Creator: a person or thing that brings something into existence.
This generic definition fits the all-encompassing nature of what “creators” do. Content creators, or simply “creators,” are digital blacksmiths who conjure up  the internet space. The title is a successor of “influencers,” a cliché that emerged with the advent  of Instagram and Snapchat. Influencers were typically attractive females who accrued large online followings with their looks and glamorous lifestyle and sustained that lifestyle with unmarked sponsorships.
Creators, on the other hand, was originally marketed by YouTube as an alternative to vocabulary such as “YouTube star,” which seemed to imply that only a few could succeed, according to Taylor Lorenz’s reporting for The Atlantic. Today, a creator is practically anyone who produces and posts content online—on YouTube, TikTok, OnlyFans, Substack, Spotify, and the list goes on.
According to Forbes, among the 50 million people who call themselves creators, two million do it professionally. The creator economy is a vast ecosystem, the gamut  of commitment ranging from individuals killing time to running a team of writers, directors, and editors. The type and quality of content widely vary as well, from “vlogs,” “ask me anything,” and “get ready with me,” to comedy sketches, political commentary, and video journalism. Content creators who have reached internet stardom often sell merchandise, go on tours, and launch a separate business using their clout .
Over the last few years, the content creator economy has grown into a $100 billion economy. Ad-driven platforms, such as YouTube, share their ad revenues with their creators, while subscription-driven platforms, such as Patreon, Buy Me a Coffee, or Substack, paywall their content and charge a portion of users’ income.
There is an undeniable allure to the creator lifestyle. Young YouTubers, in particular, who have accrued  millions of subscribers in the span of a couple of years, have enjoyed fame and wealth conventionally reserved for Hollywood stars: buying a mansion, appearing on the cover of Vogue, getting a cable television show are examples, just to name a few. The underbelly  of the creator economy is easily neglected. A vast majority of creators do not earn enough for content creation to be their main source of income. In the meantime, Meta (formerly Facebook), YouTube, and TikTok are raking in billions of dollars in profits and sharing a negligible fraction of their pie with their creators.