Updated Study Finds Revenues from the New Creative Economy Grew 15% To $7 Billion In Just One Year

Nearly 17 million independent American creators earn billions from posting and sharing creativity online

Washington — Today the Re:Create Coalition released the second annual report on the economic value of the New Creative Economy, documenting that 16.9 million independent, American creators earned a baseline of $6.8 billion from posting their music, videos, art, crafts and other works online in 2017. Building upon last year’s study, the updated report found the number of new creators grew by 2.4 million (16.6%) and total revenues grew by 14.8%. Moreover, these results cover only nine leading online platforms for Americans participating in the New Creative Economy: Amazon Publishing, eBay, Etsy, Instagram, Shapeways, Tumblr, Twitch, WordPress and YouTube.

“The size and scope of the New Creative Economy is not just growing, it’s thriving. Last year’s first-of-its-kind analysis found that new creators were bypassing the traditional gatekeepers like movie studios and the recording industry and instead harnessing the power of the internet to make money and share their creativity with millions of people around the globe. This year’s updated study proves that there are even more creators making even more money, contributing to a worldwide creative boom and significant component of the American economy,” said Re:Create Executive Director Joshua Lamel. “This analysis serves as a critical reminder that millions of Americans rely on the balanced copyright policies that support internet platforms like Instagram, Etsy and eBay in order to earn billions of dollars from their creativity and innovation.”

This updated report and last year’s first-of-its-kind analysis were conducted by Dr. Robert Shapiro, Chairman of Sonecon and former U.S. Undersecretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs. “Even with the limited data from public filings and other sources, the evidence shows that this new creative economy already generates income for 5% of Americans and seems certain to continue to grow and expand as more Americans become aware of its opportunities,” said Dr. Shapiro.

Platforms with the fastest-growing number of creators and earnings include Instagram, Tumblr, Twitch and YouTube. Independent creators earn billions of dollars each year online through website ads, sponsorship/influencer compensation, social media traffic, direct sales and other methods, but this study analyzed only one revenue-sharing model per platform. While many creators earn income in more than one way, the availability of data allowed the study to capture only the leading revenue-sharing arrangement for each platform.

Members of the New Creative Economy are located across the country in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. States with the fastest growth in the number of new creators include California (21%), Utah (18.3%), District of Columbia (17.5%), Louisiana (17.1%) and Georgia (17.0%). The wide geographic diversity of these states shows that the New Creative Economy is thriving throughout the country, even in states not traditionally associated with the tech or creative sectors.

For the full report, visit here.

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