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North America creator economy market size was valued at US$ 17.79 Bn in 2023 and is expected to reach US$ 142.91 Bn by 2030, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 34.7% from 2023 to 2030. The creator economy refers to the class of entrepreneurs, artists, influencers, bloggers, musicians, podcaster, and independent publishers who monetize their content online across social media platforms, blogs, streaming sites, and ecommerce marketplaces. The growth in this market is driven by factors like rising internet penetration, growth of social media, and increasing monetization opportunities for individual creators.

The North America creator economy market is segmented by content type, creator type, revenue stream, and platform. By content type, the video segment is accounted for the largest market share in 2022. Video content like Youtube videos, TikTok videos, Instagram reels, and Facebook/Snapchat stories are becoming increasingly popular among creators as well as consumers. Short-form entertaining videos have emerged as the most consumed type of online content.

North America is expected to be the largest market for North America creator economy market during the forecast period, accounting for over 45.6% of the market share in 2022. The growth of the market in North America is due to high internet penetration, presence of major creators, and increasing usage of social media platforms in the region.

Analyst Viewpoint:

The creator economy in North America is experiencing rapid growth driven by the widespread availability of streaming platforms and growing popularity of social media influencers among digital native generations. The thriving video game streaming and online content creation industries have opened up new avenues for creators to generate income directly from their passionate fanbase. Additionally, the expansion of personalized services enabled by technologies like AI and virtual/augmented reality present multifarious monetization prospects for talented individuals.

However, regulation around taxation of creator earnings and intellectual property rights pose challenges. Monopolistic practices by major platforms could also limit creator autonomy and revenue potential in the long run. Creators' reliance on a handful of dominant intermediaries leaves them vulnerable to policy changes by these corporates. Finding alternative direct-to-consumer distribution channels and self-sustaining business models may help creators achieve more stability.

The United States, especially coastal states like California and New York with concentrations of tech companies and young talent, accounts for the lion's share of the creator market currently. Nevertheless, the decentralized nature of remote work could allow other North American regions to gain ground backed by lower costs of living and increasing internet access across the continent. Overall, the future appears bright, albeit with moderating growth, for this self-employment sector to play an ever more important economic and cultural role.

North America Creator Economy Market Drivers:

  • Proliferation of social media platforms: The proliferation of social media platforms like facebook, instagram, tiktok, snapchat, youtube and others has been a major driver for the growth of the creator economy in North America. These platforms provide easy avenues for creators to build an audience, distribute content, and get discovered. They also offer built-in monetization features like advertisement revenue sharing, subscriptions, tipping, and others. Social media has changed the dynamics between creators and fans by allowing direct engagement. Increasing social media penetration across all demographics will continue to boost the creator industry.
  • Smartphone penetration and mobile internet: Widespread smartphone adoption and rising mobile internet access has also catalyzed the growth of the creator economy market in North America. Over 90% of Americans own a smartphone in 2022, which has made content creation and consumption on-the-go easier than ever. Video sites like youtube and tiktok are primarily accessed via smartphones only. The rollout of 5G networks will further improve video streaming and access. Mobile devices have removed geographical barriers, thus allowing creators from small towns to build a global fanbase. This democratization will drive more people to start creating.
  • Increasing content consumption: The North America creator economy market is experiencing a significant upswing driven by the escalating consumption of digital content. With the advent of a multitude of platforms that cater to diverse forms of media and the omnipresence of high-speed internet, consumers are indulging in an unprecedented volume of content across various formats. This heightened appetite for digital media is not only enabling a new generation of content creators to emerge and flourish but also paving the way for innovative monetization strategies and a more dynamic engagement with audiences. The increase in content consumption represents a core driver of the North America creator economy market, thus indicating a robust potential for growth and expansion in this sector. For instance, U.S., once considered the hotbed for content creators as highlighted by the 2021 creator economy index, is reportedly experiencing a downturn. Stripe's analysis, which provides crucial business and creator financial infrastructure, indicates a 25% reduction in new U.S. creators as compared to the previous year. Moreover, the proportion of content creators based in the U.S. has witnessed a drop of 13%, dipping from 85% to 72%. Conversely, the international scene is thriving, with Thailand, Brazil, and Romania witnessing an approximate 11% increase in content creator numbers. Even in nations like Tanzania, Mozambique, and El Salvador, content monetization is taking off. Stripe is due to the global uptick to the widespread availability of platform X and its enticing ad revenue-sharing monetization program for creators.
  • Growing advertisement spending on digital platforms: The burgeoning creator economy in North America is significantly propelled by the increase in advertising expenditures across digital platforms. As brands allocate more funds to online marketing, content creators are tapping into this revenue stream, thereby benefitting from sponsored content deals, advertisement-sharing models, and influencer partnerships. This influx of advertising dollars not only incentivizes higher quality and diverse content production but also fosters a sustainable financial ecosystem for creators, thus fueling growth and innovation within the industry. Consequently, as digital advertisement expenditure continues to rise, so does the vitality and expansion of the North America creator economy market. For instance, according to the research conducted by Mastercard, a leading payment processing entity in North America, 29% of creators have surpassed the US$50,000 revenue mark, positioning them as microbusinesses, while 20% are engaging in their creative endeavors as their primary occupation. In response to these findings, Mastercard introduced its Artist Accelerator program in January 2023. This innovative initiative is set to empower five promising artists by equipping them with Web3 and blockchain technologies to foster their digital entrepreneurial skills. The program offers an educational environment where creators, along with musicians and enthusiasts, can leverage these cutting-edge tools to effectively establish and take ownership of their personal brands.

