linktree creator report

Spotify suggested in March that the global community of ‘professionally aspiring’ music acts was around 200,000 artists, based on activity on its service as well as on external sources (like concert listings).

How does that figure compare to the wider ‘creator economy’ though? Smart-links company Linktree has been running the numbers for its 2022 Creator Report, based on interviews with more than 9,500 people who are creating content for social media platforms.

The big figure? 200 million. That’s how many “individuals who use their influence, creativity, or skills to aggregate and monetise their audience” according to Linktree’s calculations. That’s around 4.8% of the world’s 4.2 billion social media users.

The report breaks this down further though: 23 million of those creators have fewer than 1,000 followers, and another 139 million have fewer than 10,000. Linktree reckons there are 41 million ‘pro’ creators with between 10,000 and 100,000 followers, then two million with between 100,000 and one million followers; and another two million with more than one million.

Meanwhile, only 34% of creators consider themselves to be working full-time on this – still around 68 million people – and of those, only 12% are making more than $50k a year from this work. That’s around 8.2 million people. 46% of full-time creators make less than $1k a year, which does raise many questions about what they’re living on.

Anyway, it’s an interesting insight into the creator (or influencer) economy. The comparison with Spotify’s figures are also worth thinking about.

It calculated that around 2.6 million artists had uploaded at least 10 tracks to its platform, but only 165,000 of them were reaching at least 10,000 monthly listeners – around 6.3%. Linktree’s report estimates that of the 200 million ‘creators’ operating on social media, 45 million have more than 10,000 followers – 22.5%.

Money might be a better lens through which to compare these communities however. Spotify says that in 2020, 16,500 artists generated more than $50k a year in royalties from its service – that’s around 8.3% of the estimated 200,000 ‘professionally aspiring’ artists.

Linktree, meanwhile, estimates that 12% of ‘full-time creators’ are making more than $50k a year. There are apples-to-oranges issues here – the Spotify figure is for royalties generated by the artists’ music but paid to their rightsholders, whereas the Linktree figure concerns actual earnings. Still, these comparisons may be useful.

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