Only 12% of full-time creators earn over $50,000 a year – Report

Photo credit: Austin Love

A new report reveals that the creator economy is growing rapidly, but only 12% of creators earn more than €50,000.

Linktree released a creator economy report after conducting research with the help of 9,500 creators. These creatives come from all walks of life, so this information is not specific to creatives in the music industry. The report highlights that it is easier than ever to become a creator.

According to the research, more than 200 million people could be classified as creators. Stream live on Twitch or run a Twitter Spaces channel? You are one of them. Linktree defines a creator as anyone who uses their influence and creativity to monetize their audience, regardless of platform. Creators run a small business, but many of them leave money on the table.

Linktree reports that only 12% of full-time creators earn more than $50,000 per year. About 46% of full-time creators earn less than $1,000 a year, which is a pittance for full-time hours. So is there a correlation between the time someone puts into their creative effort and the money they earn?

Not exactly. According to Linktree’s report, 32% of creators who earned at least $10,000 a year spent more than ten hours a week on their content. 52% of creators who earned between $50,000 and $100,000 spent less than ten hours a week creating new content.

About 66% of creators consider their business a side hustle, with 36% only creating content for less than a year. Among those who have been classified as beginners, Linktree said only 6% of them made more than $10,000 when they started. 35% of newbie creators monetized their creations, but earned enough to qualify as living income. 59% of newbie creators say they haven’t monetized their platform at all.

You would also expect brands to be the main source of income for influencers and creators online. But Linktree says its research has found that’s not true. 70% of creators derive less than 10% of their total revenue from brand partnerships.

This indicates that branding deals and partnerships are neither reliable nor consistent sources of revenue for actors in the creator economy. That means creators likely benefit more from advertising revenue, Patreon memberships, merchandise sales, creator funds, and other revenue streams.

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