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Media Alert: Adobe “Future of Creativity” Study: Over 50% Of U.S. Creators Are Now Monetizing Content

Monday, October 17, 2022 09:00 AM
  • Non-professional creators in the U.S. (53%) and in leading regions across the world (48%) are now monetizing their work; over three-quarters (77%) started monetizing in the past year
  • 48% of “monetizers” say content revenues represent over half their monthly income
  • Women and BIPOC non-professional creators respectively earn 20% and 21% less per hour than their counterparts
  • 68% of creators say the metaverse will bring new job opportunities as it continues to grow

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Today, Adobe (Nasdaq:ADBE) released new data and insights from the Adobe "Future of Creativity" Study, focusing on growing business opportunities for creators. Titled “Monetization in the Creator Economy,” the new report provides an in-depth look at how non-professional creators who are exploring creative side hustles and hobbies are now monetizing their content, as well as how they are engaging with a new medium: the metaverse.

Adobe’s study found that nearly half of non-professional creators (48%) now earn money from their creative activities, with higher percentages in Brazil (59%), the U.S. (53%), Germany (51%), UK (51%) and South Korea (51%). While over three-quarters (77%) only began monetizing their content in the past year, 48% of monetizers say revenues from creative endeavors represent more than half of their monthly income. Additionally, creators are optimistic about the growing metaverse: 68% of creators now expect the metaverse will bring new job opportunities as it continues to grow.

“The rapid expansion of the Creator Economy has expanded increasing opportunities for creators to monetize their creative talents, turning their passions into new careers and businesses,” said Ashley Still, senior vice president, digital media marketing, strategy & global partnerships at Adobe. “It’s an exciting time to be a creator, and we’re committed to fueling these business opportunities by providing powerful but simple tools such as Adobe Express, making it easy and fun for everyone to be a creator and bring their story and passions to life.” 

Adobe’s Future of Creativity Study provides the most comprehensive view into the Creator Economy, including how creativity is changing across nine major regions: the U.S., UK, Spain, France, Germany, Australia, Japan, South Korea and Brazil. Adobe tools from Creative Cloud to Adobe Express – the leading all-in-one tool for creating social graphics, flyers, logos and videos – empower individuals, solopreneurs, social influencers, small business owners and enterprises around the world to tell their stories, enabling anyone to create professional-quality content with unprecedented speed and ease.

Monetization Opportunities Are Driving Growth in the Creator Economy

The Creator Economy is poised for continued growth, as monetization opportunities are enticing non-professional creators to turn their passions into businesses.

  • Nearly half (48%) of non-professional creators earn money from creative activities, with the highest number of monetizers found in Brazil (59%), the U.S. (53%), Germany (51%), UK (51%) and South Korea (51%).
  • More than three-quarters (77%) of non-professional creators who monetize their content only started doing so within the past year, and 48% say these revenue streams already represent more than half of their monthly income.
  • Four in 10 monetizers are making more money now than they were two years ago, and of those, eight in 10 anticipate earning even more in the next two years.
  • Monetizers across all creative activities (from graphic design to app/website development) are earning at least six times the U.S. minimum wage ($7.25 per hour).
  • The U.S., Brazil, Spain and UK are expected to see the highest levels of earning potential growth in the next two years.

Gen Z Creators Are Weighing Their Options: Content Creation or College?

Gen Z is betting big on the Creator Economy – and their entrepreneurial spirit is inspiring the pursuit of non-traditional jobs, including content creation. 

  • Half (49%) of Gen Z monetizers between the ages of 16 and 18 say they would prefer to start their own creative businesses rather than attend college.
  • Gen Z monetizers are earning higher hourly rates despite spending similar amounts of time on creative activities, averaging $58 per hour for 11 hours of work per week, whereas monetizers average $51 per hour in earnings for the same amount of work.
  • Gen Z monetizers are betting on growth in industries including gaming (40%), photography (36%) and social media (34%).
  • Over half (54%) of Gen Z monetizers anticipate earning more in the next two years than they did in the past two years.

The Roles of Ethnicity and Gender in the Creator Economy

Despite pay equity gaps, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous & People of Color) creators are proving to be among the Creator Economy’s most ambitious groups.

  • The pay equity gap persists for women and BIPOC creators, who respectively earn 20% and 21% less per hour than their counterparts.
  • On average, monetizer men earn $55 per hour compared to $44 per hour for monetizer women, and BIPOC monetizers earn an average of $49 per hour, compared to an average of $62 per hour earned by white monetizers.
  • One-third of Gen Z BIPOC creators (32%) started creating with the hopes of turning it into a career, compared with only 25% of white creators; over half (53%) are actively working towards owning their own businesses, compared to 42% of white creators. 
  • 80% of Gen Z BIPOC creators currently monetize some form of creative activity, while 38% are specifically monetizing original social content, compared with 68% and 33% for white creators, respectively.

Creators Look to the Metaverse for Business and Job Opportunities

Entrepreneurial creators are seeing immersive experiences as a new frontier to monetize their work.

  • Over two-thirds of creators (68% across major markets, 72% in U.S.) say the metaverse will bring new job opportunities as it continues to grow.
  • Over three-quarters (77%) of creators say they’ve explored the metaverse at least once, and 34% say they’re already participating weekly, through early metaverse experiences including gaming, socializing and shopping.
  • Over half (52%) of creators who participate in the metaverse weekly say they’re already working towards owning their own creative businesses.
  • Equal numbers of creators who participate weekly in metaverse activities see it as a place for games (55%) and a venue for socialization (55%), while 29% see the metaverse as a place to attend virtual concerts, trade shows and learning events.
  • Creators also see the metaverse as a place for business: a place to buy NFTs (29%), create NFTs (24%) and buy virtual real estate (19%).

As Gen Z creators continue entering the workforce, and opportunities to monetize creative content grow across traditional and new immersive media, the Creator Economy is poised for further growth.

About the Future of Creativity Study

Adobe’s Future of Creativity study aims to understand how creativity is changing around the world, speaking directly with those at the forefront of online creativity: creators in the Creator Economy. The study examines the future of creativity from a variety of perspectives.


The Future of Creativity study surveyed ~9,000 online non-professional creators in May 2022, in nine leading regions (the U.S., UK, Spain, France, Germany, Australia, Japan, South Korea and Brazil). Adobe partnered with Edelman Data & Intelligence to conduct the study and analyze data to identify key trends across the Creator Economy. “Creators” are defined as non-professionals having participated in creative activities (such as photography, creative writing and original social media content creation) and posting, sharing or promoting their work from these activities online at least monthly with the goal of growing their social presence. “Monetizers” are a subset of these creators who earn income through their creative activities, selling via websites or marketplaces, or generating revenue from partnerships, affiliate links and/or ad revenue. Data was collected from 5,350 Gen-Pop creators (ages 18+, ~600 per market), 5,222 Gen Z creators (ages 16-24, ~600 per market) with a ±1.4% margin of error and 95% confidence level.

About Adobe

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Public relations contact
Erin Di Leva

Source: Adobe

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