DUBAI: The content creator economy in the Arab region is booming as growing numbers of young people increasingly embrace video-based social platforms.
That is the view of Asia Innovations Group, the company behind social video entertainment platform Uplive, which said that the development of new digital tools and platforms is making it easier than ever for creators to build lucrative, full-time careers.
“Apart from providing a more interactive and immersive way to engage with their audiences, content creators — especially in the MENA region — are now making a decent living through digital tools and platforms,” said Andy Tian, the co-founder and CEO of AIG.
In 2021, more than 50 million content creators, curators, social media influencers, bloggers and videographers worldwide were using digital platforms to monetize their content, according to the Creator Economy Report, published in September last year by The Influencer Marketing Factory. It valued the global creator economy at a staggering $104.2 billion, a figure that is expected to rise significantly in the next few years.
In the UAE alone, 98.98 percent of a population of more than 9 million is active on social media, according to AIG. This is indicative of an expansive market for digital content creators, Tian said, in the social entertainment category in particular.
Video streaming has emerged as a particularly popular form of content on social media platforms, with the rise of short-form video app TikTok testament to the appetite for it. This has led to platforms such as Uplive attempting to position themselves as key strategic partners that can help content creators gain recognition and generate income, particularly in emerging markets.
“Uplive’s worldwide events, for instance, are making the global and regional creator economy more accessible and rewarding for users,” said Tian.
The platform is working with creators across a range of industries, he added, including music and fashion through its partnerships with events such as New York Fashion Week and MTV Fashion Week. Uplive also recently partnered with American singer Paula Abdul to host the second Worldstage online singing competition, the winners of which receive cash prizes and the opportunity to record original songs with award-winning producers.
In addition, Uplive was the first global live-video app to receive an award in the region from Rotana for innovation and its commitment to quality, culturally appropriate content for the Middle East. The recognition followed the launch of the platform’s first-ever television commercial in the region.
The platform said it wants to help creators in the UAE and surrounding markets turn their passions into income streams. By enabling regional creators to produce localized content, Uplive aims to nurture and promote Arab talent in keeping with the culture of the region and a growing appetite for multicultural content, said Tian.
With more than 520 million registered users in more than 150 regions, Uplive was ranked by third-party app analysis platforms App Annie and Sensor Tower as the world’s fastest-growing live-streaming app in 2021.