49 Creator Economy Statistics You Need to Know About in 2024

As cable TV and even streaming platforms like Disney+ struggle to hold onto viewers, content creators are attracting more attention than ever.

Even less well-known content creators bring views that dwarf conventional media outlets. Undoubtedly, independent content creators and influencers are the future of media.

This future is called the creator economy, a blanket term for the entire ecosystem for content creators and the billions of dollars that courses through it.

To help put this into perspective, we’ve compiled some of the most important creator economy stats for this article. Some of these numbers may not surprise you. Still, we promise many of these creator economy trends will make you believe that the creator economy is here to stay and one of the biggest growth opportunities in media.

Table of Contents

Explaining The Content Creator Economy 

You’re likely already familiar with platforms like YouTube, TikTok, or Instagram. These platforms are referred to as user-generated content platforms, which means they produce very little content if it is all to be viewed on the platform.

The overwhelming majority of content comes from individuals. Most of these users are simply documenting the high (or low) points of their day for friends and family to view. But others treat these platforms like businesses and create content intended to reach a large audience.

As with most forms of media, a large audience means money. The creator economy is the entire economic engine surrounding these content creators. This involves shared advertising revenue from views on platforms such as YouTube. It also involves product promotion carried out by influencers who rave about products in exchange for a fee paid by the company being created.

But it’s not just all advertising and paid promotion. The creator economy also involves those who produce educational content, either for free or as part of paid online courses. Some streamers livestream their favorite activity, such as gaming, political discourse, chess matches, or even gambling.

But just how many people and how much money is involved in this far-reaching and varied creator economy? That’s exactly what our creator economy statistics below will help to uncover.

#1. There Are 200+ Million Content Creators

This is based on self-reporting, showing that over 200 million people consider themselves content creators worldwide. 

What constitutes a content creator can be a broad definition, so this involves everything from a model who posts a few fashion selfies per week on social media sites to those creating full episodes of highly procured content daily.

As with most media and the wider entertainment field, the distribution of content creators is somewhat bottom-heavy. Most are amateur and don’t rise to the level of professional creators.

Follower Count Breakdown

To better understand these creator economy statistics, we have to dig into the numbers a bit. 

About 4 million current 200 million content creators have over 100K followers. This makes up about 2% of the total. However, that’s still an incredibly high number of people with high viewership compared to other traditional media forms. For example, can you name 4 million cable TV shows with an audience size over 100K?

To round out the total, about 140 million creators have less than 10K followers. The remainder of the creators have less than 1K. Overall, the number of full-time professional creators is still a tiny percentage.

#2. What Is The Global Creator Economy Worth?

According to the investment bank Goldman Sachs, the creator economy is currently valued at approximately $250 billion.

To put that into perspective, the worldwide gaming industry (video games) is also valued at approximately $250 billion. Creator economy statistics like this show that despite being new, this is a robust medium with strong earnings.

Other Industry Valuations

Industry Valuations
  • The global film and entertainment industry is valued at approximately $95 billion.
  • The global automotive industry is valued at $2.8 trillion.
  • The smartphone industry worldwide is valued at $500 billion.

#3. The Creator Economy Is Expected To Double In 4 Years

For those who think that the creator economy has reached the top, you may want to think again. Analysts predict the creator economy market size will almost double by 2027, reaching a total valuation of $480 billion.

#4. What is The Passion Economy?

While most people think of content creators as influencers, a term that can be seen as both positive and negative, there are others in the community as well.

These creators are known as the passion economy. While not as obsessed with fame and fortune, these passionate creators are creating content based on what they love.

These can be course creators, musicians, or other artists and teachers. In total, they number about 500 million.

#5. 12% Of Content Creators Make $50k Or More Per Year

That may not seem like a large percentage, but it’s important to remember that it includes those making 6-figures and above in the creator business. However, as with most forms of entertainment, it’s not a field to get into if you want a guaranteed income.

Content Creator Earnings Breakdown

When looking at the entire creator economy market size, only 3% of content creators are part of the $50k or above club. Being a successful content creator is a full-time job or nothing in most cases.

