content companies themselves will evolve and expand into including multimedia features. “The implementation of generative AI will allow content management platforms to expand their services and capabilities, opening up new opportunities for growth and development,” he added.
In an interview with Forbes, Co-Founder and CEO Anirudh Singla spoke about how the Mumbai-based content marketing platform, Pepper Content, has a plan in place already. The firm is moving towards automating most of its work around content creation and using analytics in a way that offers more insights into making the process more efficient. “Every piece you publish should be more intelligent than the last one,” said Singla.
The Insider Intelligence report echoed a similar sentiment. If there is anticipation that generative AI will cause an “avalanche of low-quality content,” it is justified . But once the initial rush dies down, the industry will correct itself as companies will be forced to prioritise creativity and integrate generative AI tech to refine their content. Implying that the race in content generation platforms will very much exist only if they can catch up soon enough.
Potential for more startups
Roger Patterson, President and Co-Founder of online marketing platform, Later, also said that the impact of AI on these firms is possibly overstated at the moment. “In my opinion, AI is not a replacement for human creativity; it’s an assistive tool. Like Iron Man’s suit, it can supercharge your capabilities if you learn to use it effectively,” he explained.
Patterson however believes that scaling for nascent content platforms will end up becoming much easier now. “With all the talk about AI lately, not enough is being said about how it can help creators launch businesses. In short, generative AI tools will help entrepreneurs, especially creators, launch full-fledged businesses without making a single hire,” he shared.