Getting Started on your Content Entrepreneur Journey
Over 303 million creators operate in the creator economy, and the numbers are only growing. Let’s look at what the creator economy is, who makes up the creator economy, what they earn, how they operate, and more. Plus, drill deeper into the content entrepreneur sector as well as Web3.

Scroll down for 23+ stats about content entrepreneurs in the creator economy.

What is the creator economy?

The creator economy is a world where creators make money directly through their audiences. They monetize their audience through different revenue streams, including:

  • Platform payments (YouTube ads, Twitch affiliate status, etc.)
  • Advertising on their websites and in their content products, such as newsletters
  • Brand sponsorships 
  • Paid subscribers and communities
  • Follower and fan contributions
  • Affiliate marketing – creators earn commission when their audience purchases products through provided links
  • Content product offerings (courses, videos, books, etc.)
  • Coaching and consulting

Is the creator economy made up of influencers?

Yes and no. Influencers are only part. Adobe estimates influencers make up only 14% of the creator economy. Content entrepreneurs are a growing segment of the creator economy.

What are content entrepreneurs?

Here’s a detailed definition of a content entrepreneur from Joe Pulizzi, founder of The Tilt – a newsletter to help content creators build their business – and the Creator Economy Expo (CEX) – an annual event for serious content creators. 

A content entrepreneur:

  • Delivers consistent information to a group of people, with plans to build a loyal audience and then monetize that audience over time.
  • Creates content products to build a long-term, successful business (not as a hobby).
  • Begins primarily on one channel (as a podcaster, a blogger, a YouTuber) and then diversifies into many channels.
  • Generates revenue from their audience in multiple ways.

23+ Stats on the Creators and Entrepreneurs

These stats come from research published in 2021 and 2022.

Creators in the creator economy

  • 303 million creators operate in the global creator economy. (source)
  • 17% of creators are business owners, while 39% aspire to become one. (source)
  • 6 in 10 creators also have a full-time job. (source)
  • Creators who create content daily or at least 10 hours a week report being the happiest overall. (source)

Operating in the creator economy

  • Most common challenges experienced by creators operating businesses in the creator economy (source)
    • Securing brand partnerships (58%) 
    • Receiving timely payments (50%)
    • Negotiating contracts (48%)
    • Maintaining brand sponsorships (46%)
    • Securing brand approval for content (38%)
    • Developing content for brand promotion (36%)
  • 40% of creators strongly agree their primary platform helps them grow their business. (source)
  • 55% of creators team up on projects with other content creators.  (source)
  • 36% of creators hire contractors to help in their business. (source)
  • 34% of creators struggle with boundaries and burnout. (source)

    Creator economy revenue

    • 41% of content creators earn $50,000 or more a year (source)
    • 55.3% of creator revenue comes from brand partnerships (source)
    • 33% of creator revenue comes from follower contributions (source)
    • 32.2% of creator revenue comes from platform payments (source)
    • Of creators in business one to two years:
      • 35% earn less than $1,000
      • 36% earn $1,000 to $10,000
      • 9% earn between $10,000 and $25,000
      • 5% earn between $25,000 and $50,000
      • Only 6% earn over $50,000 (source)
    • Of creators in business three to four years:
      • 22% earn less than $1,000
      • 25% earn between $1,000 to $10,000
      • 18% earn between $10,000 and $25,000
      • 15% earn between $25,000 and $50,000
      • 20.58% earn over $50,000  (source)
    • 63% of surveyed social media users had tipped a creator at least once. Of those, 37% usually tip nothing, while 18% usually tip $10 to $20. (source)
    • 58% of surveyed social media users are interested in paying a subscription fee in the next year to receive exclusive content from their favorite influencers, with 23% indicating they would pay $4 to $7 a month. (source)

      Content entrepreneurs in the creator economy

      • 99% of content entrepreneurs do not regret their decision to become a creator. (source)
      • 51% of full-time content entrepreneurs earn enough revenue to support at least one person. (source)
      • 17 months is the average time it takes a content entrepreneur to earn enough revenue to support one person. (source)
      • 50% of full-time content entrepreneurs spend half their time on the business side, including promotion, marketing, sales, and administration/operations. (source)
      • 61% of content entrepreneurs use newsletters to reach their audiences. (source)
      • Most popular revenue streams for content entrepreneurs: 
        • Consulting and coaching (62%)
        • Online courses/workshops (39%)
        • Books (27%)
        • Affiliate marketing/links (23%)
        • Speaking fees (21%) (source)
      • 94% of content entrepreneurs say a four-year degree is not required to become a successful creator. (source)
      • One-third of content entrepreneurs say they struggle with burnout. (source)

        Web3 stats

        • 1 in 2 creators believes NFTs will be at least “somewhat relevant” to their business. (source)
        • 1 in 6 creators uses NFTs as a revenue source. (source)

        YouTube impact on creator businesses

        Note: This research was published in 2020.

        • 66% of creators with 50K+ subscribers say they can build a self-sustainable business on the platform. (source)
        • 57% of creative entrepreneurs say YouTube brought them additional opportunities away from the platform. (source)
        • 80% of creators agree YouTube helps them reach international audiences they wouldn’t have access to. (source)
        • 73% of creators who average at least 35 hours per week on their channel agree the YouTube community encourages them to create “diverse and innovative” content. (source)