Creator Economy vs. Gig Economy —What’s the difference?

It seems like every few years or so a new kind of “economy” emerges, allowing anyone who wants to break out of the 9 to 5 mold to have a new way to make money. Most recently, the creator economy, first coined by YouTube in 2011 while referring to YouTubers as “creators,” has been growing exponentially. That’s all thanks to the multiple sources of revenue for creators, the enormous scope of what content can be made about, and the shift in consumption patterns.

The gig economy may have also had a big role in the rise of creators. When people realized they could earn more money from their side gigs and turn what they love into a profession or make it their main source of revenue is when things became interesting. Today, there are 50 million individuals worldwide who call themselves creators, and this number seems to grow as time goes on.

Before we look at the differences between the creator economy and gig economy, let’s first look at what they are.


The creator economy creator economy is made up of individuals that have started their own brand, business, or community, and use their skill set or influential prowess to share content in the form of videos, photos, blogs, music, e-books, podcasts, and more on the internet. They use an array of tools and software to plan, strategize, create, distribute, market, and promote their digital products. In short, the creator economy is made up of skilled individuals who cash in on their content and skills via the internet. Today, more than 2 million people worldwide consider themselves professional creators, whereas 46.5 million consider themselves amateurs.

While to some the gig economy seems like something new, it has been in existence for quite some time. The gig economy was previously referred to as the freelance economy, where individuals work as independent contractors and take up assignments from various companies while working from anywhere in the world. Their work format is agile, temporary, and ends when the project ends. It’s the “on-demand” service you provide to your clients. Whether you’re coding, designing, blog writing, doing social media management or event management, you’re not bound to any particular work desk and you don’t necessarily have to work a full 40 hours a week.


The creator economy and the gig economy are quite similar, but they have some key differences. Typically, the creator economy caters to digital products and services, including blogs, videos, e-books, tutorials, digital guides, podcasts, etc. Many creators take up various tasks, so they can have a wide range of offerings. On the other hand, the gig economy usually involves a physical service such as teaching, freelance writing, accounting or independent contractors, project-based laborers, and temporary/part-time employees. The gig economy workers usually have standardized offerings such as ten blog posts per month, one coding assignment, teaching one subject in a semester, and so on.

Under the creator economy, you have limited sources of revenue for creators unless you know how to grab opportunities and have an understanding of more advanced tools and software. Plus, your earnings are often unpredictable as a creator, as brand deals, partnerships, and income from other streams varies every moth. On the other hand, the gig economy workers can enjoy a more defined income structure. They can quote their service rate and will be paid accordingly. For a freelance writer, it is easy to quote 100 dollars per 700-word article or for a freelance accountant to charge a fixed fee every month while budgeting and calculating finances.

Even the rewards or fees for creators vary. Sometimes they might make a few hundred dollars off of a single post, sometimes they won’t receive any money, but instead a product or service in barter. This is what leads to unpredictable income. Whereas the gig economy workers follow a linear earning scale. They might charge based on the hours they worked or the number of words they typed in. This fee stays the same regardless of client, and can increase over time as you gain more experience.


While you might think starting a career as a content creator is not that rewarding, that is not at all true. If you know how to make money as a content creator and understand the multiple sources of revenue for creators that you can take advantage of, your potential reach, income, and breadth of content is unlimited. Your audience base is broad, knowing no geographical boundaries as a creator. Anyone can follow you and consume your content. If you know how to strategize and put lots of time and effort into making your content, you can make a good deal of money. Besides, the creator economy lets you have creative freedom as you are own your boss. You can set your brand tone, create whatever content you want, approach any brand for collaborations, and enjoy the flexibility that the gig economy may not have. Furthermore, the more your account and content reach people, the more exposure you get. And with the exposure, you don’t just get more followers, you get even more business opportunities.

On the other hand, the gig economy has limited revenue options, and the exposure is minimal. To start your career as a content creator and learn the many ways you can earn an income as a content creator, check out this detailed blog: How to Monetize Content: 9 Ways to Do It Right in 2022

If you’re looking for options to earn those extra dollars, check out, a content monetization platform for creators. Whether turning your followers into subscribers, creating an online course, launching an exclusive community, or adding a paywall to your messages, Retrieve enables you to add a recurring source of revenue to your bucket.

Sound interesting? Head straight to and check how we can help you make money as a content creator.

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