North America Creator Economy Market Report Coverage

Report Coverage Details
Base Year: 2022 Market Size in 2023: US$ 17.79 Bn
Historical Data for: 2017 to 2021 Forecast Period: 2023 - 2030
Forecast Period 2023 to 2030 CAGR: 34.7% 2030 Value Projection: US$ 142.91 Bn
Geographies covered:
  • North America: U.S. and Canada
Segments covered:
  • By Content Type: Videos, Live Streaming, Music, Podcasts, Blogs, Photography, and Others (e.g. Art, Crafts)
  • By Creator Type: Vloggers, Writers, Musicians, Photographers, Podcasters, and Others (e.g. Crafters, Comedians)
  • By Revenue Stream: Advertising, Subscriptions, Merchandise, Sponsorships, Tipping/Donations, and Others (e.g. Physical Events, Workshops)
  • By Platform: Video (YouTube, TikTok etc.), Audio (Spotify, Apple Music etc.), Social Media (Instagram, Facebook etc.), Ecommerce (Etsy, Teespring etc.), Crowdfunding (Patreon, OnlyFans etc.), Content Platforms (Substack, Medium etc.), and Others (e.g. Niche platforms)
Companies covered:

Meta Platforms Inc., Bytedance Ltd., Etsy Inc., Fiverr International Ltd., Upwork Inc., Patreon Inc., OnlyFans, Teespring, Squarespace Inc., Bandcamp, Substack, Pinterest, Alphabet Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc., Snap Inc., Twitter Inc., Microsoft Corporation, Spotify Technology S.A., and Shopify Inc.

Growth Drivers:
  • Proliferation of social media platforms
  • Smartphone penetration and mobile internet
  • Increasing content consumption
  • Growing advertisement spending on digital platforms
Restraints & Challenges:
  • Income instability and burnout
  • Copyright issues and demonetization
  • Oversaturation of content

North America Creator Economy Market Opportunities:

