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Influencer Marketing
May 23, 2024
min read
Aviva Matan

How are Creators Making Money in 2024?

Marketing research company Emarketer recently released data about creator revenue from the various platforms. They project that overall creator revenue is slated to increase by 16.5% year over year, reaching $13.7 billion in 2024.

This income surge is driven by a number of factors. From brand partnerships to the growing significance of affiliate marketing, creators are experimenting with different revenue streams to generate income in an increasingly saturated market.

Brand Partnerships remain the cornerstone of creator income.

Brand partnerships still remain a top revenue stream for creators. As brands increase their spending on influencer marketing, creators are reaping the rewards. Interest in sponsored content over traditional social ads is on the rise with brands, leading to more opportunities for influencer partnerships. In February, Forbes noted that 92% of brands plan to increase their investment in influencer marketing this coming year.

The Rise of Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is rapidly emerging as an important income stream, particularly on platforms like TikTok and YouTube. In 2024, affiliate marketing revenue is expected to surpass $1 billion, marking a 22.6% increase from the previous year. This trend is not just beneficial for top influencers but is also opening doors for smaller creators who can leverage their smaller but dedicated followings to drive sales.

TikTok, with its integrated TikTok Shop, has become a hotspot for affiliate marketing. Similarly, YouTube's long-form content continues to attract audiences, making it an important platform for affiliate promotions.

Alternative Revenue Streams

Creators are changing it up and looking beyond brand partnerships and affiliate marketing. Courses, merchandise, and paid subscriptions are currently the most popular alternative ways to monetize content. These income streams are particularly good for smaller creators who may not have the massive followings required for larger brand deals but can still generate revenue through these alternative streams.

And there is some good news on the horizon for creators going after these types of income streams: Business Insider reports that US consumers are increasing their spending on things like subscriptions and merchandise, despite high inflation and rising interest rates. TikTok has seen a notable increase in subscriptions and merchandise purchases, showing that there is money to be made.

Livestreaming and Direct Monetization

Livestreaming is on an upward trend, with platforms like TikTok and Instagram building new features that facilitate tipping, merchandise sales, and direct subscriptions. The tipping culture on TikTok specifically is expanding, offering creators immediate financial rewards for their live interactions. 

What platform pays more: YouTube or TikTok?

YouTube has seen exponential growth, with a 700% spending boost for shorts in 2023. It looks like the same goes for creator earnings, according to Emarketer, which found the platform is the single-largest source of direct platform payouts to creators. YouTube payouts are predicted to rise by 10% to $3.2 billion this year.

The increase in demand for longer-form content is another reason YouTube is expected to be the most financially lucrative platform for creators in 2024. TikTok has followed suit, launching initiatives that compensate creators for posting long-form content

Instagram experimenting with new monetization models

At a recent Meta event in NYC, Instagram head Adam Mosseri provided insights into the platform's monetization strategies and compared them with competitors. Mosseri praised YouTube's consistent payout structure and criticized Snapchat's ad-revenue share program for its lack of sustainability. He also acknowledged TikTok's evolution from a low-paying creator fund to more lucrative monetization programs, reflecting the platform's adaptability to creator needs.

Instagram itself is testing new monetization strategies, such as the "Spring Bonus," which aims to provide meaningful earnings while ensuring program sustainability. With over 2 million active subscriptions to creators, Instagram is focusing on enhancing predictable income streams through subscriptions and prioritizing original content in recommendations.

The Takeaway

Being a creator is not easy. It demands hard work, persistence, grit, and a hefty dose of creativity to sustainably make a living from content creation. The silver lining, however, is that there are now more revenue streams than ever before, both within and beyond the platforms. As YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram continually refine their monetization options, creators have an expanding array of opportunities to profit from their talent.

Looking for creators to grow your brand? Sign up to our platform to discover top creators in our network.

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