Updated · May 31, 2023
Updated · May 25, 2023
It makes sense in this digital age that "influencer or content creator" is Gen Z's fourth most popular dream profession, according to a recent YPulse study. Following COVID-19, content creators utilize the internet's easy access to a worldwide market through various social media platforms.
Creators used to need expensive equipment to make content. Today, you can do wonders with a smartphone, leading to a much more fair game. However, this can also lead to "fake news" now that it's harder to identify the truth of what you see online. Still, it is exciting to see how people can make a living from their online endeavors.
If you find this fascinating, here are the most telling stats that highlight the rapid growth of the creator economy.
The creator economy has seen phenomenal growth over the past few years. It is expected to grow even more in the coming years. It was also estimated to be around $104.2 billion in 2022, with the majority being amateurs.
About half of the 2 million professional content creators on YouTube earn money. Instagram ranks second with nearly 500,000 pro-creators and about 300,000 for Twitch’s live-streaming service.
The creator economy, a multibillion-dollar industry, is establishing the careers of some of the internet's biggest stars. According to Goldman Sachs, this microentrepreneur generation is worth about $250 billion today. Contrarily, creators have become increasingly professional in producing content and managing their careers.
Fans typically compare successful content creators with movie stars and other celebrities because of the fame and respect they earn among their fans and followers. Are you curious about the creator economy's size and direction? Let's dive into the industry's market growth.
(Goldman Sachs, Tip Ranks)
Since the creator economy exploded amid the pandemic, the space has only continued to grow. Content creators are breaking down walls by entering mainstream entertainment, pitching their startups, and becoming full-fledged media organizations.
The total market of the creator economy could double in size over the next five years to $480 billion by 2027 from $250 billion today.
Social media user numbers have grown over the past 12 months, with over 150 million new users entering social media since last year. That equates to an annualized growth rate of 3.2% at an average rate of 4.7 new users every second.
So, if you want to become a content creator, there’s never been a larger market. No matter your niche or specialty, there’s an audience for you.
(Adweek, The Information)
Startups often require raising money to bring their ideas to market; that money usually comes from venture capitalists, private firms, and other organizations with similarly deep pockets.
The decline in the budget of creator economy startups could signify a broad decline in the tech market. However, it’s still something to watch, as these startups are often after prominent platforms for posting content or monetizing your audience.
(Linktree, Future Tales LAB)
Digital users today explore their preferences and identities to expand their full-time careers. Social media and internet access allow people to research topics to grow their careers and sell their products and services.
Unsurprisingly, 85% of all new jobs by 2030 will be in the passion economy.
Content creators use their skills, expertise, and creativity to attract and monetize an audience. Of these creators, only about 2% (or 4 million) have more than 100,000 followers, while most (about 140 million globally) have between 1,000 and 10,000 followers.
Creators aren’t only posing in cute clothes on Instagram and doing silly TikTok dances. They’re also handling small businesses, which often demand them to be “on” at all hours of the day.
Only 6% of amateur creators—the ones with one year of experience or less—earn over $10,000 annually. 35% of beginners have monetized but aren’t making enough to quit their day jobs.
The creator economy rose exponentially between 2020 and 2022. According to Adobe’s ‘Creators In The Creator Economy’ global study, over 165 million people have started producing their content since 2020.
The content economy is bigger than most imagined, even a decade ago. In this generation, it has become a significant source of income for many people.
If you wonder who the creators are, where they operate, and what kind of content they create, keep reading.
(Fohr, Collabstr, ConvertKit)
When narrowed down into niches, females dominate the top three: beauty, fashion, and lifestyle. But while women outnumber men in the creator economy, they still take home less pay.
According to ConvertKit's survey, 35% of men earn over $100,000 from their businesses, compared to 19% of women.
(Fortune, Adobe, YPulse)
Gen Z content often trends on TikTok, giving the impression that they are boosting the creator economy. Still, millennials form the backbone of the Creator Economy.
That's the opposite of the popular narrative: only teens and twenty-somethings are glued to their screens, dominating the creator force. In reality, the average creator is 40 y/o.
