Creatorworld Talks Up Influencer Economy

Influencer convention CreatorWorld opened Thursday in Singapore with panelists touting direct sales as a potential revenue driver in the year ahead — even as fears of a recession and marketing budget cutbacks swirl around an industry heavily reliant on ad-dollars.

Creatorworld is an event under the umbrella of the Singapore Media Festival.


Big tech representatives pointed to the relative maturity of live selling in Asia, where consumers are familiar with the practice of influencers showcasing multiple products via live streams, allowing customers to purchase products from retailers in real time.

“Live streaming is an established phenomenon [in Asia]. You know, categories like electronics, fashion and beauty are very, very popular,” said YouTube’s Gautam Anand. “One example from Taiwan, a creative team called Mr. and Mrs. Gao, celebrated reaching 5 million subscribers. [live selling] Five different versions of a t-shirt. And they had 90,000 people on that live stream. The GMV (gross merchandise value) was very, very attractive.

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TikTok’s Koh Weng Wai spoke about the popularity of the hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt, which has garnered over 17 billion hashtag mentions, as a testament to the platform’s cost-effectiveness and monetization power for retailers.

Koh also cited the effectiveness of the TikTok Creators Marketplace, an ancillary platform that directly links brands with TikTok creators, cutting out many of the agencies that previously filled the niche as go-betweens. In a case study, he pointed to an average of $0.74 per customer acquisition cost when brands use the TikTok Creator Marketplace.

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The conference also revealed a broad, mature ecosystem of businesses revolving around online influencers. The companies mentioned provided diverse services such as back catalog monetization, AI-powered translation of audio into creator’s voice and brand-personality relationship management.

Singapore-based startup Nas Company also unveiled its new platform product Nas.io that allows creators to reach audiences across multiple platforms. The company, started by vlogger Nusser Yassin, closed an $11 million Series A funding round in 2021 to build the platform.

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Despite the optimism surrounding new product launches and revenue drivers, panelists and attendees were keenly aware of the threat of a recession in their industry.

“It’s likely that if we get into a recession, the biggest budget that gets cut first is marketing. And that affects creatives,” said Ollie Forsyth of VC firm Antler.

This idea was echoed by Jia Jian, founder of online platform Viddsee. “The conversations we’re having [with brands]We are looking forward [cuts to spending]We see some pullbacks, but the demand for the material is very high, so there is still a lot of opportunity.”



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