  • Emergence of specialized platforms: The growth of specialized platforms tailored to specific creator niches presents a significant growth opportunity. Platforms like Patreon (patronage), Substack (newsletters), Teachable (online courses), Etsy (handmade products) cater to specific monetization models. Similarly niche platforms focused on podcasting, photography, adult content, and others  enable creators to find the right audience. Creators will increasingly leverage multiple platforms to diversify revenue streams. Specialized platforms also invest heavily in creators through promotion, tools and monetary incentives.
  • Virtual and Aaugmented reality: Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) content creation presents an emerging opportunity for creators in North America. VR headsets are still in early adoption, but usage is rising driven by gaming and entertainment. As devices get cheaper and more mainstream, it will enable creators to pioneer new immersive, interactive content formats, and stories which were not possible before. Musicians can hold virtual concerts, artists can create 3D spaces, and travel creators can take viewers on first-person tours and so on, where the scope for innovation is immense.
  • Non-fungible tokens (NFTs): NFTs have presented a new avenue for creators to monetize digital art, collectibles and experiences. The NFT market surpassed US$40 Bn in 2021, thus indicating strong traction. Visual artists who can mint limited edition NFTs of artwork have a way to sell directly to collectors and fans. Musicians are selling albums and singles as NFTs. Beyond art, NFTs can also represent backstage access, exclusive content, and others. As adoption increases, more mainstream creators will look to leverage NFTs.
  • Developing countries: Emerging economies with young demographics but lower ad monetization offer strong growth potential. Countries like India, Brazil, and Indonesia are witnessing increasing smartphone adoption and youths are consuming as well as creating online content. Local language creators who can culturally resonate have a first-mover advantage here. Large platforms are building creator incentive programs focused on these markets. As income levels rise over time, monetization avenues will also improve.

North America Creator Economy Market Trends:

  • Rise of short video formats: Short video formats like tiktok and youtube shorts have become hugely popular among creators and viewers alike due to their fun, casual vibe, and bite-sized consumption. Short clips also lend well to viral trends while not demanding too much time investment for creators. This has lowered the barriers for amateur creators to gain a following and encouraged more mainstream brands and celebrities to also experiment with short-form content. Integration of short videos across other platforms like instagram, facebook and snapchat has further boosted consumption.
  • Live streaming: Live streaming has emerged as an engaging trend enabling real-time connections between creators and audiences. Platforms like twitch, instagram and tiktok have invested heavily into building live capabilities. Viewership boomed further during the pandemic. Beyond just chatting, livestreams can also be leveraged for events, announcements, meetings, shopping, and others. The interactivity helps build stronger community bonding and a human touch. Casual behind-the-scenes streams also foster authenticity. For instance, on January 10, 2023 according to a report published by statista, a data gathering and visualization company, live video content has firmly established itself as a mainstay in recent years, demonstrating substantial potential within the realm of online live broadcasting. The entertainment sector, particularly gaming, has seen live streaming emerge as a prominent medium. Top platforms in the industry collectively garnered a considerable 7.2 Bn hours of viewership in the third quarter of 2022. Moreover, this format has gained traction in professional environments, with projections indicating that approximately 40 percent of marketing executives anticipated attending purely virtual marketing events in 2022, reflecting a growing comfort and reliance on live video content for business and marketing purposes.
  • Rising popularity of podcasts: Podcasts have witnessed explosive growth as both established media leverage it to produce audio content. The casual broadcast format appeals to audiences who can listen while doing other tasks. Apple Podcasts alone hit 2 million podcasts in 2021. Topic variety ranges from niche interests like true crime, spirituality to current affairs, and comedy talk shows. Podcasting presents a relatively easy, low-cost way for amateurs to build an audience and potentially turn commercial. Advertisement rates are also higher than for online videos.
  • eSports and gaming creators: Live streaming of eSports tournaments and professional video game playing on sites like twitch has birthed a new category of gaming creators and influencers. Top streamers like Ninja, Shroud and Pokimane have cultivated huge loyal fanbases consisting mostly of teen and millennial males. Brand sponsorships and subscriptions provide revenue to support full-time careers in gaming content creation and competitions. The eSports industry is projected to reach US$2.5 Bn by 2027, highlighting its strong growth.

North America Creator Economy Market Restraints:

