The Love Network


Increasingly, the content/news consumed by digital natives is not from traditional ‘news’ sources, but through content creators / peer-to-peer networks (if you missed it, read our recent report on how youth do news here). Peer-to-peer content engagement is what’s driving the Creator Economy - the bedrock of THINKHOUSE’s The Love Network, (its platform helping brands grow through networks of creators, influencers and change makers). In this week’s special The Love Network edition of 52INSIGHTS, we’re breaking down the 5 things you NEED to know about The Creator Economy.


Goldman Sachs reported in April 2023 that the total addressable market of the creator economy could roughly double in size over the next five years to $480 billion by 2027 from $250 billion today. That growth is roughly in line with the team's estimates for growth in global digital advertising spend over that period.

Creators from every corner of the globe are themselves harnessing their skills and creativity to captivate audiences and unlock career opportunities. Linktree’s 2022 Creator Report highlighted that two percent, roughly 4 million individuals, have managed to amass over 100,000 loyal followers across social media. Meanwhile, a staggering majority, encompassing around 140 million creators worldwide, find themselves situated within the range of 1,000 to 10,000 followers.

Looking to the future, Goldman Sachs expects the number of creators to grow at a 10-20% compound annual growth rate during the next five years.


With platforms like Meta and TikTok beginning to fund and nurture these creators, we’re moving into a new age of a Creator Economy. Consumers are now seeking out UGC (User Generated Content) created by influencers when making purchase decisions, for example, the Dyson Airwrap has been searched 4.6 Billion times on Tiktok, with the top videos reviewing the product having millions of views. It’s real time testing meaning users can easily figure out if products suit their specific needs. Through the lens of discovery, people are looking to creators and peers to help them decide where to travel, what TV shows to watch, which restaurant to go to, etc. They are driving more loyalty and trust than more traditional sources.

  • CREATOR RECOMMENDATIONS VALUED: According to the Digital Marketing Institute, 49% of millennial purchases depend on recommendations by creators online.
  • TRUST CREATORS OVER CELEBRITIES: A 2022 YouGov Report highlights that 62% of social media users trust influencers more than celebrities
  • FAN-CREATOR LOYALTY: 70% of young adult consumers are much more loyal to content creators they follow on social media rather than traditional celebrities or media.


While not all brands are utilising or optimising the Creator Economy, many are benefitting from including it as a significant part of the marketing mix - especially those looking to connect with younger audiences.

  • DEEPER ENGAGEMENT REPORTED: 6 in 10 marketers feel that their audience engages more with UGC than branded content (Forbes, 2022).
  • CORE TO THE NON-LINEAR PURCHASING PATTERNS OF GEN Z: According to Edelman’s Collapse of The Purchase Funnel 2023 Report, 78% of Gen Z respondents say they "uncover things that attract me and make me loyal to a brand after my first purchase," with 50% saying they do most of their brand research after they buy.
  • STRONG RETURN ON INVESTMENT: According to The Influencer Marketing Hub businesses that utilise influencers on a regular basis throughout their media mix make on average $5.20 ROI on every $1 invested.

We spoke to a young content creator, Orla Morris Toolen, to get her take on product collaborations: “In a circumstance where it makes sense, I personally love the idea of influencer collaborations with brands! Take the Kash Beauty X Charleens makeup collab - it was one of the biggest influencer crossovers to happen in a while and everyone was talking about it! Not only because both Keilidh (KASH Founder) and Charleen are makeup queens but because the products launched were amazing. This is a collab that very obviously had time, love and passion injected into it - and that’s exactly what consumers want to see. It made so much sense for these two makeup minds to come together creatively. As long as these collaborations make sense and it isn’t a very obvious ‘money’ or clout thing (because believe me we can all tell when it is lol) then all the power to you! We love to see women supporting women.


I’d consume the majority of news from social media apps, especially the likes of TikTok and Instagram. I find that generally the news I would be interested in is explained in a much simpler way on these platforms as it is delivered by those of a similar age to me in a much less formal way. I love Jenna Lynn's crime updates especially, and Dylan Page and NewsWithChris for general news.” Emma, 22, The Love Network

Why the significant potential for deeper influence? Relatability and creativity. The rise of News Channels on Tiktok demonstrates the Creator Economy at work in a very simple manner. “News Daddy” Dylan Page gained his 8.7M following through consistently producing news content that young people want to hear about, mixing positive and negative storylines with creative engaging content. The page has been crowned the #1 news account on Tiktok ahead of mainstream media such as CNN, Daily Mail and other youth-orientated media channels such as LadBible, Hypebeast, Highsnobiety. The consistent, familiar set up of Dylan’s Tiktok videos are instantly recognisable. Set up in a chair in his bedroom, dressed in a hoodie, this chilled and intimate environment makes it easy for his audience to relate and listen to him. Essentially he’s curated a hyper-real look into life, and it’s universally relatable. Young people want to hear from their kin, instead of someone 10+ years older in a heavily produced news studio.


