Nearly 60 million Americans—as much as 40% to 50% of the workforce in some cities—are members of the Creative Class, meaning they are directly employed to work with their intelligence and creativity, in fields spanning the arts and culture, science and innovation, and the knowledge-based professions. This is up from just 10% to 15% of the U.S. workforce in 1980.
The more recent rise of online creators and the Creator Economy is the digital manifestation of the rise of creativity as a key element in our economy, society, and everyday lives. Although creators are often thought of as merely digital influencers, they’re better understood as anyone who makes and publishes unique content online, whether that’s videos, films, art, music, designs, text, games, or any other media that audiences can access and respond to. Therefore, the Creator Economy is the economic, social, and professional ecosystem that creators work in, including such digital platforms as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIn, Substack, and Patreon; the digital tools and apps that they use; the startup companies that are constantly advancing their technologies; and the people and companies that support creators’ work and help them monetize it, from videographers and makeup artists to business managers, accountants, and branding consultants.
The scale and scope of the Creative Economy is large—and it is growing. More than 85 million Americans and more than 300 million people across nine large nations were estimated to post their creative content online in 2022. Roughly 17 million creators were found to actually earn revenue on nine major digital platforms as of 2017. The overall size of the Creator Economy was pegged to be more than $100 billion; and almost $15 billion in venture capital has been invested in some 300 Creator Economy startups since 2021. But what’s less appreciated is how key elements of the Creator Economy are geographically clustered.
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By: Richard Florida
Publication Date: 2022-11-18