68% of creators make less than $1k per year. So, as the saying goes, don’t quit your day job when you first start as an average content creator.

#6. It’s Tough To Finance A Creator Startup

Despite the creator economy’s glowing numbers and overall strength, funding for creator economy startups is getting tough.

Creator economy startups raised 78% less in 2022 than in the previous year, which is not a great trend.

Why Is Funding A Creator Startup Getting Harder?

The likely reason is the overall slowdown in funding across most technology industries. High interest rates, tightening budgets, and a looming recession have caused venture capital money to dry up.

#7. Every Kid’s Dream? 1 In 4 Kids Want To Be A Social Media Star

The popularity of an industry can often be measured by the number of young people who dream of becoming part of it. Surveys show that 1 in 4 kids want to be a creator or social media influencer.

Paying For The Opportunity

In that same survey of young people, 16% said they would pay for the chance to become an influencer. 

#8. Content Creation Is Equal Opportunity

Men and women comprise an almost equal number of content creators and influencers. Adobe statistics show that 52% are men, while 47% are women. 1% prefer not to identify as either. 

creator economy by gender

Given the wide range of topics, discussions, and trends creators can discuss, everyone can find a niche to grow their following and build a brand.

#9. The Rise of OnlyFans 

One of the newest platforms for creators is OnlyFans. This adult-themed platform allows performers to sell subscriptions that allow them access to photo and video content. The site has had some controversy, though, mostly related to whether or not the platform does enough to police trafficking and prevent underage performers.

However, that hasn’t hurt its popularity. The site boasts 2.1 million creators and over 210 million users.

Many experts point to the success of OnlyFans as being fueled by the pandemic. Like many tech platforms, it saw a meteoric rise in users as millions stayed inside and spent more time online.

Whether or not OnlyFans can maintain its trajectory and become a platform as big as YouTube or TikTok remains to be seen. But for now, it is earning millions of dollars for itself and its creators.

#10. Payday – Brands Paid Out Over $6 Billion For Influencer Marketing

Content creators have several ways to earn income from their popularity. One popular method is to take advantage of brand deals. In total, brands large and small have paid out $6 billion to creators and influencers.

That’s no small sum, and it’s even more impressive when you consider digital ad spending has been declining overall.

Why Do Brands Love Influencers So Much?

Much of the reason brands have shifted toward influencer marketing is because of the connection these creators have with their audience. The relationship between a creator and their audience is something new in the media space. It’s a close relationship, and the audience often has a level of trust that they feel toward their favorite influencer. This is what brands covet when seeking out representatives for their products.

#11. Over 2 Million Streamers On Twitch Are Part Of The Platform’s Partner And Affiliate Program

The streaming platform Twitch started out being a center for all things gaming. But it now boasts streamers of all types, from chess players to the infamous “NPC” streamers that first exploded in popularity on TikTok.

Breakdown Of Twitch Affiliates And Partners

Partner positions are the most lucrative with Twitch, as these streamers receive more benefits and can earn money in different ways. Twitch currently has about 62,000 partners streaming on the platform.

Affiliates, who number about 2 million, represent the vast majority of Twitch streamers. They can still earn a sizable amount of money on the platform but have fewer perks than partners.

#12. Affiliate Marketing Is A Source Of Income For 25% Of Creators

Affiliate marketing is a revenue stream for 25% of creators. Affiliate marketing involves a partnership between stores or brands where sales sent by the creator are tracked, and a portion of the sales made are then paid back to the creator.

Which Content Creators Use Affiliate Marketing?

Generally, many creators don’t yet have enough followers to enter into partnership programs offered by the platform. Partnership programs like YouTube’s AdSense allow creators to share in ad revenue.

Affiliate marketing allows creators to generate income even if they are not sharing ad revenue.

Niche creators can also benefit from affiliate marketing. These smaller niche creators often don’t have enough traffic to generate much ad revenue. However, because of their targeted audience, they can often make decent money through affiliate partnerships and brand deals.

In marketing, the more targeted your audience is, the more money you can make from a smaller group of people.

