20+ Creator Economy Statistics You Need To Know

Top Creator economy statistics 2022

Do you know who said the classic line “content is king?” Names like Gary Vaynerchuk or Logan Paul might pop into your head, but it was actually Bill Gates. In 1996.

This was the title of an essay in which Gates predicted that much of the money generated by the Internet would come from content creation.

Nearly 30 years later, he’s been proven right. A veritable army of content creators pumps out more content than any single person could watch in a lifetime every single day. 

Want more proof that content is king? We’ve collected some of the most telling stats that highlight the growth of the creator economy, as well as specific channels like YouTube and TikTok.

General creator economy statistics

There are now over 200 million creators

Of those, only about 4 million have over 100,000 followers representing 2%. The largest proportion of creators (just under 140 million of them) have between 1,000 and 10,000 followers.

Source: Linktree

66% of creators do it part-time

You don’t need to invest all of your time into creating, especially at the beginning. Two-thirds of creators consider themselves part-timers, and 43% spend five hours per week or less. 

Source: Linktree

52% of creators who make between $50K-100K spend less than 10 hours creating content

Not only can you create part-time, you can make big bucks doing it. More than half of creators who make a full-time salary doing it spend less than 10 hours a week making content. That’s a quarter of the normal 40-hour work week. 

Source: Linktree

The number of creators increased by 48% from 2020 to 2021

This covers creators across the 50 most popular monetization platforms, from Twitter to Substack. Potentially, many who were suddenly out of work at the beginning of the pandemic found an outlet in the creator economy.

Source: Stripe

The community platform sector saw revenue increase 148% from 2020 to 2021

Community platforms like Luma allow creators to monetize their community in different ways, from meetups to newsletters.

Source: Stripe

The number of creators earning at least $69k/year increased 41% from 2020 to 2021

One of the biggest milestones for content creators is making enough money to quit their jobs. It’s good to know that, as the creator economy grows, so do opportunities to generate income.

Source: Stripe

59% of beginner creators haven’t yet monetized

There’s a massive amount of opportunity in the creator economy. A lot of people wait far too long before exploring monetization. The reality is, there’s a space for people to earn some money creating even as they’re building their audience.

Source: Linktree

70% of creators earn less than 10% of total income from brand partnerships

Monetization trends in the creator economy have steadily been shifting away from branded partnerships. It seems creators are taking more control of their revenue streams and owning their audiences. 

Source: Linktree

Subscription platform statistics

The top 10 highest-earning authors on Substack make $20 million per year

Substack is a platform where writers can monetize a paid newsletter. Founded in 2017, it’s quickly becoming one of the fastest-growing platforms in the creator economy. Together, the top 10 authors on the platform earn $20 million a year.

Source: Backlinko

The number of paying subscribers on Substack increased 5x from 2020 to 2021

The number of paying subscribers went from 100,000 in March 2020 to over 500,000 in February 2021.

Source: Backlinko

More than $1 billion is paid out to creators on Patreon every year

Patreon is one of the most popular ways for content creators to supplement their income through subscriptions. With the amount of money flowing through the platform, it definitely seems to be working.

Source: Influencer Marketing Hub

The top creator on Patreon (True Crime Obsessed) earns an estimated $121k-$324k a month

Not everyone will make this amount, but this statistic shows that revenue from Patreon can support creators with big-budget productions.

Source: Influencer Marketing Hub

YouTube creator economy statistics

The top 10 highest paid YouTubers each made over $10 million in 2019

You probably already knew that YouTube’s top earners make bank. You might not have known just how much bank.

Source: Mediakix

Half of the top ten richest YouTubers are gamers

Gaming content was one of the first content categories, and this shows it’s still one of the most successful.

Source: Mediakix

YouTube channels with more than $100,000 in yearly revenue grew by over 40%

This stat goes to show that once you get a solid amount of momentum going, growth gets that much easier.

Source: Fortune

YouTube channels with more than $10,000 in yearly revenue grew more than 50%

You don’t need $100,000 in yearly revenue to grow quickly. Even just reaching this level is enough to kickstart serious growth.

Source: Fortune

YouTube channels with over 100,000 subscribers can earn $2,000 per video

Getting to 100,000 subscribers is a long road, for sure. But if marketers are willing to pay $2,000 per video, it can really make the journey worth it.

Source: Digiday

Marketers can pay up to $50,000 to advertise on a YouTube channel with around 1 million subscribers

Reaching 1 million subscribers doesn’t just get you the coveted golden play button. It can also net you massive brand deals.

Source: Digiday

58% of American content creator revenue came from YouTube ($4 billion)

Next was Etsy at $1.5 Billion, then Instagram at $460 million. This goes to show that YouTube is still a massive channel for content creators. At least as far as income is concerned.

Source: Re:create

TikTok creator economy statistics

The top 5 creators on TikTok made $46 million in 2021

TikTok is gaining on longstanding social channels in terms of creator growth and revenue. Charli D’Amelio — the top creator on TikTok — earned $17.5 million alone.

Source: Forbes

Only 12% of beginner creators see TikTok as their biggest platform

Despite TikTok’s growth, it still has some catching up to do— even to Facebook. Some 16% of beginner creators see Facebook as their primary platform.

TikTokers with 100,000 followers can make an estimated $200-$1000 a month

Having a huge number of followers doesn’t necessarily translate to high income in the same way it might on YouTube.

Source: Followchain

TikTokers with 1 million followers can make an estimated $1000-$5000 per month.

Where reaching 1 million subscribers on YouTube can get you big brand deals, getting the same number of followers doesn’t impact a TikToker the same way. Yet!

Source: Followchain

A single branded TikTok post with 100k views can earn up to $1000

If you’re able to consistently get this amount of views on a few branded posts a month, you can make a good chunk of change on TikTok.

Source: Twomillionways

Make your mark in the creator economy

The advent of the creator economy has created entirely new opportunities for people who are passionate about making content. There’s more than one way to get a piece of the content pie, and these statistics show that you can make it big no matter what your platform of choice is. Which statistics are going to inform your strategy?

Nicholas Bouchard
About the author

Nicholas Bouchard

Nick is a content writer and marketer with a passion for creation. His hobbies range from writing fiction to slamming folks around the wrestling ring. He can only be photographed in national parks and on mountains, and pictures of him usually come out blurry. Some wonder if he even exists at all.
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