In this ultimate guide, we'll look at some of the most important content creator statistics that illustrate the growth of the creator economy.
This relatively new industry is booming, and it will only get bigger. Indeed, the creator economy is estimated at around $104.2 billion and can reach trillions of dollars. (Influencer Marketing Hub)
Are you looking to jumpstart or expand your business in the creator economy? Now is the time to act and pay attention to the key creator economy statistics covered in this guide.
Don't miss out on this incredible opportunity – get involved before it's too late!
- Top Creator Economy Statistics
- Various Creator Economy Statistics
- Youtube Creator Economy Statistics
- Blogging Creator Economy Statistics
- Social Media Platforms
- Challenges facing Content Creators
- How can You Make Money as a Content Creator?
- Creator Economy Statistics FAQ
- Wrapping Up: Top Creator Economy Statistics
What are the most crucial content creator statistics you need to know?
The creator economy is booming, with $1.3B in funding in 2021 alone. For example, the popular online course platform Kajabi got $550M in investments with a $2B valuation. Also, Patreon has a $4B valuation.
Content creators create value mainly on social media platforms, and their reach has grown exponentially over the last few years.
Top Creator Economy Statistics
- According to SignalFire, more than 50 million content creators build their businesses using the leading social media and search platforms. About 46.7M, or 93%, are individual amateur creators. Therefore, over 3 million professional creators currently work full-time in the creator economy.
- LinkTree mentions 200 million creators in 2022. It's difficult to determine the exact figure, but there is a clear indication that the creator economy is snowballing.
- On average, it takes content creators 6.5 months to make their first dollar from their work and 10+ additional months to become self-supporting (The Tilt). It's a marathon, not a race!
- Only 10% of social media influencers earn more than $100K/year out of 2000 people surveyed by Influencer Marketing Hub.
- However, ConvertKit – a popular email marketing service for creators – surveyed 2704 of its customers in 2022 and found that 35% of men and 19% of women passed the $100K/year revenue threshold. Also, they found 2 times more female creators, and they are more likely to make some money, but men are twice as likely to make over $150,000/year. (ConvertKit)
- About 22% of polled creators make a healthy middle-class salary between $50,000 and $150,000. (ConvertKit)
- 98.6% of the 2000 content creators surveyed in a study make less than $1M annually, while only 1.4% earn more than that sum yearly. (Influencer Marketing Hub)
- Over half of content creators who earn between $50K and $100K spend 10 hours or less each week creating content. (Linktree) It shows that after reaching that level of success, you have the snowball effect with all the content you've already produced working for you.
- 51% of full-time creators bring in enough money to support at least one person financially. 32% of them can support themselves. The top 19% of professional creators earn enough money to support many people. Unfortunately, 36% of full-time creators are under the poverty line. They still need to make more money to support themselves, and 11% are not yet earning any money. (The Tilt)
Here are their findings in terms of yearly revenue for online content creators, with the percentage:
$0 – $1K: 26%
$1K – $10K: 26%
$10K – $50K: 27%
$50K – $100K: 11%
$100K – $500K: 7%
Various Creator Economy Statistics
- 64% of 2704 content creators using ConvertKit identify as women, 35% as men, and 1% as non-binary. There are way more female creators than males in the survey. (ConvertKit)
- According to a recent HubSpot study, 30% of 18-24-year-olds and 40% of 25-34-year-olds label themselves as content creators.
- 66% of creators join the creator economy as a side hustle . About 40% of them dedicate 5 hours or fewer each week to content creation. More than a third have less than 1 year of experience. (Linktree)
- 60% of amateur creators have yet to monetize. (Linktree) Too many people wait until they reach a large audience before monetizing. Still, the reality is that you can start monetizing way sooner.
- Only 6% of beginner creators – 1 year or less of experience – have earned more than $10K, according to Linktree. It takes work to get started in an online business.
- However, Stripe's 2021 research revealed that the percentage of US-based creatives who earned a living wage (over $69K/year) had increased by an impressive 41% year on year. Even if the vast majority of businesses fail, more content makers succeed!
