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Diving into the creator economy: Monetizing YouTube, Instagram, TikTok

Loves to write, loves to research, and loves the performance of all things social & blog strategy.

When it comes to creator monetizing, YouTube is the best way to earn. Even if you’re not into the long-form content (the best format is 10 minute long, wide-screen), YouTube Shorts will be monetized in 2023! 

YouTube for creator monetizing

Some stats for YouTube:

  • There are roughly 37 million YouTube channels
  • Clubhouse was the poster child for pandemic hype, but YouTube is what really took off during this time. 
  • In 2020 there were around 22,000 YouTube channels with over 1 million subscribers, up 65% YoY. And about 600 channels have 10 million+ subscribers.
  • ​​YouTube splits ad revenue with creators, giving them 55% and keeping 45% for themselves. 
  • Average revenue per video: $21 per 1,000 views

Instagram for creator monetizing

If it seems like there’s a ton of influencers on Instagram, it’s because there are…Instagram is second behind YouTube, with about 500,000 professional influencers on the platform.

But what Instagram has is the most wannabe creators…(everyone and their dog) There are 1.3 billion Instagram accounts, and roughly 30 million of these are from micro-influencers with over 1,000 followers.

Instagram stats:

  • Avg revenue per post: $5.30 per 1,000 followers (compared to $21 for YouTube)
  • 31% of the top 50 accounts are celebrities, and 26% are athletes
  • 30 million accounts have 1,000+ followers (“micro-influencers”)
  • 500,000 accounts have 100,000+ followers (100k is usually considered the floor for “influencers”)

TikTok for creator monetizing

Despite TikTok’s social media domination, creator payouts on TikTok are surprisingly…not lucrative. A 2021 survey from SocialBlade found TikTok creators earned $20,400/year, compared to $46,800 on Instagram and $49,200 for YouTube.

TikTok stats:

  • Avg revenue per post: $0.71 per 1,000 followers (86% lower than Instagram!)
  • Top 50 median follower count 41m (50% lower than Instagram)
  • Top 50 median price per post of $28,670 (93% lower than Instagram!)
  • 46% of top 50 accounts are from USA, 14% from India & Asia (More global than Insta)
  • 32% of top 50 accounts are celebrities, none are athletes
  • 39 million accounts have 1,000+ followers (more than YouTube and Instagram, despite TikTok being far younger)

So there you have it: the top performing social media platforms in the creator economy… it’s up to you to pick your poison. 

More on the Creator Economy

Check out some of our recent coverage of the creator economy:


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