The landscape of content creation has expanded significantly in recent years, providing creators with numerous opportunities to earn a substantial income. Swedish royalty-free music provider, Epidemic Sound, recently conducted a survey of 1,500 monetizing content creators in the United States, unveiling some fascinating insights into their businesses.

The survey covered a range of topics, including income, costs, platform monetization, usage of music, and adoption of artificial intelligence (AI).

Here are four key takeaways from the report:

1. The majority of creators experience income growth

An impressive 76.5% of surveyed creators reported a significant increase in their earnings over the past year. This growth can be attributed to several factors, according to respondents. Firstly, the availability of more monetization options on social media platforms played a crucial role, as mentioned by 77.2% of creators. Additionally, diversifying content across multiple social platforms (66.8%) and a surge in consumer demand for content (65.8%) were cited as contributing factors. This upward trend indicates that the creator economy is thriving, with creators optimistic about the future despite economic uncertainties.

2. Creators seek to reduce costs

While creators are enjoying increased incomes, the survey revealed that 91% of them intend to reduce their expenses. Notably, these cost-cutting measures primarily target talent, location rentals, and props and costumes. On average, creators currently spend $2,500 annually on production-related expenses. Epidemic Sound’s CEO, Oscar Höglund, interprets this as a sign of the industry’s maturation, as creators shift their focus from lavish production values to honing their craft. Storytelling and quality content are now considered paramount, reflecting a more professionalized approach within the industry.

3. TikTok and YouTube lead as income-generating platforms

Among the surveyed creators, TikTok emerged as the platform offering the best income-generating opportunities, with 30% of respondents endorsing it. YouTube closely followed, with 26% of creators considering it their top choice. However, Instagram lagged behind, garnering only 7% of the vote. Interestingly, the preference for platforms varied based on income levels. YouTube was favored by high earners (earning over $200,000 annually), while TikTok stood out as the platform of choice for creators at other income levels.

4. AI utilization and remaining skepticism

A staggering 93% of creators reported using AI in their content creation processes. This finding aligns with recent studies that also highlight the widespread adoption of AI among creators. Functions such as image and video recognition software, automated transcription tools, chatbots or virtual assistants, and personalized recommendation engines are the primary areas where creators leverage AI. However, skepticism persists within the community. A significant 78% of creators expressed concerns that content generated with AI may lack authenticity or originality, and 74% anticipated increased competition due to AI’s influence.

The report from Epidemic Sound provides a glimpse into the dynamic world of content creators and their evolving businesses. As the creator economy continues to flourish, creators are adapting to the changing landscape, embracing new monetization options, and leveraging AI tools. While challenges and skepticism remain, the overall sentiment is one of optimism and a dedication to refining their craft and delivering compelling content to audiences worldwide.

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