Creators use all kinds of technology to make or support their content, including design tools like Canva and Procreate, professional networks such as Creatively, direct-hire freelance marketplaces like Fiverr and Contra, and instant payout solutions like ours here at Orum.
But for the 50 million people who are part of the creator economy, perhaps the biggest decision is the content creator platform they choose for distribution of their work. Many of these platforms are designed for a certain type of creator or content, and some members of the creator economy creators may share their content across multiple platforms.
Here are a few of the most popular platforms for content creators across different categories:
YouTubers were some of the original creator economy members, and they helped show it can be a viable business for popular accounts. The Google-owned video-sharing platform lets creators upload and share videos with audiences, and they can also invite people to subscribe to their YouTube channels.
Musicians, comedians, vloggers, makeup artists, style mavens, educators, and other creators can monetize their content by allowing YouTube to serve ads alongside their content and collecting a share of that ad revenue. Joining the YouTube Partner Program gives creators additional monetization and support resources.
YouTube said in mid-2022 that it had paid creators, artists, and media companies more than $50 billion over the previous three years through the YouTube Partner Platform. Beyond ad revenue, YouTube creators can also earn money by partnering with brands who pay them to promote products, and some also generate revenue through merchandise sales. Some creators also use YouTube to promote their websites, their businesses, or their other social platforms.
Patreon is a subscription platform for online-content creators that makes it possible for creatives of all kinds to collect one-time donations or recurring subscription revenue from their fans. About 250,000 creators including podcasters, visual artists, musicians, video creators and more are currently on the Patreon platform, according to
Creators set up a Patreon page and can choose to offer special content and other goodies to their patrons—think early access to podcast episodes, individualized tarot readings, digital art pieces, music albums, and exclusive merchandise. Fans can support the creator with a one-off donation or a recurring membership, and creators may offer tiered subscriptions as well.
Twitch is a livestreaming platform that’s especially popular with gamers and their fans, but it also attracts other creators like talk-show hosts, musicians, and more. Creators stream content live to their audiences, who can in turn “talk” to the creator in real time using a chat box. Streamers can earn money through brand sponsorships, subscriptions, and fan donations.
Formerly LikeToKnowIt, LTK is an affiliate marketing platform that lets social media influencers monetize their content on sites like TikTok and Instagram. Influencers can make their content shoppable with LTK, curating selections or collections of clothing, home decor, makeup, skincare, and other products that they feature on their TikTok videos or Instagram posts, Reels, and IGTV.
The influencer collects a portion of sales each time a follower uses their LTK link to make a purchase—creating another revenue stream for their TikTok, Instagram, and other visual content beyond brand sponsorships.
OpenSea is the largest marketplace for buying and selling non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and crypto collectibles. Digital artists can upload their work to mint it as an NFT, which is a unique digital asset stored on a blockchain—the technology that underpins most cryptocurrencies. Creators can list their NFTs for sale as one-of-a-kind artworks or limited editions, and buyers can purchase them using crypto.
Creators can also set up their sales so that they collect money for not only the initial purchase of the work, but also a portion of any sales after that if the work changes hands. NFT marketplaces like OpenSea largely attract digital and visual artists, but other creators can also leverage them for gaming items, online collectibles, virtual real estate, and more.
Teachable is an online education platform that gives creators tools to create and sell digital courses about any number of topics. It’s particularly popular with the business coaching and consulting crowd. Creators can use Teachable to build a course website using customizable themes, and they can choose to deliver course content one or multiple formats including text, video, and audio.
The platform also includes marketing and distribution tools like automated emails and discussion boards, as well as analytics dashboards with data like student engagement and revenue. Teachable creators set their own prices, and they may choose to charge through one-off course purchases, monthly memberships, or other formats. It can be a tool for creators to collect ongoing passive income by leveraging their expertise in their fields.
Using creator platforms to make money
Creators use many different tools to make, distribute, and monetize their content. Several platforms are available to different kinds of creators, and many offer tools and support to help make a career as a creator. For those able to find audiences and revenue streams, members of the creator economy may be able to build a thriving business.