- +48% of creators in 1 year: Stripe monitored the growth of 50 platforms for content creators, noticing a 48% growth in the number of creators year-over-year. (Stripe, 2021) The creator economy market is growing at an impressive rate!
Let's review the creator economy stats you need to pay attention to this year across the main influencer marketing channels.
As a creator, I recommend focusing your efforts on Google and Youtube because that will bring your business consistent organic traffic and growth.
Youtube Creator Economy Statistics
Youtube is the first marketing channel you should focus on if you plan to build your personal brand and sell digital products. Why?
- Youtube is the second most visited website in the world after Google Search and the second search engine on the Internet. (Global Reach, 2020)
- Youtube has 2.6 billion users, according to the last Youtube statistics. (Statista, 2022). Youtube had 2.24 billionusers worldwide in 2021, expected to reach 2.85 billion by 2025.
- Over 78% of customers find new products after watching videos from content creators. (Statista)
- 70% of people buy from a brand after seeing it on Youtube, according to Google itself in their Google Ads & Commerce Blog.
- Youtube claims that people watch over a billion hours of videos every day.
- 62% of consumers worldwide say they use Youtube. (Statista, 2021)
- Countries with the most YouTube users are India (467M), the US (247M users), Indonesia (139M), and Brazil (138M). The UK is n°11 with 57.6M users. (Statista, 2022)
- Youtube Ads revenue was $19.77B in 2020 and $28.84B in 2021, a $9.1B increase or +45%. (SEC, Alphabet Inc. annual report 2021). In 2022, Youtube ads quarterly earnings only decreased by 1.9% year over year despite the uncertainties in the economy. Overall, Youtube's ad revenue has been steadily growing over the years.
- Youtube gives 55% of ad revenue to creators who are part of the Youtube Partner Program. With $28.84B of Youtube Ads revenue in 2021, we estimate that Youtube paid over $15B to Youtube creators that year. No other leading platform offers this high level of creator revenue sharing. To become eligible, you need 1000 subscribers and 4000 watch hours in the last 12 months (Source: Youtube Help).
- At 23 years old, MrBeast earned $54 million in 2021 with his YouTube entertainment business, accumulating 10 billion views. Together, the 3 biggest Youtubers made $300M in 2021, with half of that revenue coming from YouTube Ads. (Forbes)
- There are more than 51 million Youtube channels, with a current 36% yearly growth. (Tubics & Socialblade, 2022)
- Over 306,000 Youtube channels have over 100K subscribers. (Tubics, 2022) You get access to a Youtube partner manager at that stage. It would help if you aimed for that as a business owner, as only the top 3% of the channels get 85% of the views. On YouTube, you either become big or remain an insect; it's that simple.
- Over 29,000 Youtube channels have more than 1 million subscribers. Among them, 700 have 10M+ subscribers. (Tubics, 2022)
- Youtube revealed in one of its events that people upload more than 500 hours of video every minute on the platform, so 720 000 hours per day. (Tubefilter, 2019). It would take you about 82 years to watch 1 day of new Youtube content, assuming you binge-watch non-stop. Do you want to take on this challenge?
Like millions of independent creators, will you face the competition and claim your share of the billions Youtube earns yearly from ads?
How much money do popular YouTubers make?
Many successful Youtube creators make the most money by selling their own digital products and promoting affiliate products on top of Youtube ad revenue.
To make money with Youtube, you must first build an audience by providing value with high-quality, engaging content people love. Without an audience, nothing is possible.
Here are some numbers on popular Youtubers in the business and finance niches that might surprise you. They are some of the biggest creators on YouTube.
I'm not going to talk about MrBeast as he is so big doing entertainment that it's not relatable. At this stage, you may compare him to larger media companies, not small businesses. Indeed, I didn't see any other Youtuber seeking a $1.5 billion valuation.
- Graham Stephan, $163K+/month in revenue a few years ago. He talks about personal finance and has over 4M subscribers, so he should earn more. He said he makes $100K+/month with Youtube Ads, sells courses, and does affiliate marketing. Please note that he also includes his investing and consulting activities in that number (real estate, stock market).
