First Ever Sizing Study Reveals 7.1 Million Americans Participate in the Creator Economy, Earning Money from Platforms Like YouTube, TikTok and Instagram

By MBO Partners | November 16, 2021

Share
MBO red logo

-New research from MBO Partners shows that 7.1 million creators earn income from their work; the creator economy is 75% Millennial and Gen Z self-employed workers, 63% of whom work only part time in the creator space.

AUSTIN, TX – November 16, 2021​ –A new study from ​MBO Partners® shows that 2021 is the year of the creator. In the first ever study of this segment, MBO Partners reveals that there are 7.1 million Americans who’ve earned money in the last year as part of the creator economy. This sector is poised for explosive growth, with another 3.2 million planning to become content creators over the next two years.

This new Research Brief is being released in advance of MBO Partners’ 11th annual State of Independence in America report, the country’s longest-running end-to-end study of the American independent workforce. As retailers harnessed technology to go direct-to-consumer (DTC), U.S. workers enacted their own version by selling their creative skills and talents directly to consumers and companies. The broader independent workforce grew to over 51 million in 2021, an unprecedented 34% growth in a single year. The growth of the creator economy subset mirrors this trend.

Technology news site The Information estimates that venture capital firms invested $2 billion in creator economy startups in the first half of 2021, and the venture capital firm Antler reports there are over 220 firms that cater to creators. This rapidly growing ecosystem of creator economy products and support services makes it easier, cheaper, less risky, and more attractive to become a successful content creator.

“The Creator Economy validates the trend that more and more workers are realizing the freedom and wellbeing that comes from taking career control into their own hands,” said Miles Everson, CEO, MBO Partners. “Savvy organizations and politicians must realize the workforce of the future will be fueled by independent professional solo-entrepreneurs, choosing to design careers on their own terms. Creators are just one example of how the American workforce is changing at a rapid pace.”

The report revealed several key insights about this fast-growing segment of the American workforce, including:

  • Cash on the horizon. While 7.1 million are earning income in the creator economy, another 4.4 million are part of the segment but have not yet earned income.
  • Diversity of talent. The creator economy skews young, with 75% of creators identifying as Gen Z or Millennial. The creators themselves are slightly more diverse than the American population at large, with 19% identifying as Black, as compared to just 12% of the overall American population.
  • Let’s collab. Creators are all about the collab with over half (55%) reporting that they are teaming up with other content creators on projects compared to only 21% of independent workers who aren’t content creators. Further, 36% of content creators have hired freelance contractors to help with their business, while only 14% of independent workers overall have done so.
  • The struggle is real. The pressure to engage and reinvent are constant struggles for content creators, along with setting work/life boundaries. A third of all content creators (34%) report struggling with boundaries and burnout versus only 21% of independent workers.
  • From punch the clock to TikTok. Almost six out of ten (59%) independent content creators are punching a clock at a traditional job. In fact, 46% have full-time jobs and 13% have a part-time job. The majority (63%) report working part-time as content creators, while 37% of income-earning digital content creators are doing it full-time.

MBO Partners will release the full 2021 State of Independence study in December. To obtain a copy of the brief, please visit https://www.mbopartners.com/state-of-independence/​.

###

About MBO Partners®

MBO Partners is a deep job platform that connects and enables independent professionals and microbusiness owners to do business safely and effectively with enterprise organizations. Its unmatched experience and industry leadership enable it to operate on the forefront of the independent economy and consistently advance the next way of working.

For more information, visit​ ​mbopartners.com​

Media Contact

Karen Swim
Words for Hire LLC

pr@mbopartners.com

Related Posts

MBO red logo

The New American Revolution Fueling the Future of Work: MBO Partners’ Next Chapter

The acceleration of key forces driving the world of work today—from the accelerating rate of change of technological innovation to the fractionalization of the human career through independent project-based work—has forever changed the way we do business.  Much like the patriots that built our country during the time of the American revolution, we are at…

Read More...
MBO red logo

Study: Is Digital Nomadism the New Work Non-Negotiable?

ASHBURN, VA – October 19, 2022 –A new study from MBO Partners® shows that digital nomadism is the number one work trend that employers can no longer ignore. Digital nomadism, a term referencing workers who embrace a location-independent, technology-enabled lifestyle that allows them to travel and work remotely, has grown by 131% from the pre-pandemic…

Read More...
MBO logo

MBO Partners stands with the people of Ukraine

We stand with the people of Ukraine and remain committed to our policy to not do business with Russia. MBO has taken the following actions to support our contract workers and enterprise organizations at this time: Geographic sanctions do not prohibit you from working with contractors in Ukraine while on MBO Partners projects, but MBO…

Read More...

Trending

Tags

Learn more about the MBO Platform

FOR INDEPENDENT
PROFESSIONALS

Start, run, and grow

your independent business with MBO

FOR
ENTERPRISES

Engage, scale, and optimize

your independent workforce