How the designer economy exploded in 2021 / digital information world

Content creators have been around for over a decade now, whether you realize it or not. People have started to profit and build lucrative full-time careers from their content with YouTube and Instagram. It’s now expanded to TikTok, OnlyFans (mostly for more racy and exclusive adult content), Patreon, Twitch, and more. There are endless options today for creating and leveraging content, but where do you start?

The biggest employees

While there are many platforms to build and profit from content creation, three stand out from the rest in terms of demographics and top salaries. These three are YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram. The influencer marketing factory Creators Economy Report so far for 2021 shows the following:

Content creators prefer TikTok (30%), Instagram second at (22%) and YouTube tied for third (22%)

The main source of income for creators are brand deals

The demographics of content creators are huge, 18-24 on TikTok, 54+ for YouTube, and 18-44 for Instagram. Combined, this is almost all of the demographics.

According to TIMF’s latest economic report, there are approximately 46.7 million hobbyist designers in the market. Of these, only around 2 million creators are professionals because they make money or their entire life from their content creation. Let’s break it down by the big three.

The main source of income for creators is the brand deal (31%).  Followed in second position by their own brand / company (25%) and creative funds (15%)
Creators Economy Report - Graph
Creator Economy Report - Data


How content creators can be paid on each of these platforms varies. For example, TikTok “does not pay its creators from advertisements”, unlike YouTube. TikTok is more about your audience. The larger your audience, the more you can charge for making videos and making branding deals, essentially creating ads for your established audience.

Creating content for TikTok is relatively easy. All you need is an account, a phone, and an internet connection. The best videos are usually less than 60 seconds long and are set to trendy sound. Creators can film, edit, add text, sound, effects and more right in the app and post them to other platforms (like Instagram Reels) to maximize profitability.


YouTube is totally different and takes a lot longer than TikTok. This is because videos need to be shot and edited on a camera or your phone and usually require the purchase of external apps, software and more (like a tripod or ring light). YouTube content creators “must have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 viewing hours in the past year” to be able to start making money on the platform. This process can take months or even years in some cases. Once creators achieve these goals, they can apply to the YouTube Partner Program and start monetizing their channel through ads, subscriptions, and subscriptions.

If that doesn’t sound like a lot, think again. Business Insider reported Who Fund YouTuber Nate O’Brien made over $ 444,000 “in YouTube ad revenue in a year with around 1 million subscribers.” You don’t need to have a million subscribers to make money on YouTube. Even a few thousand can start to generate income. Once you create content for YouTube, it’s permanent. It will live on the site forever (unless you delete it, which we don’t recommend) and can be searchable and earn you income for years to come.


Instagram is a little harder to capitalize on at first. While creators don’t get paid for their photos, can’t take advantage of ads or subscriptions, it’s all about collaborations and branding agreements. The bigger your audience, the better. Creators can make a decent amount of money just through affiliate links. Earlier this year, an article on CNBC reported that an influencer with 1 million followers made “over $ 250,000 per brand post.”

The next generation of entrepreneurs

The pandemic has caused almost everyone in the world to lose their jobs, work remotely, or in some cases both. TikTok has exploded during the pandemic. It had only been around for a short time and was primarily used by Gen Z. Millennials and other generations flocked to the app when they were locked up and are here to stay. Instead of going to work and interacting with people in person, we turned to social media to fill this gap. Many who weren’t already in the game of content creators have officially thrown their hats in the ring in 2020 and even more so in 2021.

“We go from an initial idea that influencers and content creators could only sponsor brands’ products, to actually seeing them become solopreneurs or even start businesses with employees, create their own product lines, promote their own services, co-create new functionalities in collaboration with companies, brands and social networks. This translates into greater diversification of revenue sources and new opportunities for content creators to come in the coming years. Lately, some influencers and content creators are even hired by brands because of their creative mind and strong relationship with a target audience of potential buyers, ”said Alessandro Bogliari, CEO and co-founder of The Influencer Marketing Factory .

“Creators are the next generation of small businesses. However, many creators do not have access to the capital and business tools to help them reach their full commercial potential, ”said Sima Gandhi, CEO and co-founder of Creative Juice. “The entire creator economy is growing, with more advertising and platform money every year.” Many creators have huge potential, but don’t know where to start or how to maximize their time to make a profit. So now is the time for them to start leveraging the data and expanding the opportunities to make the most of their influence. Take a look at the infographic below for more information:

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