2022 Creator Economy Benchmark Research

New content entrepreneur research on what it takes to build a content-first business

The Tilt surveyed over 1,000 content creators to learn what motivates them, how they build a successful content business, and how quickly they hit key business milestones. All the findings are summed up in a report called The Creator Next Door, commissioned by The Tilt.

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The Tilt 2022 Creator Economy Research The Creator Next Door cover

Here’s a quick preview of key findings:


  • More than half of full-time content creators are self-supporting (i.e. supporting at least one person). And nearly 1 in 5 say they earn “substantial” income.
  • Full-time creators need roughly 17 months to earn enough income to support at least one person. And they tend to bring on outside help at the 25-month mark.


  • The top motivator for full-time creators is independencethe desire to set their own schedule, goals, and career path. 90% say they chose to launch content businesses to seek out “financial freedom on their own terms.”
  • Only 6% believe a college degree is required to succeed as a content creator. What they do need, however, are sharp business skills to drive revenues.


  • Just 1% regret their decision to become content creators. This group is overwhelmingly satisfied with their decision to become creators – and this finding holds true regardless of the number of years since they’ve launched their business and the amount of money they earn.


  • 75% of content creators say the industry is too dependent on Big Tech players like Meta, Google. The study unpacks the specific ways creators are trying to take back control of their audiences by investing in things like paid memberships, owned communities and Web3.
  • Despite the independent streak, just 29% say they know what Web3 means. Web3 is often touted as a way for creators to take back control from Big Tech intermediaries and assert independence, but our study shows there’s still much work to be done on that front.

About The Creator Next Door
The Creator Next Door content entrepreneur research is published by The Tilt, in partnership with Ann Handley and Further. Thank you also to our distributing partners: You Are the Media, Josh Spector, Idea Economy and Matthew Biggar.

The survey was fielded from February to April 2022. In total, 1,058 people completed the survey; of those, 803 are currently content entrepreneurs and 255 hope to become content entrepreneurs. Survey results are not weighted.

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