We live in the same social media ecosystem and use similar pathways to measure popularity and engagement. However, there’s a sea of differences between monetisation among Indian creators and their international contemporaries.
From monetary incentives to the conversion of popularity to some real-life tangibles like social status, public standing, and mainstream opportunities, Indian creators have to fight tooth and nail just to keep the boat sailing. They are nowhere close to being paid their dues. International creators operate well-oiled machinery for generating revenue from their online ventures. This allows them to expand further. Indian creators have to rely solely on YouTube ad money as the only fixed paycheck. Let’s explore why.
India’s most active Internet using demographic is 20 to 39 years old. People over the age of 40, with the best purchasing power and disposable income, are the least active Internet using demographic in India. Whereas the most active demographic in America is 20 to 29, the second most are 30 to 49. The creator economy balloons to no end. Creators are only getting a penny of the value they are creating in the market. This tips the scales in favor of American creators. They are marketing themselves to an audience which can buy their services.
The Hurdles in Payment
There are more than 940 million Indians with active debit cards. However, only a fraction of this number has a fixed disposable income. And a glaring issue among those who do have the money is that they are reluctant to sign up online and give their money to strangers. Data suggests that in India, even in 2020 — the year of the Pandemic — only 15.6% of payments were made online. It isn’t necessarily the lack of value that dismays users to pay for content, but the mode of payment. STAGE, a Harvanyi content app, recently launched a door-to-door customer registration and cash-on-delivery payment process in Haryana. It was a success, as the venture roped in more than 100k subscribers within a year.
A pretty consequential effect of building a class-based economy is the exclusion of millions of people from the tiers that their classes aren’t boxed in. This is different from the western world, where technology is uniformly embraced. The reason someone doesn’t pay for content isn’t logistics but preference.
Opportunities for India Creators VS International Creators
From visibility to expansion and monetization, international creators enjoy a vast number of opportunities that simply aren’t available to Indian creators. 624 million Indians have access to the Internet. Out of which 572 million Indians have Internet on their mobiles. This is more than the population of the entire Internet using the western world. Yet, the diverse demographics pose a challenge to the unified consumption of the Internet.
For example, only 10% of Indians are fluent in English. And only 43% of Indians are fluent in Hindi. So, for a Hindi/English-speaking content creator to penetrate the market, the demand is already shelved beyond 50%. This number only dwindles down to other languages. The uniformity of the language is one of the major reasons why Americans can reach all 300 million Internet users of their country. And courting subscribers beyond their home country is just an added benefit.
Ways to Earn Money As A Digital Creator
Capitalization of your reach and influence is the getaway to building a profitable career for digital creators. YouTube has a pretty stable revenue model. But, the monetization of the rest of the social media platforms, mainly Instagram, falls solely on the creators. There are multiple ways to go about it. Here are some of them:
- Merchandise: Branding and selling utility items such as t-shirts, mugs, notebooks, and many more is a great way to make money. YouTuber PewDiePie raked in $7 million just from sales in 2021.
- Donations: Content creators can solicit donations/funding from their audiences in exchange for continued streaming and other services. Twitch phenomenon Hasan Abi has made more than $2 million from live stream donations in the last few years. This figure comes nowhere close to CarryMinati.
- Membership: Membership in exchange for exclusive content is one of the major ways in which content creators can capitalize on their fame. And is also a great gauge of determining the impact that they have on people. While the most basic international creators with lukewarm popularity can stack impressive membership numbers, Indian creators fail to do so because of the limits of their performance and the muted reaction of the audience.
Moving Beyond The Metrics
A reason behind the lack of enthusiasm regarding the payments for content is the number of free resources. The entire YouTube library is free to watch. Hence, it is hard to expect the audience to open their pockets — no matter how promising your content is. A great way to break through the gridlock is by making transformative content. This content further needs to be distributed in a smart way so that it gets the maximum eyeballs.
How Indian Creators Are Leveraging Their Influence Into Making Money
Indian creators are embracing the world of edutainment. Leaving the days of free services behind, they are selling their craft and expertise and getting the worth of their value. At TagMango, creators have the freedom to create content that can be paywalled. TagMango assists creators in building courses and workshops that package their talent and makes it eligible for monetization. Import your audience to your cohort-based system and derive value for your hard work and skills.
Content creation is a full-time job. Creators deserve to make money through it. While international creators have multiple avenues to build a profitable career, Indian creators continue to bite the dust. Controlling the means of distribution can change this reality for them.