- Graham Cochrane, $160K/month in revenue. (via 2 Youtube channels: 45K+ and 638K subscribers). He earns passive income mainly via promoting SaaS software as an affiliate, membership sites, and selling online courses.
- Ali Abdaal, 117K+/month in revenue and 3.62M+ subscribers on his Youtube channel. He makes money mainly by selling courses on his Academy (over 50% of his revenue), membership community, Youtube ads ($12K+/month), affiliate marketing, and investing in the stock market. He has 15+ income streams.
- Nate O'Brien, 42K+/month in revenue with 1M+ million subscribers. He has plenty of faceless Youtube channels monetized with Youtube ads and at least 13 income streams.
- Wholesale Ted, $30K+/month with 1M+ subscribers. Sarah Chrisp makes money with Youtube Ads, affiliate marketing, membership, and a bit by selling print-on-demand products on her store.
- Gillian Perkins, $30K+/month in revenue, mainly by selling online courses, a membership program to help people start their online business, and Youtube ads. She has 640K+ Youtube subscribers.
Recommendations for YouTube creators
The most profitable Youtube niches are business (make money online, digital marketing), personal finance, and investments.
However, try to choose a niche that interests you. Otherwise, you won't have the strength to persevere in the long term, and you will fail. After all, MrBeast is doing entertainment and got more than 100M subscribers, earning about $54M in 2021.
Small educational creators like you are king on Youtube, as people can easily trust you when they see your face or hear your voice. We connect easily with other humans, after all. You hardly build that kind of strong relationship with a blog.
To be successful on Youtube, you must maximize your CTR and watch time. Create optimized titles and thumbnails, followed by engaging content that entertains or educates people. You can view the best Youtube equipment for beginners here.
The CTR or clickthrough rate is the percentage of people who click your thumbnail to watch your video compared to the number of people who see your thumbnail. You have to make people want to watch your videos.
Youtube is a competitive landscape, but there is room for everyone. Remember, no one else can be you!
Blogging Creator Economy Statistics
Blogging is very competitive compared to Youtube. Indeed, while small creators are king on Youtube, you'll have to compete with the big brands on Google.
- Google is the most visited website on the Internet and has 92.21% of the search engine market share worldwide. In the past month, people visited Google 85.1 billion times. (December 2022)
- Every day, Google handles an astounding 8.5 billion searches across the globe and a staggering 3.1 trillion annually! (Internet Live Stats, 2022)
- There are more than 1.88 billion websites on the Internet, but around 75% are inactive. (Internet Live Stats, Statista 2021).
- 51% of shoppers surveyed rely on Google to make informed online shopping decisions.
- WordPress users create over 70 million new blog posts each month, 71% written in English.
- 77% of Internet users read blog articles, and searching online is the first way consumers prefer to learn about a product.
- Affiliate marketing is an excellent way to monetize your blog. It was a $15.7B industry in 2021 and is expected to reach $27.7B by 2027. Alternatively, you can place ads or sell your own physical or digital products. To do so, use Shopify or WooCommerce, or one of the best online course platforms.
- In a Google search, 55.2% of people click on the top 3 results. Indeed, the first result gets 28.5% of the clicks, the second 15.7%, and the third 11%. The 10th result only gets 2.5% of clicks. (SEJ, Sistrix study) To succeed in blogging, you must reach the top 3 positions for your most important keywords. If you want to hide something from the world, put it on the second page of Google!
- 64.8% of websites with a known CMS use WordPress. It equates to 41.4% of the top 10 million sites worldwide!
How much money do prominent bloggers make?
You can see big blogs more as media companies. Successful ones make $10K+/month in revenue and often reach $100K+/month.
However, most bloggers make less than $1K/month in revenue as competition is tough on the Internet. Only some people are willing to put effort into creating content consistently and growing an audience over many years.
Some popular bloggers:
Making Sense of Cents
Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, a 33-year-old mom, makes $760K/year with her personal finance and business blog while working 10h a week and living and traveling on a sailboat (CNBC, 2022).
