A SignalFire report found that the creator economy is rising in popularity rapidly and predicts that 50 million people will soon consider themselves creators.
SignalFire splits creators into amateurs (46.7 million) and professionals (2 million+), noting that more than half the amateur creators (30 million) share their creativity on Instagram, followed by 12 million on YouTube, 2.7 million on Twitch, and 2 million on other social platforms.
In contrast, you are more likely to find professional creators on YouTube (1 million), then Instagram (500,000), Twitch (300,000), and Other (200,000).SignalFire
For Statista, the number is 139 million. And, a report states that “in 2021, only two million digital content creators worldwide had an audience size of between 100,000 and one million followers. Additionally, there were around two million digital content creators with more than one million followers during the examined year.”
Statista notes that approximately 139 million global creators had an audience of between 1,000 and 10,000 followers.
For Influencers. club, there are over 200 million people who consider themselves to be creators.
Linktree corroborates that number, stating that over 23,000,000 are recreational creators (0-1k followers), 139,000,000 are semi-pro (1k-10k followers), 41,000,000 are pro (10k-100k followers), 2,000,000 are expert (100k-1 million followers) and 2,000,000 are experts+ (2M+ followers).
Randomly ask a kid today what they want to be when they grow up. Professional fields are no longer in the picture. It’s usually something around content creation – almost as popular as tech.
What the creator economy is about
It got to a time when the internet became more popular (especially with Web 2.0), and so did social media in the early 2000s. It was this time that we witnessed the birth of platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, iTunes, Spotify, and more recently, Snapchat, Twitter, Medium, Twitch, TikTok, etc.
Web 2.0 offered opportunities for people to express themselves online, and the Creator Economy grew from this.
These platforms helped the creators get discovered and grow an audience by investing heavily in their recommendation and curation algorithms.
The information and entertainment industry was dominated by a few big players before the advent of social media. TV, radio, and newspaper were the major mediums used by most people to consume content.
The creator economy is an economic system built by independent content creators connected to their audiences and businesses via the internet.
The creator economy creates an ecosystem between creators, consumers, advertisers, and other stakeholders. This ecosystem significantly affects how content is created, distributed, consumed, and monetised.
Eric Freytag of Streamlabs summed up how media consumption has changed in an article he wrote for VentureBeat:
“Rather than ten TV shows consumed by billions of people, we now have hundreds of millions of shows that cater to billions of people. You could be only one of ten people interested in a niche topic, but chances are you’ll find content for it. Additionally, the people creating content for that topic are truly and authentically passionate about it.”
The creator economy – just a small part of a larger microcosm known as the gig economy – comprises the side hustles and independent businesses built by content creators, social media influencers, bloggers, and videographers.
Investor Nicole Quinn states that “all influencers are creators,” but “not all creators are influencers,” with the word “creator” covering a much wider base. That is not far from reality knowing that influencers represent a brand and are fixed on getting people to buy its things; creators focus on making art and selling their personal brand to a community.
Social media networks remain the primary channel for creators to distribute and monetise their work.
See a list of the usual suspects:
- Video / Streaming: YouTube, TikTok, Twitch, Instagram Live, Facebook Live, YouNow, Vine, OnlyFans
- Photography / Graphic Design: Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, VSCO
- Music / Podcast: iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, Soundcloud
- Writing: Twitter, Medium, Quora, Substack
How do creators make money?
According to Springboard, creators receive a percentage (anywhere from 55-100%) of ad revenue generated by their content, and many “creator-first” platforms have emerged to help influencers pocket more of their earnings.
For instance, a creator-first platform like Patreon enables micro-influencers to accept subscription fees, donations, and crowdfunding. These platforms take a small cut (typically no more than 20%) of a creator’s earnings in exchange for publishing, hosting, and pay-walling their content.
Using platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitch, TikTok, Substack, Patreon, and OnlyFans, content creators, according to SignalFire, can earn money through:
- Advertising revenue shares
- Sponsored content
- Product placement
- Paid subscriptions
- Digital content sales
- Live and virtual events
- VIP meetups
- Fan clubs
The Creator Economy in Nigeria
The creator economy contributes just over 6.1% to global gross domestic product (GDP), averaging between 2% and 7% of national GDPs worldwide.
According to Jobberman’s 2021 research, the creative sector currently employs an estimated 4.2 million Nigerians, making it the second-largest employer in the country, and has the potential to create an additional 2.7 million jobs by 2025.
Jobberman notes that “based on our estimation, the creative industries can employ young people directly and indirectly. These opportunities are available across various specialisations with varying skill levels and educational requirements.”
A look at the creator economy – globally
The creator economy’s estimated valuation is around $104.2 billion as of 2021. (Influencer Marketing Hub)
- $800 million in venture capital has been invested into Creator Economy startups since October 2020.
- 46% of Creators who have been building an audience for 4+ years earn over $20,000 annually across their monetised channels.
- The Creator Economy market size is estimated to be around $104.2 Billion and on par with a substantial growth trajectory similar to the Gig Economy. That’s a future valuation of TRILLIONS of dollars.
- 72% of Creators prefer Instagram and identify it as their primary content platform.
- In a survey by Influencer Marketing Hub, creators make more than $23,500 annually.
- The power of sponsorships should not be underestimated. 77% of Creators depend on brand deals, that’s 3x as many as every other revenue source combined.
- There is not a definite correlation between follower count and income. Between the $50-100,000 and $500,000-1 million reported income levels from creating content, there is half a million dollars in income difference, but a difference of only 1,800 more followers.
In Linktree’s 2022 creator report:
- 66% of creators consider themselves part-time creators
- 43% of creators spend less than or equal to 5 hours per week creating content
- 36% of creators have been making content for less than or equal to 1 year
- 53% of creators who make less than $100 a year spent less than 5 hours a week on content creation
- 32% of creators who make $100-10,000 a year spent greater than 10 hours a week on content creation
- 52% of creators who make $50,000-100,000 a year spent less than 10 hours a week on content creation
- 48% of creators who make $100,000-500,000 a year spent greater than 10 hours a week on content creation
The countries with the fastest growth in the number of creators are the Czech Republic (270%), Romania (215%), and Brazil (171%). Africa has prospects but still lags behind.
According to Forbes, “be ready for the next big thing, and don’t be afraid to be an early adopter.”
Meanwhile, creator-focused companies got $52,104,108,886 in funding.
A breakdown of a few platforms:
Do you want to start a career as a creator? See hot to start here.
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