From its humble beginnings in the 1990s, the creator economy has now grown into a massive industry. Part of the “new economy,” early creators included authors, journalists, actors, musicians, artists and others. But without an available marketplace infrastructure to enable them to monetize their knowledge and talents, many struggled to gain a significant following. This made being an independent creator extremely challenging, with most having to keep a day job or two to support their passion.
Then came platforms like Blogger, YouTube, MySpace and Soundcloud. Suddenly, ordinary people were racking up millions of followers and big bucks by sharing their talents on the newly created open markets. And thanks to these early pioneers, the creator economy is now worth a combined $104 billion.
The Knowledge Economy Makes its Debut
In 2010, a new player stepped onto the creator scene and opened up a new channel for monetization. Kajabi changed the creator game by enabling people to monetize their knowledge. Before that, the creator economy was all about selling one’s skills and talents. But thanks to Kajabi, knowledge about almost anything became a marketable asset too.
“Kajabi is an innovative all-in-one platform that enables knowledge entrepreneurs and creators to share and monetize their skills, talents, and knowledge,” said Ahad Khan, Kajabi CEO. “With Kajabi’s robust product features, users have a single ecosystem in which they can publish, market, and sell knowledge products such as online courses, live coaching, products, newsletters, membership sites, and communities. It’s the platform of choice for more than 55 million dynamic solopreneurs, teams, and businesses.”
The State of the Creator Economy Report
Kajabi is now the leading platform for creators and entrepreneurs to create, grow, and manage their content, products and services, offering the best way to turn knowledge into income. And recently, the company unveiled its inaugural State of the Creator Economy Report. The report reveals some of the biggest trends taking shape within the growing creator economy.
For the report, researchers incorporated both quantitative and qualitative data gathered from industry sources and the more than 50,000 creators that run their businesses on Kajabi’s platform. Insights include the pandemic’s impact on the creator economy, key monetization trends and the most popular and successful marketing tactics creators use. When asked about the kind of knowledge people share the most, Khan suggested that the list is nearly endless.
“There are literally millions of amazing and imaginative use cases,” he said. We’ve got a creator that teaches people how to make pot pies, dog grooming experts, DJs, Scottish pipe drummers, knitting experts, alternative medicine practitioners, and much more.”
Creators Making Big Money
According to the State of the Creator Economy report, Kajabi customers make an average of $30,000 per year. And as of March 2022, the total lifetime earnings of Kajabi customers surpassed $3.5 billion, which is up 350% since 2020. Current earnings projections for all Kajabi users in 2022 alone are estimated to be just under $2 billion.
“Kajabi’s intuitive platform makes it easy for people to create, grow and manage courses, podcasts, memberships, 1-on-1 coaching and training sessions and more,” said Khan. “Basically, we offer the best way to turn your knowledge into income. We have an extensive knowledge base that customers can tap into for best practices. And our team of experts will even help onboard new customers. Regardless of experience, anyone can do it. Lawyers, artists, cooks… you name it! Anyone with knowledge to share can make money with Kajabi. And best of all, unlike with other technologies on the market, entrepreneurs keep all of the revenue they make on the Kajabi platform.”
How Creators Make Their Money
When it came to the topics that creators promoted the most, personal development and health and fitness were the top two. Revenue for those topics alone grew by 94% and 101%, respectively, from 2020 to 2021. In addition, Kajabi customers in the academic space increased their earnings by 45% from 2020 to 2021, and by 253% in January 2022 compared to January 2020.
The most popular and lucrative products for knowledge creators on Kajabi in 2021 were online courses and membership sites. And creators who incorporate podcasts into their services earned 26% more than those who do not.
According to CB Insights, there are more than 50 million people participating in the creator economy. And that massive market size has investors betting big on platforms focused on creators. Membership platform Patreon recently raised a $155M Series F. But the big money seems to be betting on Kajabi. To date, the company has raised $550 million at a $2 billion valuation.
When asked about what was next for Kajabi, Khan responded, “Our goal as a company is to lower the burden of creating and monetizing compelling content for our customers. All of our development and innovation are in support of that goal, and we will continue to focus on delivering a frictionless customer experience.”