She monetizes her blog through affiliate marketing (50% of revenue), online courses (20%), and ads. She has driven over $4M in revenue in the past five years. Of course, it's the result of years of hard work!
To achieve success, she recommends posting regularly, writing as you would interact with a friend, creating the most helpful content possible, and developing various income sources.
Google search traffic is the best for monetizing your blog, as this traffic is highly targeted, often with strong buying intent. If you provide solutions to people's queries, they will likely buy from you if you target keywords with purchasing intent.
Google favors high-authority websites with lots of natural links from reputable brands. You'll have to deliver value and improve your website's popularity to get organic traffic.
Helpful Content and E.A.T
As a website owner, you'll have to find ways to get authority websites to link to your site so you can better compete against the big brands.
Focus on producing content and building awareness for your business.
You must create helpful content and build E.A.T – Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
Otherwise, you will find yourself in the abyss of the Internet beyond the first page of Google.
Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google, was calling the Internet a cesspool, saying that branding is everything:
“Brands are the solution, not the problem… Brands are how you sort out the cesspool.” – Eric Schmidt
Do not mistake a self-hosted website using WordPress.org with the company WordPress.com – They are unrelated. Stay away from WordPress.com as they charge an exorbitant fee and restrict what you can do in WordPress.
Remember, WordPress.org is open-source and free.
Social Media Platforms
Let's review some other creator economy statistics of popular monetization platforms for creators:
- Facebook is the third most visited website in the world.
- Facebook had 2.96 billion monthly active users at the end of 2022.
- Facebook is excellent for its communities. Facebook Groups have more than 1.8 billion monthly active users. Consider creating your own Facebook Group and joining existing groups. You also have Facebook Business pages but won't have organic reach unless you boost your posts for a fee.
- Instagram is the 5th most visited website in the world.
- 1.22 billion people connect to Instagram each month.
- Instagram influencers make money. The average IG influencer with 100K+ followers makes up to $500 per sponsored post. (Shopify, 2022)
- To face intense competition with TikTok, Instagram started paying some creators and offering them more monetization opportunities. You can see the eligibility criteria to become an Instagram partner here.
Try to automate your social media posts on Instagram with one of the best social media scheduling tools.
Twitch has revolutionized the live-streaming gaming landscape and has become an invaluable asset for full-time content creators.
- 1.3 trillion minutes watched in 2021.
- 31 million average daily visitors in 2021.
- 75% of Twitch viewers are between 16 and 34 years old.
- 8 million monthly live streamers.
Source: Twitch Advertising
Twitch is a crucial pillar of the creator economy market on the gaming side, and its statistics make that clear. If you're into gaming, it's the place to be, even if there are other streaming platforms like YouTube Live.
You can view Twitch's latest stats on TwitchTracker.
- TikTok has over 1 billion users and millions of creators. It is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese company headquartered in Beijing.
- While TikTok is still available in the US, there is a risk of it getting banned. The app is banned in India and a few other countries.
- If you want to use TikTok, try diversifying with other platforms like Youtube or Instagram. That way, you'll mitigate the regulatory risk.
Popular TikTok creator
- Miss Excel, a six-figure online course business, earned $105K in April 2021 alone. She transitioned from her corporate job to being a six-figure small business owner in less than a year by marketing herself on TikTok and Instagram, selling courses using Thinkific, and launching webinars with WebinarJam. She makes more sales on Instagram than TikTok as its algorithm is more business-friendly.
Etsy creator ecosystem
Etsy is a popular e-commerce platform that allows anyone to open their own store, focusing on creative craft and print-on-demand.
They have over 7.4M sellers on the platform. More than 94.1M active buyers purchased for $13.49B in 2021. (Etsy Investor Relations)
As a creator, you can open up your own store on Etsy and start selling products: handmade goods, art prints, vintage items, and more.
- Over 250,000 creators use Patreon to sell memberships to their audience, earning $3.5B+ since its launch in 2013.
- 56% of Patreon users view themselves as experienced professionals. For them, income from Patreon memberships makes up the most significant source, more than all other income sources combined.
