Adobe has released an intriguing and exciting new report entitled ‘Future of Creativity, Monetisation‘ report which shows that monetising the creator economy is only set to increase. New monetization tools and promotion features that are designed to help platform stars showcase their value for brands, or sell their products direct in-app are set to thrive. 

This move provides value for both creators and the platforms (TikTok, Instagram) alike. For the creators, it enables them to keep doing what they love, and connect with like-minded people in social apps, while for the platforms themselves, it also keeps more original content flowing in, which, in turn, keeps their respective audiences coming back more often.

From a brand perspective, further monetisation will present new opportunities to utilise the latest platform tools and features, by partnering with creative talent that’s already well-accustomed with best practices, and has a track record of creating engaging content among your target markets.

Most importantly, will these changes enable creators to earn more from their content? According to the new report, which is based on input from over 9,000 online non-professional creators, 40% of content monetizers are making more money online than they were two years ago, while 77% of them only started doing so in the past year.

Creators that are monetizing their online work are earning 6x the US minimum wage. I mean, the US minimum wage is notoriously low among developed nations, so maybe not the best measure of ‘success’. However, I have a TikTok friend in Paris, France who has 400,000 followers, good engagement and is often paid 1000 euros for an Outfit of the Day branded video, so the data does speak truth. The data also does show that many influencers are now making reasonable money from their work, with almost half of monetizing creators noting that their online work now represents a significant portion of their monthly income.

Though the framing of these figures is also worthy of note. Rather than using annual income rates, which likely don’t look as good, Adobe has chosen to use hourly and monthly income comparisons, which are much smaller scale, and potentially make the comparative incomes seem better. Just a note on data presentation, which could be relevant on a broader scale.

Of those online creators that are making money from their work, Adobe says that photography and creative writing-related skills are the most common (perhaps I should inquire!).  Animation and design skills are also high on the list of in-demand creator talents, as is film-making and video editing.

Interestingly, 68% of respondents also noted that they believe the metaverse will bring new job opportunities with the report showing that designers working in AR/VR are earning significantly more than other creators for their work.

Where online content creators are primarily monetizing via ads, others are better able to promote their physical work and facilitate sales directly to consumers through digital platforms.

If there’s anything to learn from this study, I’d say it is that as Gen Z creatives we seem to be learning how to work smarter over working harder and it’s starting to pay off. No more billable hours but rather getting paid for impactful, quality work over quantity work. 

You can view & download the entire report here.

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