There was a time when digital content creation was considered a hobby. In fact, all the big YouTubers like Pewdiepie, Dude Perfect, and MrBeast started content creation as a side project. However, at present, their annual income is more than a million dollars. Due to easy accessibility to the internet and widespread globalization, many people have considered content creation as a career option. That is because content creation has gained massive popularity over the years. In addition, the content creation market is also growing. Even though there are different institutional content creators, we have done some analysis on the most popular individual content creators. In this article, we will discuss the content creation industry and the content creator’s main sources of revenue.
Content Creation Industry
Previously, YouTube used to be the only platform for content creation. Thus most people used to consider YouTubers as the only content creators in the past. However, with time, a lot of changes took place in the content creation industry. Now, content creators are no longer limited to YouTube. Content creators like bloggers, Podcasters, YouTubers, Influencers, and streamers contribute to the content creation industry and make good money. At present, the content creation industry is worth approximately 44 billion dollars. By 2027, the global content creation industry market size is expected to reach 51 billion dollars.
Moreover, the annual growth rate of the industry is around 17%. Big brands and companies are relying on content creators and influencers to promote their products and services. For example, Microsoft, Google, and even Apple have been promoting their brand through influencers. As a result, the number of content creators and influencers are increasing day by day. YouTube alone has about 50 million content creators, providing content to nearly 2 billion active users. The revenue from content creators on YouTube in 2020 was 19.77 billion dollars, which was a 23% increase over 2019. As of 2020, the ten highest earning YouTubers had a combined income of 201 million dollars.
One of the highest-paid YouTubers in 2020 was only 9 years old, Ryan Kaji, who made 29.5 million dollars. In addition, YouTubers who earned more than 6 figures increased by 40% from last year. Plus, the number of YouTube video influencers has risen in recent years. Influencers with over 500,000 subscribers earn an average of $3857 for each video they produce. However, the biggest market for influencers is on Instagram. 70% of all the influencers in the world earn money through content on Instagram. After Instagram, influencers’ activity rate on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube is 35.1%, 29.5% and 20.5%, respectively. About 69% of US marketers spend to promote their products and services on Instagram. The Instagram influencer market reached 1.30 billion dollars in 2018 and is expected to almost double by 2020. An Influencer with 3-7 million followers earns an average of 1,87,0000 dollars per YouTube video, 75,000 dollars per Instagram post, and 30,000 dollars per Twitter post. In addition, Influencers with 50,000 to 5 million followers earn an average of $2,500, $1,000 and $400 per content from Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter, respectively.
TikTok’s content creators are no exception. Although Tiktok is only regarded as a form of entertainment, Tiktokers earn an average of $200-$20,000 through brand sponsorships. Moreover, top-level Tiktok content creators like Charli D’Amelio, Loren Gray and Zach King earn more. Even some of Instagram’s biggest influencers are now moving to TikTok. Investing in the influencer market has also proven to be quite profitable for marketers. For every $1 spent on an influencer, the advertiser earns an average of $6.5. Furthermore, 13% of advertisers are earning more than $20 for every $1 spent. However, for business posts, marketers are more inclined towards Facebook content creators and influencers. Because about 49% of brand engagement is done through Facebook videos, which means Facebook content creators earn more. This shows that the content creation industry is constantly growing, and content creators are making good money.
How Content Creators Earn?
So far, you have learned about the content creation industry; now, you will know in what ways content creators earn their money.
Direct Advertising is the most common way for content creators to monetize their content. About 28% of the total income of content creators comes through advertising. In 2020, the worldwide online advertising market is worth 378.16 billion dollars. Of which, big tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Youtube have a huge market share. The most well-known among them is Google’s online advertising platform Google AdSense. Google keeps 32% of the revenue from AdSense, and 68% goes to bloggers.
Usually, various clickable ads can be seen around the blog post. The companies behind these ads pay the bloggers from the revenue generated via click-through. However, the most popular platform in terms of Advertising Revenue Generation is YouTube. Under the YouTube Partner Program, content creators include pre-roll, mid-roll, end-roll, and overlay ads in their videos. Therefore, 55% of the revenue from these ads goes to content creators and 45% to YouTube. The revenue is usually calculated based on CPM. CPM determines the amount an advertiser will pay per 1000 ad views. However, you should also know that YouTube does not show ads for all user views. Moreover, in the past years, popular social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Twitch have been giving the benefit of Advertising Revenue Generation to the content creators, which is serving as a major source of income for content creators.