The creator economy has led to the rise of creator-owned brands that are competing with their more traditional counterparts. While the rise of the Kardashian brands like Skims are famous the world over, there are plenty more reaping the rewards of online creator culture. The examples of great influencer product launches and collaborations are endless, Logan Paul and KSI’s joint venture “PRIME” causing fans to shut down entire stores just to get their hands on it, Emma Chamberlain and Chris Olsen have both launched successful coffee ranges, and Makeup Influencers worldwide are venturing into collaborations and unique product launches.

The creator economy has evolved rapidly in the past 18 months. The relationship between brands and creators is more symbiotic. Creators now expect more involvement in the content briefs they're being given and they're more interested in being true brand partners. When we launched Lucozade Alert in the UK we knew we needed a disruptive launch activation with high profile creators that landed loud in culture. It was the collaborative spirit of both Eden Harvz and Cole Anderson James (two of the UK's most popular creators) in working with us that made the campaign standout.Dylan Newe, Director, Social & Digital Innovation Team.


  • @carlarockmore: “Carla feels like Carrie Bradshaw’s wiser big sister, mixing style tips with history and culture, and always promoting giving older clothes a new lease of life. Nothing but brilliant energy and guidance, I trust her recommendations and opinions”. - Niamh Martin, Senior Account Exec, Social & Digital
  • @maddiwinterI love Maddi Winter's content. It is incredibly impressive, but also super fun. She usually films herself dancing, then she draws over the footage frame by frame. She often includes how much time it takes her – it could be something like 24 hours for a 15 second video! The result is amazing – it has a unique analogue feel to it. I don't know of any other creators making content like this on TikTok” - Emma Kate Butler, Design Manager, Design
  • @luinluland: “I discovered Lou at the DO Lectures. Her stories are joyous adventures. She’s unapologetically fun, loud and colourful.” Laura Costello, Strategy Director, Purpose & Planet
  • @orlamorristoolen - Positive, creative content covering everything from poetry to emigration.
  • @jarrad.wright - A cartoon creator, focusing on blending comedy with creativity.
  • @p.j.kirby & @kevin2mey- The team behind the hit podcast “I’m Grand Mam”, they’ve just announced their first book on “taking life by its stride”.
  • @dylan.mulvaney - Dylan is a trans content creator on Tiktok, who took the world by storm in 2022 when she opened up her “girlhood” journey to the world. An expert at facing negativity with a smile on her face, a guaranteed Creator-To-Watch.
  • @mikes.mic - Known for his lengthy video essays and pop-culture trivia, Mike’s Mic is dominating meme culture on Tiktok and Youtube, with multiple trending sounds to his name and down to earth content.
  • @JakeShane - One of the fastest growing accounts in the world right now, within one month Jake went from lofi videos to collaborations with Olivia Rodrigo and the Jonas Brothers. Daily, short content, this is a true algorithm king.


Activate Your Love Network: With the average Gen Z consumer scrolling the height of the Statue of Liberty every day, brands should show up in the digital creator landscape with style & impact. Before it’s officially launched beyond our client network, we would love to invite you to discover more about The Love Network 3,0 through a 45 minute presentation. What to expect? In a multi-billion dollar Creator Economy, learn how brands are winning through our network of Creators, Influencers and Changemakers. The Love Network uses our bespoke IP and methodology to deliver ground-breaking, culture shifting work that puts our brands at the centre of culture, driving awareness, relevance, behaviour shift. To request a presentation explaining the methodology, the technology and some case studies please contact

Disrupt your media diet: Adopt an ‘always on’ approach to getting inspired - follow people outside of your traditional media diet to understand the depth and breadth of influence and storytelling that’s possible.



EU Nature Restoration Law:

Three times this week, Earth set an unofficial heat record. Obviously this is not good news. In preparing for the next edition of Change In Progress (a collaboration with AdWorld/ IMJ), we’ve been researching the Nature Restoration Law this week. It’s one of the most important pieces of legislation of our time - and it's in jeopardy. We loved this letter where, in a rare move, EU Parliament trainees called on lawmakers to support the law. In Ireland? You can email your MEPs to ask them to support the law in less than 2 minutes via Friends of the Earth here.