  • Income instability and burnout: The creator industry lacks stability with the earning potential differing significantly across creators. Only a fraction of creators are able to gain massive popularity and convert it into sustainable income. Many struggle to make a decent living after account for platform commissions, taxes and production costs. Managing consistent high output also leads to creative burnout. The pressure to continuously produce content to make money weighs on mental health. The challenges can discourage long-term sustainability. For instance, in January, 2022, according to a report published by Creator Burnout Report by Vibely, an alarming 90% of content creators have faced burnout, with 71% considering abandoning social media and the businesses they've diligently cultivated. Initially embarking on their entrepreneurial journey in content creation out of passion, creators find themselves under relentless pressure to publish, broadcast, and innovate. The cumulative stress and often isolating nature of their profession can adversely affect their well-being, pushing many towards the brink of burnout.
  • Copyright issues and demonetization: Copyright strikes and demonetization issues are persistent problems faced by creators on major platforms like youtube and facebook. Use of even small snippets of copyrighted material like songs, news clips, and others without permission can lead to videos being taken down or having ads disabled, thus hampering income. Gaming live streamers also have to be wary of broadcasting licensed music in the background. The copyright risks and unstable revenue can restrict creativity and participation.
  • Oversaturation of content: The low barriers to entry have resulted in oversaturation where both platforms and audiences are inundated with content choices. On youtube alone, 500 hours of new video content is uploaded every minute. Rising above the noise to gain visibility and be discovered by target audiences is extremely competitive. Maintaining relevance with consistently high-quality content output is challenging when battling for share of voice and attention. Standing out requires substantial effort.

Recent Developments

New product launches

  • In October 2022, TikTok a short-form video hosting service launched TikTok Pulse, a new contextual advertising solution for brand campaigns aimed to connect advertisers with creators.
  • In February 2022, Meta a multinational technology conglomerate, launched Reels on Facebook, allowing creators to cross-post short videos between Instagram and Facebook. This expanded the reach for creators' content.
  • In May 2021, YouTube an online video sharing and social media platform, launched YouTube Shorts Fund, a US$100 million fund to reward popular short-form video creators over 2023. This helped attract more creators to the platform.

Key Strategic Initiative

Acquisition and partnerships

  • On December 21, 2023, a leading North American law firm successfully steered Muse Group, a digital music content company, through its business undertaking with Hal Leonard, a prominent U.S.-based music distribution and publishing firm. The financial backing for this deal was secured by Mintz through the international investment organization Francisco Partners.
  • On August 11, 2023, FC Barcelona, a globally renowned and prestigious professional soccer club, declared a finalized deal with Mountain & Co. I Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company listed on the public market, to introduce its content creation division, Barça Media, to the U.S. and various international financial markets.
  • On April 13, 2023, DNEG a visual effects, computer animation and stereo conversion studio signed a memorandum of understanding that sets the stage for the acquisition of Prime Focus Technologies (PFT), an innovative frontrunner in the application of cloud software and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions in the media and entertainment (M&E) sector.

Figure 1. North America Creator Economy Market Share (%), By Platform, 2023

NORTH AMERICA CREATOR ECONOMY MARKET

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Top Companies in North America Creator Economy Market

  • Meta Platforms, Inc.
  • Bytedance Ltd.
  • Alphabet Inc.
  • com, Inc.
  • Apple Inc.
  • Snap Inc.
  • Twitter, Inc.
  • Microsoft Corporation
  • Spotify Technology S.A.
  • Shopify Inc.
  • Etsy, Inc.
  • Fiverr International Ltd.
  • Upwork Inc.
  • Patreon, Inc.
  • OnlyFans
  • Teespring
  • Squarespace, Inc.
  • Bandcamp
  • Substack
  • Pinterest

Definition: The North America creator economy market refers to the industry of independent content creators, artists, influencers, bloggers, musicians, and publishers who leverage social media, streaming, and ecommerce platforms to monetize their original content like videos, blogs, music, podcasts, and more across North America. It includes both creators who rely on this as their primary income source as well as those who do it as a side hobby or passion.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The key factors hampering the growth of the North America creator economy market are income instability and burnout, copyright issues, and demonetization and oversaturation of content.

The major factor driving the growth of North America creator economy market are proliferation of social media platforms, smartphone penetration and mobile internet, increasing content consumption, and growing advertisement spending on digital platforms.

The leading content type segment in the North America creator economy market is video content like Youtube, TikTok, etc.

The major players operating in the North America creator economy market are Meta Platforms Inc., Bytedance Ltd., Etsy Inc., Fiverr International Ltd., Upwork Inc., Patreon Inc., OnlyFans, Teespring, Squarespace Inc., Bandcamp, Substack, Pinterest, Alphabet Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc., Snap Inc., Twitter Inc., Microsoft Corporation, Spotify Technology S.A., and Shopify Inc.

The CAGR of the North America creator economy market is 34.7%.

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