The report defines a creator as somebody who shares creative work online at least once a month to expand their social media presence. It distinguishes creators from influencers, who are characterized as having more than 5,000 followers and can earn money from their content.
Spain ranks second in the largest concentration poll of creators at 36%, with 17 million content creators. Next, South Korea, with 17.5 million content creators, was close behind at 34%. Brazil topped the poll in both categories, with the highest concentration of 50%.
Meanwhile, markets like the U.S., Brazil, and Germany have the biggest creator populations. Surprisingly, South Korea has 20 million more creators than the U.S., despite having a smaller population: 213 million compared to the U.S.’s 328 million.
Trends are what drive creators to create content. Most of these are performed on social media platforms, such as TikTok. Viral content also usually makes these creators famous and pushes the creator economy forward through influencer marketing.
Let’s look at 2022’s viral moments:
Along with these, the companies fueling the economy faced challenging changes. The industry witnessed dozens of layoffs from players like Meta, Patreon, and Thinkific, and there was a 50% drop in the budget for creator-related startups.
(Goldman Sachs, Harvard Business Review)
The influencer industry reached $16.4 billion in 2022. More than 75% of brands have a specific budget for influencer marketing, from Coca-Cola's #ThisOnesFor campaign to Dior's award-winning 67 Shades campaign and a lot more.
Brands spend so much on creators to promote their products in one way or another. Also, $16 billion is a pot of gold, significantly when marketing funding is cut left and right. Despite several industries' challenges, marketers still believe influencers are worth spending on.
(Forbes, Tasty Edits)
Besides making so much money, Mr. Beast's videos accumulated 10 billion views, doubling from the previous year. The internet seems to love watching his stunts. Some of the fans’ favorites are his giving away super-sized stuff to random people and offering loads of money to anyone willing to do his crazy and unique dares.
Unsurprisingly, the creator made it to the Forbes list, considering his massive YouTube channel (boasting 150 million subscribers), a burger chain, and other ventures.
(The Influencer Marketing Factory, Digital Information World)
Creators today leverage AI tools to enhance their performance and create better content than ever before. Notably, as many as 94.5% of creators have admitted to using AI to assist them in content creation. Around 660 creators were polled in this Creator Economy survey, revealing the extent to which AI is now being utilized.
(Thinkific. Creative Class)
Annually, about 3% of creators make over $500,000, and about 90% earn less than $100,000.
Thinkific's 2022 report suggests that creator educators can build a long-lasting business. This type of business delivers value to these creators' audiences. It creates a sustainable lifestyle without the pressure of becoming a millionaire.
Digital learning is rapidly becoming a vast market, and you have many options when entering this space. You can offer subject primers, coaching, how-to guides, and other online courses.
The year ahead will surely be full of changes and challenges. However, as economic conditions test personal and household budgets, more people from all walks of life will try their hand at content creation. They'll do it to maintain their financial stability, safeguard themselves from the uncertainty of the times, or further their passions professionally.
These developments ultimately encourage a new creative economy that is more welcoming and appealing to new audiences. The peak of purpose-driven creator-educators will be a boon for all.
The Creator Economy is one of the categories of businesses started by over 50 million independent content creators, curators, and community builders, including social media influencers, bloggers, and videographers.
According to Goldman Sachs, the creator economy will be worth about $250 billion in 2023.
According to Linktree’s survey of 9,500 creators, 66% of content creators consider themselves part-time.
The average salary of a content creator is between $36,000 and $58,500, with top earners generating up to $74,500 annually across the United States.
According to the 660 content creators surveyed by The Influencer Marketing Factory, two platforms stood out: YouTube and TikTok.
As a cloud architect at McKinsey with experience handling Fortune 500 clients, this individual has comprehensive expertise in cutting-edge technologies and tools such as cloud computing, virtualization, network security, data storage, and disaster recovery. They have a wealth of experience in creating and executing virtualization solutions for both on-premise and cloud-based systems, with a primary focus on enhancing efficiency, dependability, and security.
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