For example, a creator focusing on stamp collecting may have a small audience, but every audience member is a stamp-collecting enthusiast.

#13. The Tipping Economy – 50% Of Social Media Users Report Tipping A Creator

Tip jars are everywhere, from ordering coffee to picking up a sandwich. Creators have jumped on this trend, and their followers seem to have no issue with it. Surveys have shown that half of all social media users have tipped a creator they follow.

As impressive as that sounds, it’s actually down from a high of 63% in 2021. So perhaps the general “tip fatigue” is starting to impact creators as it has with other businesses.

How Much Do People Tip Creators?

Overall, tips don’t account for that much revenue. But considering there is no product to sell or overhead associated with tips, it’s basically free money. According to surveys of social platforms and their users, 60% of tips used to support creators were $10 or less. So, it’s not huge money, but it’s also not something to ignore either.

#14. The Patron Saint Of Influencers: Payment Platform Patreon Pays Creators Over $24 Million Per Month

Patreon has become a substantial income source for creators on various online platforms, especially video platforms such as YouTube.

Patreon collects money from subscribers or donors and currently pays $24 million per month to the various creators who use the service.

But this service doesn’t come cheap. Patreon deducts anywhere between 5% and 12% of donations as a fee for its service. There are also processing fees for each transaction between 2.9% and 5%.

Why Is Patreon So Popular?

Patreon is often a lifeline for creators who happen to discuss topics or content that is not considered “advertiser-friendly.” Most creators tend to share in advertising revenue from their videos. However, many advertisers shy away from controversial topics or content that doesn’t align with their brand.

For those in the influencer marketing industry who create this kind of content, receiving donations and subscriptions via Patreon can be the only way for them to monetize their efforts.

While Patreon has its content standards, they are often much more lenient than advertisers and social media platforms.

Finally, some creators use Patreon as a way to circumvent advertising altogether. Some creators and their audiences may feel advertising can influence their opinions or content. By turning down advertising and adopting a Patreon-based model, they can avoid any possible influence from advertisers when creating content.

#15. Mr. Beast Is The Top Creator, At Least When It Comes To Earnings

According to Forbes, the popular social media star Mr. Beast earned a whopping $54 million last year. This made him the top creator.

But not all of his earnings come from his social media accounts. Mr. Beast has parlayed his fame with wildly popular YouTube videos into offline businesses, such as a chain of burger restaurants.

How Many YouTube Followers Does Mr. Beast Have?

Currently, Mr. Beast has over 150 million subscribers, a huge number that keeps increasing every day.

#16. It Can Be A Slow Start. Over Half Of New Creators Haven’t Made More Than $100 In A Year

That may seem like a bad statistic for beginner creators, and in some way, it is. However, it’s mainly because the barrier to entry is so low when it comes to content creation.

Starting a channel or account takes less than a minute. So, virtually anyone can become a creator in less time than it takes to read this sentence. All of this means lots of competition, and most of the major niches are saturated with other creators.

#17. 4% Of Creators Earn Over $100k Per Year

Many young people nowadays have a salary benchmark of $100k per year, the magical six-figure threshold. However, only 4% of creators make that much money.

That may not sound like many creators reach that mark, but it’s not far off from other careers. Generally, 6-figure careers offline represent a small percentage of earners overall.

#18. 30% Of Creators Spend 40 Hours Per Week Creating Content

Content creation can definitely be a full-time job. 30% of full-time creators report working 40 hours a week or more. 

#19. The Top TikTok Creators Raked In A Combined $46 Million

TikTok blew past other content creation platforms in platforms in popularity, and creators are reaping the rewards. The top 5 creators pulled in over $46 million in 2021.

The top earner that year was Charlie D’Amelio, with $17.5 million in earnings across all revenue streams.

#20. Written Content Also Makes Money

When talking about creators, we often think of video and possibly images. But Substack is a platform for written content. Creators on the platform can earn money through subscriptions to their newsletters, creative writing, and other exclusive content.

The top 10 authors on Substack made $20 million. So, if you’re not big on video, there’s still money in the written word.

