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Making a Living in the Creator Economy: A Large-Scale Study of Linking on YouTube
Univ Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands..ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2404-9277
Univ Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands..
Malmö University, Faculty of Technology and Society (TS), Department of Computer Science and Media Technology (DVMT).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6306-4154
Queensland Univ Technol, Brisbane, Australia..
2023 (English)In: Social Media + Society, E-ISSN 2056-3051, Vol. 9, no 2, article id 20563051231180628Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article explores monetization and networking strategies within the consolidating creator economy. Through a large-scale study of linking practices on YouTube, we investigate how creators seek to build their online presence across multiple platforms and widen their income streams. In particular, we build on a near-complete sample of 153,000 "elite" YouTube channels with at least 100,000 subscribers, retrieved at the end of 2019, and investigate the URLs found in 137 million video descriptions to analyze traces of these strategies. We first situate our study within relevant literature around the creator economy, the role of platforms, and issues such as social capital building and economic precarity. We then outline our data and analytical approach, followed by a presentation of our findings. The article finishes with a discussion on how monetization and networking strategies via placing URLs in video descriptions have become more important over time, but also differ substantially between channel sizes, content categories, and geographic locations. Our empirical analysis shows that YouTube, as a highly unequal platformed media system, thrives on the economic pressures it exerts on its creators.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2023. Vol. 9, no 2, article id 20563051231180628
Keywords [en]
creator economy, globalization, monetization, networking, YouTube
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-61957DOI: 10.1177/20563051231180628ISI: 001018907200001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85164119588OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-61957DiVA, id: diva2:1789010
Available from: 2023-08-17 Created: 2023-08-17 Last updated: 2023-08-17Bibliographically approved

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Coromina, Òscar

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