Welcome to YouPay’s first Creator Survey. This survey could not have been completed without the input from the creator community we support so a big shout out to all of you. Our mission at YouPay is to be THE professional platform for professional creators and we can only deliver on this this promise with support and feedback from the creator community. Our Creator Survey is a key opportunity for the community to give feedback and provide insights that we can then reshare with all creators to help them an us achieve amazing things.

We hope you find the survey results valuable, so let’s get into the facts — and how the data we’ve collected can help you grow!

The majority of YouPay users create adult content… but less than half of our users are adult content creators!

The range of creator content that is attracting gifting from fans is broad and we expect to see further categories of creators embrace gifting as part of their overall brand monetisation approach. Gifting provides the opportunity for fans to experience a one-on-one relationship with their favorite influencers and creators, to be involved with their lives and content, and engaged in their online presence. We expect that expect that fan engagement in the gifting process will increase as gifting platforms continue to establish trust in niche communities, further extending the opportunities for creators from all categories to incorporate gifting as a key component of their overall fan engagement strategy.

Inclusivity has been a key factor in attracting creators and their fans to YouPay and supporting creators’ right to monetize their brand image, social media presence, and fan relationships outside of the traditional brand/influencer or fansite dynamic is a core value for us.

YouPay’s largest creator community is on X… but X is far from the only platform creators are using

X is particularly popular with creators due to its content policies and is also a popular forum for creators to build community and fan engagement. Tik Tok is growing in popularity among creator communities, in part due to the success many creators are having in reaching new audiences. The big surprise for us at YouPay is the lower percentage of users on Instagram. This is something we’ll be watching closely and we suspect represents the overall trend of Tik Tok being “the place to be” for influencers and creators. The challenge though for many YouPay creators have been bans and content suppression however we also expect that creators will adapt to the requirements of the platform to fully leverage the audience engagement opportunities it provides.

Below provides some further insight into how creators are leveraging social media platforms to promote their brand and engage with their fans. Overall creators have a multi-platform approach to both engage with different audiences and identify the best fit platforms that will allow their content and commentary to be published.

Creators are using multiple Wishlist platforms to minimise disruption to their gift receipts

The beginning of 2024 has seen the disruption to services provided by a number of gifting platforms which has impacted creator’s gifting flows. Our survey results show that creators are using multiple wishlist platforms to protect themselves and their fans from further disruption. We fully expect to see increased stability in platform operations through 2024 as professionally operated platforms deliver solutions that balance the requirements of payment processors, regulators and creator demand, ultimately creating stability, reliability and trust for all users.

And adult creators aren’t relying on a single platform either.

Creators utilizing paywalled sites to distribute their content to fans are doing so across multiple platforms as well, from MintStars, who we recently partnered with, to Onlyfans and IWantClips! 56% of creator respondents are utilizing multiple paywalled platforms, while 9% of creators aren’t using a paywalled platform at all, preferring to engage direct with their fans through social media and, in many instances, their own website.

When it comes to gifting, cash is king — but only slightly.

In a surprising twist, creators value cash gifts only one percent more than store items, and two percent more than store gift cards! But this may not be reflective of the gifting industry as a whole. Creators are adopting a range of gift options to best fit their own personal approach to using gifting as part of their off-platform monetisation approach. Country of residence is a key consideration for many creators when selecting the preferred gifting option as well as some gift options are not available in all countries due to payment processor requirements, gift card options or specific store availability.

With YouPay’s multiple methods of gifting, creators can select the best fit options for their individual circumstances.

Despite the disruptions, creators are reporting overall positive experiences with gifting!

67% of creators have expressed positive and somewhat positive experiences with wishlists, while 23% remain neutral. However, despite the 6% of creator respondents who had identified their experience as “somewhat negative,” no creators identified their wishlist experience as exclusively negative. Gifting provides an alternative method of connecting with fans outside of content, and creator experiences are showing that’s a net positive.

There is a clear desire from creators for their gifting platform of choice to inform them of the laws, policies, and rules on gifting

When platforms aren’t transparent about their rules and processes, creators are the ones who often face consequences. YouPay expects that platforms will continue to enhance the level of information available to creators and also provide education and access to trusted advisors and solutions – a fundamental part of our mission and goal. However, due to the global nature of the creator economy, creators should always seek advice from a professional who has expertise within their country of residence concerning taxes, financial advice, and reporting.

Chargeback protection, instant payouts, and data security are the most important wishlist platform features for Creators

Feature Weighted Ranking % Ranked as #1
Chargeback Protection 1 19
Instant Payouts 2 14
Data Security 3 15
Ease of Use 4 12
Cash Gifting Outside of the US 5 13
Community Investment and Engagement 6 7
Cash Gifting in the US 7 7
Ability to be used without Stripe 8 5
Exclusive Events and Mixers 9 2
Referral and Rewards Program 10 6

The top 3 priorities for creators can all be a categorized as mandatory requirements for any gifting platform – safe, secure and trusted are priority factors for creators and their fans. The creator economy traditionally attracts a high level of fraud and chargeback risk so it’s critical that gifting platforms have appropriate fraud and risk management processes in place to protect creators and a trusted payment process for fans to have confidence to transact.