One of the main sources of income for content creators is brand sponsorship. It can also be called Influencer Marketing. Usually, a brand or company pays content creators or influencers to promote their products or services. Brand Sponsorship can be One Time or Performance-Based. However, influencers earn more in Brand Sponsorship than content creators. Especially Instagram influencers. Generally, people follow the lifestyle of Instagram influencers. These influencers are given the opportunity to try different products or services for free. Then, influencers are paid based on the posts they make about those products or services. In 2020, there were about 6.12 million brand-sponsored influencer posts on Instagram, from which the influencers earned nearly 7 billion dollars. Among the highest-paid influencers, the notable ones are Kylie Jenner, Ariana Grande, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Dwayne Johnson. They earn a revenue of approximately 1 million dollars from each of their posts.
Through affiliate marketing, content creators usually take a commission on selling and promoting a brand or product. 15% of the total revenue of the digital media industry comes from Affiliate Marketing. Although the margin for affiliate revenue is very low, there is an opportunity to make a lot of money through affiliate marketing. With the rapid expansion of e-commerce sites, the demand for affiliate marketing has dramatically increased. In 2021, the global affiliate marketing industry size is about 12 billion dollars. It has a growth of about 10% per year. According to a survey, 81% of brands rely on affiliate programs to promote their products. In 2017, there were 5 billion clicks and 170 million transactions from affiliate programs. However, the biggest name involved in affiliate marketing is Amazon. Amazon has a 40% market share in the e-commerce market in the USA. A large part of their sales comes from their affiliate program, Amazon Associate. Almost all types of content creators, starting from YouTuber and streamers, earn a good amount through affiliate marketing.
Various content marketing platforms are allowing fans to support their favorite content creators through monthly subscriptions. With a monthly subscription, content creators earn a good amount of money every month along with a loyal fan base. For example, the popular streaming platform Twitch offers a variety of subscription packages to support content creators. Emotes and Custom Badges are also given based on the fans’ subscription, which is encouraging more content creators. About 3.8 million streamers are currently streaming on Twitch, and they have about 140 million monthly subscribers. In addition to Twitch, Youtube has launched a monthly subscription service to support content creators with their Channel Membership and Facebook with their Fan Subscription. Moreover, Patreon, a popular subscription platform in the USA, has supported content creators with subscription packages since 2013. Content creators earned about 1 billion dollars from 2013 to 2019 through Patreon.
Donations & Tips
Donations and Tips are one of the ways to generate revenue for streamers and content creators. However, earning money from donations is not very consistent. Content creators have the opportunity to earn a good amount of money from these mediums, which they receive from fans through live streams. Live Streaming platforms like Youtube and Twitch are providing content creators with the facility to receive donations, but they deduct about 20% of the total amount. On the other hand, StreamLabs do not deduct any money from donations, so they are becoming more popular amongst content creators. As of 2019, content creators have received around $400 billion through Streamlabs.
Nowadays, it has become a very common thing among content creators to earn money through merchandise. Content creators usually launch merchandise in partnership with third-party vendors, selling various items ranging from T-shirts, hoodies, and mugs. The vendor’s job is to process everything from taking orders to delivering them, and the main job of the content creator is to promote their products. The agreement with the vendor is that they will receive a percentage share on the sale. According to a report by PRWeek, the popular YouTuber Pewdiepie has a monthly revenue of about 8 million dollars, of which about 6.8 million dollars is earned through merchandise alone. Notable among the merchandise vendors are Fanjoy, YouTooz etc. However, some content creators launch their own merchandise, managing all of the activities themselves, starting from promotion to order processing.
With the rise in the popularity of media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitch, Tiktok, and Youtube, earning a living through content creation is more viable than ever before. Digital content creation is no longer considered just a hobby. The industry has rapidly grown over the last decade and is expected to reach a value of 51 billion dollars by 2027. Major brands and companies realize this and are now more interested to invest in content creators. Whether it’s through advertising, brand sponsorships, or affiliate marketing, companies are able to put their products and services in the spotlight with the help of content creators. As for the content creators themselves, they have several ways of monetizing their content as well as partnering with companies. So, if you have a passion for content creation, then now is the time that you follow your dreams!