- The Creator Economy comprises more than 200 million people globally, contributing to an industry expected to be worth over $100 billion by end of this year.
- Creator-led brands have emerged as valuable partners for well-known companies, sports teams, leagues and other entities looking to expand their audience by tapping into the niche audiences of content creators.
- Multi-language audio tracking represents an opportunity for creators to grow their reach. YouTube reported that dubbed videos made up approximately 15% of watch-time in a channel’s non-primary language.
The creator economy is maturing into an industry worth north of $104 billion globally by the end of 2023, according to data compiled in a new report.
There’s been a 314% increase in the number of people earning a living as creators worldwide, up from 50 million in 2021 to 207 million this year, per the “2023 Creator Economy Report” from The Influencer Marketing Factory.
This includes amateur creators whose number has almost tripled in size since 2021, while the demand for creator mentorship and monetization opportunities is “drastically increasing.”
Creator-led brands have emerged as valuable partners for well-known companies, sports teams, leagues, and other entities looking to expand their audience by tapping into the content creators’ niche audience.
“The industry is starting to recognize that creators are businesses,” says Sima Gandhi, Co-Founder, CEO of Creative Juice, one of a dozen industry execs quoted in the report. “We’ve seen that when creators leverage business and tax tools, they can make more, save more, and grow faster.”
TikTok and YouTube are the top favored and top earning platforms at a relatively even rate in 2023. For both TikTok and YouTube, 26% of creators say they are their favorite platforms and 26% say they earn the most on either platform.
The report supports other research that being a full time creator will net you a decent living but by no means one you can retire on. The majority of content creators interviewed for this report make between $50,000 and $100,000 per year. More than 75% of creators earning less than $20,000 annually have less than 150,000 followers.
The report suggests that this may be due to the fact that they are smaller creators just starting out in their creator careers, or they may use influencer marketing and user-generated content as a side hustle.
To start earning $1 million a year, creators will need more than five million followers. Even then, only 4.8% of creators interviewed with more than five million followers reported earning more than $1 million per year in 2023.
Avi Gandhi, Founder of Partner with Creators, points to the rise of the “grown up” creator.
“Ten years ago, when you said ‘creator,’ the mental image would be of a young teen or 20-something taking Instagram photos or making YouTube videos,” he says. “Then COVID-19 happened, and every gainfully employed adult in the world was sent home. Since then, hundreds of thousands of professional adults have augmented their incomes or gone full time as creators.”
Being a creator is no longer a young person’s game: “As tools, platforms, and services businesses have arisen to feed relatively new revenue models – like masterminds, coaching, courses and more — small audiences have started to yield large dollars.”
In addition, creators don’t need to appeal to the masses to make a living; they can carve out a niche and find people willing to pay for their content.
“Content creation isn’t just about creativity and entertainment anymore,” Ghandi adds. “Now, more than ever, it’s about utility.”
The report provides an overview of every notable social media platform and creator tool. For instance, it notes that multi-language audio tracking is now available for creators on YouTube.
YouTube reported that dubbed videos made up approximately 15% of watch-time in the channels’ non-primary language.
One of the world’s highest earning creators, Mr. Beast, tells the report that multi-language audio is extremely useful for creators like himself who have several subchannels for content translated to a different language in that their spread of content can be condensed to one main channel.
“You can imagine if you take twelve channels like those and instead of doing them all separate you combine them on one, it supercharges the heck out of the video,” says Mr. Beast.
This in turn makes it easier for global viewers to locate content and simply select their language dubbing preference from the video settings menu. Mr. Beast advises that creators dub their old content as well as their new content so that fans may binge watch your content.
“Just as word-of-mouth marketing has always been the most effective form of advertising, creators harness that power, but at scale,” Brendan Gahan, Partner & Chief Social Officer at Mekanism says in the report. “Individuals are the trusted media outlets.”
He goes onto argue that the relationship creators have with viewers isn’t so much a fan relationship but one more akin to friendship.
“Influencers form powerful, parasocial bonds with their audiences. It’s a one-to-many, scalable friendship. Celebrities may be recognized, but it’s creators who are truly loved and trusted by their communities.”