The creator economy in Indonesia has found firmer footing in the advancing digital age, and is foreseen to be on the edge of the next evolution.
Although many giant global social platforms have been in Indonesia for several years, there is still room to grow for local players in seizing opportunities in Indonesia’s creative industry. The industry is fuelled by a growing young population, which accounts for 53.81% of the population. This young generation has a high propensity to pursue content creation and is anticipated to create new jobs in the creator economy by the forecasted peak of Indonesia’s demographic dividend in 2030.
Among the local startups building Indonesia’s creative economy are digital platform founders in East Ventures’ ecosystem: William Utomo – IDN Media’s Co-Founder and COO; and Albert Lucius – TipTip’s Group CEO and Founder, who sat down together with East Ventures’ VP of Investment, Yoshi Okubo to share their strategies in navigating the creator economy.
The creator economy has grown parallel to what is known as the “social commerce” business model in the e-commerce industry that utilizes social media platforms to sell products. Globally, the creator market is valued at about US$ 100 billion, while in Southeast Asia, there are more than 380 million people who consume social media content for two to four hours every day. The Indonesian e-commerce market itself is expected to reach IDR420.8 trillion ($30bn) in 2022. This signals a bullish outlook on the creator economy, which contributed IDR1.1 trillion to Indonesia’s GDP and consisted of 17 million workers in 2020.
Utilizing the potential of the Indonesian creator economy
As a part of East Ventures’ ecosystem since 2017, IDN Media has evolved into a multi-platform media company with about 80 million monthly active users. One of its business units is Indonesia Creators Economy (ICE). ICE connects advertisers with the 8.000 content creators and has facilitated an estimated 13.000 transactions in 2021. In light of the pandemic and the dynamic of the macro environment, William believes that the creator market is future-proof, as he observed that ICE grew over the past two years and beyond.
“The growth of the content creator marketplace is in line with the adoption of social media and media consumption. When there is attention, the advertising money and marketing budget will surely follow,” explained William.
Another startup riding the wave of Indonesia’s creative economy is TipTip, a one-stop platform for content creators. The app launched in July 2022 after securing US$ 10 million in seed funding led by East Ventures. TipTip aims to foster content creator communities and grassroots movements and enable them to monetize without any prerequisites regarding their audience size. Albert believes in the tremendous opportunity in the creative industry as he believes in the creative potential of Indonesians. He asserts that Indonesia’s wealth of creator talents within the every-man has gone unnoticed because most existing media requires significant presence-building and followership.
“We believe there are a lot of great talents across Indonesia. Moms and dads out there only have 1.000 Instagram followers, but they have good talent. I picked this platform and this area as I believe the growth of the country is there, and it’s rising,” said Albert.
Streaming is the next big thing
The presence of online video platforms has led to the digital economy. The short-form video has set new heights for reach and engagement as the main content format of media consumption since 2019, but IDN Media has made a move driven by their hypothesis of the next big thing.
“The question is what will come after the short-form video. Our hypothesis is live streaming, which is why for the next two years, we will still ride the wave of short-form video, but what will come after short-form video, we strongly believe, is live streaming,” said William.
IDN Media launched its entertainment live streaming platform in January 2022. The platform aims to facilitate genuine interaction and authentic relationships between creators and fans, with the end goal of becoming a live commerce stream.
Creative industry driving economic growth
Consumer behavior has shifted due to the pandemic. People have become more comfortable being on camera as meetings and social interactions move online. There has been an increase in familiarity with technological advancements and social interaction through video streaming. As a result, people will accelerate the growth of the creator economy in Indonesia.
Albert emphasizes that the next few years will be very important for the creative industry as the economy recovers, and he believes that Indonesia and other emerging markets across Southeast Asia are the perfect ground for content creators.
“Here at TipTip, we hope to continue to grow to help people earn income, no matter how big or how small. As long as you have good talent, then we offer them a platform to monetize whatever they’re doing while sharing happiness within the community,” said Albert.
The panel discussion can be rewatched on demand on our official YouTube channel.