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Even Amazon wants in on the creator economy

The news: The number of marketing job listings related to creators has surged 4,645 times since 2018, peaking at 92,900 positions earlier this year—and Amazon was the single largest job poster, with 40 active roles as of May 2021, according to Thinknum data cited by The Information.

  • That beats out social media companies like Facebook, ByteDance, and Google, which all cracked the top 10.

Why it’s worth watching: These hiring wheels have been turning since before Jeff Bezos’ departure as CEO, but it will still be interesting to see the direction in which new CEO Andy Jassy takes the company later down the line. Creator-focused initiatives are unlikely to make the list of Jassy’s priorities for now, but they do factor heavily into three quickly growing parts of Amazon’s business:

  • Amazon Live. Livestreaming ecommerce is perhaps the most relevant to the company’s core business. The ability to host QVC-like livestreams showcasing products has existed since early 2019 but was available only to select sellers until July 2020. That’s when the program opened up to allow members of the Amazon Influencer Program to host livestreams. This model has taken off in China but is still nascent in the US, though Amazon has been working to replicate that success stateside.
  • Twitch. Amazon is looking to hire a vice president of creators at Twitch, The Information reported. Twitch is well aware of the importance of creators: Hours watched in Q4 2019 declined from Q4 2018 following the departure of some of its top streamers who went to other platforms. The company’s video game livestreaming platform exploded over the pandemic, with total watch time jumping 67.36% year over year (YoY), from 11 billion hours in 2019 to 18.41 billion hours in 2020, per Streamlabs and Stream Hatchet.
  • Prime Video. Amazon is also reportedly looking for an influencer marketing manager of its streaming service, for which the company often collaborates with creators to promote original shows. Amazon could be looking to expand that initiative after its recent purchase of film studio MGM, which it bought for a cool $8.45 billion. (The Federal Trade Commission is apparently looking into the acquisition, per The Verge.)

Key takeaways: Amazon’s interest in creators speaks not just to the company’s own trajectory, but to how social media and ecommerce companies are reinventing themselves in response to consumer habits and outside competition.

  • For example, Amazon’s incorporation of livestreaming onto its main site is encroaching on the territory of social media, while social platforms like Facebook and TikTok are rapidly building ecommerce functionalities into their apps.
  • As the walls between social and ecommerce platforms erode, the role of creators is also starting to expand beyond the boundaries of social media.