Challenges facing Content Creators
Getting traffic and monetizing content
As evidenced by The Tilt's survey of 1000 content creators, the most prominent issues for all types of content creators are ensuring their work is visible (57%) and how to monetize it (49%).
Deplatforming content creators
Deplatforming is becoming a serious issue. Reports indicate that the creator economy has experienced severe losses due to bans, and it's expected to continue with no end in sight.
Content creators can be de-platformed at any time from Youtube, Instagram, TikTok, and all the other platforms. The platforms possess immense market influence and may arbitrarily ban you from their services for violating their policies without requiring justification or advanced notice.
It would help if you tried to protect yourself from these platforms' risks by:
- Diversifying your accounts and spreading your content across different platforms. That way, if one platform decides to deplatform you, you still have other options to make money and grow your creator's business. Using multiple platforms is vital!
- Building your email list: Email is the only thing you control entirely, and there is no risk of de-platforming. You can contact your email subscribers when you want to and keep them updated with your creator's news.
- Self-hosted website: as you own your data, nobody can shut you down when you have access to your database and files. Even if your web host does that, you can take a backup of your data and find another host. It's straightforward: choose one of the best web hosting providers and install your WordPress site in no time.
Phasing out of Third-party cookies
Google has announced that it will soon be phasing out its support for third-party cookies. It means that websites will no longer be able to track user data, making it more challenging to show targeted ads and reward affiliates when they bring in customers to brands.
Apple already blocks third-party cookies by default on Safari, limiting the ability of brands and advertisers to track user data.
Content creators must adjust their strategies to respond to this new reality and adapt to the changing landscape.
Consumers using advertising-blocking technology
One of the significant challenges creators face is the popularity of adblocking technology over the past few years. Indeed, the global average Adblock rate was estimated at 37% in 2021.
When people use ad blockers, it dramatically reduces their chances of earning advertising revenue on their websites or social media channels. These ad blockers block all the ads when people browse the Internet.
However, it can also make you more marketable as a social media influencer, with brands reaching out directly for sponsorships when traditional ads are not enough.
How can You Make Money as a Content Creator?
There are many ways you can monetize your activities in today's creator economy:
- Affiliate marketing: marketing professionals create educational content to drive traffic and sales to their partners' products.
- Selling digital products: online courses, ebooks, design templates, digital downloads, SaaS software, and more.
- Selling physical products: via Shopify, WooCommerce, Amazon, Etsy, and other leading e-commerce platforms or marketplaces.
- Paid memberships (recurring subscription)
- Brand sponsorships: companies contact you to promote their products with brand deals when you have an audience.
- Consulting services: you can sell your time for coaching or consulting services.
- Freelancing: use Fiverr or Upwork to start your own freelance business and offer your expertise.
- Ads: many creators rely on ads to monetize their content, but you need a large audience to make it work.
- Monetization tools on social media platforms.
As you see, creators make money in many different ways. Exploring the options and finding what works best for you is essential.
By building many revenue streams, you can diversify your creator's income and remain resilient in the ever-changing creator economy.
In this study, 60% of full-time creators earn less than $10,000 annually. Yet, approximately 22% can make a healthy middle-class salary between $50,000 and $150,000.
From this study:
- Creators making $50-$150K/year do so mainly via selling services, digital products, and affiliate marketing.
- Top creators earning more than $150K/year sell digital products first, then services before affiliate marketing and memberships.
- Most online creators focus on something other than selling physical products or using display advertising for monetization.
Creator Economy Statistics FAQ
What is the Creator Economy?
The Creator Economy, or Influencer Economy as it's sometimes known, is enabled by software that empowers creators and influencers to make money from their works. Some of the most popular platforms for this type of economy include YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitch, Spotify, and Patreon.
The creator economy market is an ever-evolving landscape of content creation and monetization. It encompasses everything from creator YouTube channels, Instagram influencers, Twitch content creators, blogs, and podcasts or creating content on other social media platforms.
It also includes creator economy startups that enable online entrepreneurs to get more visibility, reach, and income.
