Only last week, Goldman Sachs released an insightful April report that maps out the creator economy, estimating its size and predicting key platform and engagement trends. Arguably, the star statistic of the show was the evaluation that the creator economy is now worth a whopping $250 billion! 

Post pandemic, it really is the era of the creator with their presences on the Met Gala red carpet only yesterday and their placement in Time’s list of 100 most influential people of the year being particularly noteworthy. 

Here is a list of various other takeaways and highlights from the Goldman Sachs report that are particularly insightful for both creators and brands.  

First, let’s address that whopping statistic; the creator economy is now worth $250 billion. What’s even more overwhelming is that this number is predicted to reach $480 billion by 2027. That growth will be driven largely by a continued investment in influencer marketing and the rise of ad-revenue share models, particularly as advertising ramps up on short-form video.

Secondly, it looks like Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts aren’t going anywhere. The rise of short-form content will propel Instagram reels from 4% of the company’s ad revenue in 2022 to 23% in 2027. That’d be an estimated $20.5 billion in ad revenue, up from $1.8 billion in 2022. Similarly, YouTube shorts are also predicted to grow from 2.5% in 2023 to 26% of YouTube’s total ad revenue in 2027 ($750 million to $11.6 billion). TikTok’s revenue was not addressed in the Sachs report. 

Perhaps the most surprising statistic of all was that the majority of creators are millenials – not Gen Z – making up 45% of creators, followed by Gen X creators who make up 26% of US creators! Only 15% of creators belong to Gen Z.

Now looking at the downsides of the report, it seems as though, despite the creator economy growing, investment in creator startups is on a decline. According to data Goldman Sachs pulled from PitchBook, venture-capital funding in creator companies has been on a steady decline since its peak of about $7 billion in 2021 to $4.3 billion in 2022. The data reflects total capital raised by companies labelled under the categories “content creator,” “creator platform” and “creator economy.” It makes sense to blame inflation and the current global economic state for this one. 

In addition, and this one will come as no surprise, creator funds — fixed pools of money that social-media platforms set aside to pay users for their best-performing content — just don’t make enough money for creators. We are talking about five pence per thousand views…
Data pulled from a 2022 study by influencer-marketing agency Mavrck and eMarketer showed about 73% of creators reported making no income at all from creator funds. On the other end of the spectrum, roughly 3% of creators reported earning more than $5,000 from these funds.

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