#21. 52% Of Creators Who Made Over $50,000 Working 10 Hours Or Less

It seems that once you finally make it and rack up those followers, you can scale back the work you do. Over half of creators who make between $50,000 and $100,000 report working less than 10 hours per week. Full-time creators will generally have a better chance at success, though.

#22. Successful Creators Make $59 Per Hour On Average

A nearly $60 hourly pay rate is pretty good and amounts to an annual salary of about $120,000. Creators can earn this much, according to Adobe. However, this includes all creators, so those making tens of millions per year are included in this average.

#23. Creator Vivian Tu Earned $200k Through Partnerships With Major Financial Brands

Popular creator Vivian Tu, who provides personal finance advice, earned $200,000 last year according to the Forbes list of top creators. Companies like Credit Karma and Invesco have all partnered with the social media star. Lucrative brand deals can help propel many influencers to high earnings.

#24. Podcasts Are Popular But Hard To Monetize Effectively

If you’re like the rest of us, you likely spend a few hours a week listening to your favorite podcasts. However, only 6% of amateur creators can monetize these efforts.

Podcasters like Joe Rogan may be making hundreds of millions of dollars, but most podcasters struggle to earn money.

#25. Gen Z Only Makes Up About 13% Of Creators

Gen Z usually refers to those born between 1997 and 2012. While most people think social media stars are very young, this group only makes up 13% of creators

Funny enough, so-called “boomers” actually make up a larger percentage of creators at 15%. Maybe the older generation isn’t afraid of new technology after all.

#26. Almost 70% Of Creators Have More Than 1,000 Followers, But Less Than 10,000

Most creators seem to have the most trouble breaking that 10,000-follower ceiling. 67% have at least 1,000 followers but can’t break the 10,000 barrier.

#27. The Need For Self Expression Is A Driving Force Behind Being A Creator

While some creators may have started chasing the big money, half of them say they started producing content to chase a passion or express themselves creatively.

#28. Not Many Full-Time Creators. Almost 70% Are Part-Time Creators

To be at the top, you generally have to be one of the full-time creators, but most are comfortable with a part-time approach. 66% of individual creators report being only part-time creators. This equates to only working only a few hours per week in most cases.

Less Is More

43% of creators say they spend less than 5 hours per week creating content.

#29. 20% Of Creators Build A Content Business Around Their Brand

To be a top earner, you generally have to build a content business around your brand, like MR. Beast or other famous creators. But only 20% choose to go this route. The rest merely create content on their channels and monetize it as best they can to earn a living.

#30. Everybody Is Doing It! 1 In 4 People Are Content Creators

Adobe reports that 1 in 4 people are content creators of one form or another. This includes everyone who produces content, from the very small creators with only a few followers to those topping the hundreds of millions.

#31. Over 97% Of YouTubers Earn Less Than The Poverty Threshold

YouTube has produced its share of millionaires, but most video creators on the platform don’t even earn enough to be considered above the poverty line ($13,590).

#32. Ad-blocking Technology Hurts Creators

Almost half of U.S. consumers currently use an ad blocker of some kind. Since these block ads, it means they hurt the potential earnings of creators by blocking many monetization methods.

#33. The 1 Million Club: 35,000 YouTube Channels Have A Million Subscribers Or More

There are over 110 million YouTube channels, and the number is growing daily. However, only 35,000 have a million subscribers or more. YouTube creators need a certain follower count to share in ad revenue.

Many channels with lower follower counts can still sell digital products or use other monetization methods.

What YouTube Channel Has The Most Subscribers

T-Series, an Indian music network, currently holds the top spot at 244 million. Mr. Beast is third, right behind YouTube Movies at number two.

#34. For 70% Of Independent Creators, Less Than 10% Of Their Revenue Comes From Brand Collaboration

Brand sponsorships can be extremely lucrative for creators. However, most creators (70%) only receive 10% of their revenue through these monetization tools.

Are Creators Moving Away From Brand Partnerships

Recently, creators have started to move away from brand partnerships. The reason is simply the lack of control. A brand partnership may be lucrative, but being partnered with a major brand usually means the brand wants some say in the content produced.

