AI is a new tension point between creators, social platforms, and brands

The news: Creator economy startups and social platforms are rushing to introduce AI tools for creators. But what creators want from AI may not align with what other creator economy stakeholders want or think creators need.

  • YouTube is the first social platform to roll out AI creator tools in a big way, from a new editing app called YouTube Create to AI-powered content analytics, but it won’t be long before others follow suit.
  • At least 19 of the 466 creator economy startups worldwide tracked by The Information are focused on AI, and three funding deals last quarter were for AI startups, including writing tool Lex.

Overheard: At Vidcon Baltimore, Lindsay Lee Lugrin, co-founder and CEO of F*** You Pay Me (FYPM), encouraged the builders of AI tools to speak to creators about what they need, adding that AI shouldn’t be about simply creating more content.

  • Creators at Vidcon expressed interest in tools that speed up content creation or translate content into foreign languages to help reach international audiences.
  • The gloomy outlook for creator economy startups is partly a result of those companies providing services that creators didn’t need or couldn’t afford.

By the numbers: According to exclusive research by creator learning platform Creator Now, creators primarily use AI today in the initial stages of content creation, from generating ideas to writing scripts. Fewer use AI in the editing process or for tasks like data analysis.

Yes, but: That may be due to a lack of education and experience around AI. Over one-third of creators surveyed by Creator Now said they needed more training on how to use AI tools, and another 23% said they needed better access to user-friendly AI tools.

  • YouTube’s suite of creator AI tools could be a big win-win: They make YouTube more appealing to creators and brands, and with 68% of creators already active on YouTube, per MBO Partners, they could help educate a wide swath of creators on how to use AI more effectively.

Why it matters: With up to 97% of creators already using AI tools in the creative process, per Creator Now, the technology presents massive opportunities and risks for sponsored content. The top two AI concerns among creators were over-reliance on the technology and reduced content quality, which could hurt the effectiveness of influencer marketing.

  • Brands should communicate with creators about AI and agree on how to use it in sponsored content creation.
  • Disclosure remains a hot topic in the creator community. Platforms like TikTok have rolled out labels for creators to indicate AI-generated content, but there are still no clear guidelines for when the use of AI must be disclosed.