The creator economy isn't just about making money—it's about providing value for creators, platforms, and their audiences.
This emerging economy has revolutionized how people work and make money online, providing unprecedented opportunities for creative expression, collaboration, and economic success.
What is a content creator?
Those who make a living off their expertise and talents – typically influencers, YouTubers, course creators, writers, or bloggers are collectively referred to as content creators or “Knowledge Entrepreneurs.”
They can become community builders and turn what they know into money!
How many creators are there in the creator economy?
The entire creator economy is rapidly growing; in 2022, more than 50 million people were content creators globally, mostly beginner creators. Linktree estimates the number of creators at 200M+. With the influx of content creators, now is the time to get involved and seize your opportunity before it's too late.
What is an influencer?
An influencer is a creator who has established credibility and influence in a particular niche, industry, or market. Creators are the pillars of the influencer marketing industry. They are active across social platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. They have built up an engaged community of followers through their content.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing consists of working with top creators to promote products or services to their audiences through content such as sponsored posts, product reviews, and other forms of promotion.
This marketing type helps brands reach their target audience, increase sales, generate buzz around launches and build relationships with key influencers.
With display advertising costs increasing yearly, it's not surprising that businesses are turning to influencer marketing for cost-effective ways to increase sales.
Influencers have a unique ability to connect with an audience and drive engagement levels higher than traditional advertising campaigns. They can offer brands viral exposure, create brand loyalty and help increase ROI on social media efforts.
How many Youtube subscribers do I need to be successful?
If you focus on promoting your own products and affiliate marketing, you don't need that many subscribers. But if you want to make good money from Youtube Adsense, you need tens of thousands of subscribers.
What should I focus on if I want to grow my creator business?
Consider focusing on getting traffic from Google and Youtube (owned by Google), as they are the 2 most visited websites in the world.
Google search gives you steady organic traffic with high-buying intent, and Youtube gives you 55% of the ad revenue to support your content creation efforts. Most prefer to watch video content instead of reading text and connect more easily with you via video.
Google and Youtube are the building blocks of a successful creator's business. You can later expand on social media platforms like Instagram to increase your reach.
Focus on building your email list and creating a self-hosted website for more resilience.
What is the creator economy market size?
The creator economy's market size is around $104.2 billion and can reach trillions of dollars in value. There are currently between 50 and 200 million content creators. It is impossible to know with certainty the exact number of creators.
How much money is invested in the creator economy?
The creator economy is experiencing explosive growth, attracting a whopping $1.3B in venture capital in 2021! For example, Kajabi raised $550M in 2021 with a $2B valuation to better support creators. Patreon, a new creator economy startup for offering memberships, can even boast a worth of $4B!
If content creation tools and platforms are doing well, the creator economy market size is growing, and more creators can make money from their work.
Can you make a living in the creator economy?
Let's have a look at the numbers of the leading creator economy startups that enable creators to sell their digital products:
- Kajabi's customers earned $4B+ on the online course platform.
- Teachable's creators made $1B+ in courses and coaching.
- Creators on Thinkific earned over $650M selling 100M+ online courses.
Millions of Youtubers and bloggers earn money from various revenue streams: course sales, Ads, affiliate marketing, sponsorships and consulting, or even merch sales.
There are countless success stories of content creators who have used the creator economy to make a living. It's possible but requires hard work, dedication, and perseverance.
Wrapping Up: Top Creator Economy Statistics
The creator economy market has grown exponentially over recent years and the statistics we've looked at show how vast and important it is.
If you're thinking about whether or not you can make a living in the creator economy, I'm here to tell you that yes, you can. It will not be easy, and it will take time to build your audience. Still, once you have them, there are endless opportunities for monetization.
Whether it's online courses, subscriptions, sponsored content, or something else entirely – if you enjoy sharing knowledge, there's a way to make money off of it and make it sustainable for you.
Of course, as with anything, don't put all your eggs in one basket. Even if you're making good money from one income stream, always have something to fall back on.
So what are you waiting for? Become your own boss, start creating, focus on your marketing efforts, and don't give up!