#35. 55% Of Creators Say That Managing Or Securing Brand Partnerships Is Difficult

This is related to the previous statistic, and it shows that creators often find working with brands to be a difficult task. 55% find this to be their biggest challenge as a content creator. This can be due to constraints or difficulty working with marketing agencies within the creator economy.

#36. For Creators That Monetize Their Audience, 67% Do So By Selling A Product

Selling your product is becoming more popular with creators. It’s lucrative, and they maintain full control over revenue and their content creation process.

About 30% of these creators sell through their own website, making it a sizable part of the overall creator economy.

#37. Just About 3% Of Instagram Creators Have Over 100,000 Followers

Instagram was one of the original influencer creator economy platforms. Stars like Kim Kardashian helped elevate the platform to the popularity it enjoys today.

But despite the big names, only 3.2% of accounts have more than 100,000 followers. About 35% have less than 1,000 followers.

#38. The Nine Top Platforms Had Creator Earnings Of $5.5 Billion

Like all creator economy platforms, most of this money went to the very top percentile of creators. But $5.5 billion is still a handsome sum considering the job of “social media influencers” didn’t even exist until recently.

#39. The Longest Livestream In History Was Over 624 Hours

Chinese company Zhejiang Luyuan Electric Vehicle Co., Ltd holds the record for the longest livestream ever at just 624 hours. That’s about 26 days or almost a full month!

They took the top spot from YouTuber AboFlah (Hassan Suleiman), who ran a livestream for 268 hours to raise humanitarian aid for refugees.

#40. Heather Cox Is The Top Earning Writer On Substack

Heather Cox is an American writer who publishes the Letters From America newsletter. Estimated earnings based on her subscriber count and subscription cost come to about $5 million per year. Writing may not seem like a major part of the creator economy, but Heather Cox begs to differ

#41. Thematic Has 34 Billion Plays

Thematic is a popular music licensing platform that helps artists track streams across platforms. It currently boasts over 34 billion plays across its network of users. Tools like Thematic are vital to the creator economy.

#42. Top 5 Platforms For Creator Economy Earnings

top platforms for creator economy earnings
  1. YouTube – $4 billion 
  2. Etsy – $1,46 billion
  3. Instagram – $460 million
  4. WordPress – $348 million
  5. Amazon Publishing – $220 million

#43. Cristiano Ronaldo Is The Top-Followed Account On Instagram

Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo is the king of Instagram, with over 600 million followers.

#44. YouTube’s Revenue Was $29.4 Billion

Considering YouTube’s total revenue for the platform was $29.4 billion, it is impressive that it paid $4 billion to creators. This makes YouTube one of the largest contributors to the creator economy.

#45. TikTok Has Reached A Billion Users

TikTok, the most recent social media sensation, has garnered 1 billion users worldwide. However, rival Instagram still has its beat at 1.4 billion users.

#46. Is The Tiktokk Craze Over?

New research does show that TikTok usage has started to decline from its peak in 2022. This is mainly among younger users. So, while the creator economy got a huge boost from TikTok, it may have peaked.

#47. YouTube Adds 3.7 Million New Videos A Day

This may be why your new YouTube channel isn’t gaining traction. With over 3.7 million new videos added daily, standing out can be tough. Creator economy statistics like this show how many people create content daily.

#48. Millennials Make Up 41% Of Creators

The millennial generation takes the top spot regarding being a creator. 41% of those in the creator economy come from this age group. 

#49. About 60% Of Creators Still Have A Full-Time Job

If you dream about leaving your real job to join the creator economy, don’t submit your resignation letter just yet. Almost 60% of creators still have a full-time job to support themselves. Creator economy statistics like this may be disheartening, but it doesn’t mean launching that new channel isn’t worth a shot.

What The Future Holds For The Creator Economy

While the initial gold rush of influencer fame may have peaked, the creator economy is here to stay. With other media and advertising facing headwinds, brands will still want to reach customers. Content creators popular on social media platforms can still offer brands exposure they simply can’t find anywhere else. 

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